Sunday was my official day 2 up here in North Wales. Friday didn’t really count although I actually got some recce done. So what was left? Then “long” route from Craflwyn skirting the Northern hills to Cwm Llan, then down the last bit of the Watkin Path,cross the river and back past Llyn Dinas and the Sygyn mine all the way to the car park. Roughly 11k altogether and some elevation gain, but not an awful lot.
But first there was obstacle number one to overcome. Weather. Or to be more precise: rain. A very persistent and intermittently heavy rain which had set in in the early morning hours. It was said to clear by late morning, so despite getting up at my usual 6am, I spent the morning in the tent or car next to it, mostly reading as everyone else was also hiding and using up the WiFi, so it was pretty much useless. It took me the better part of an hour to find out opening times for Cadwaladers cafe in town.
Eventually left the campsite just before 10am trying to do my stuff that required going between car and tent in between the heavier outbursts of rain. First stop Cadwaladers. A ice-cream parlour/cafe/lunch place we had spotted last time, but didn’t have the opportunity to check out.
Cappuccino and carrot cake draped around my laptop I sat there finally able to blog and upload photos. The rain had finally stopped now and it got very busy very soon as people crept out of their hiding holes.
Off to Beddgelert I drove again and through it to the National Trust car park I knew by now. Waited out the (hopefully) last shower and then set off just after noon through the woodland once more all the way up to open hillside, then turned East on a well signposted path.
Clouds still looked threatening as I walked the undulating path grassy and at times rocky path, but I had a feeling that I was going to stay dry. Behind me the three hills I had climbed the day before were slowly shrugging off the last of the grey clouds, to my right Cnicht and the Moelwyns did the same. Only Snowdon and his subjects kept the grey fluff for quite a while longer.
Meanwhile, I was walking and I was absolutely enjoying it. The going was easy and not too wet, the scenery very typical British with grass, moss, heather, rocks, streams and… well ruins. In this case ruins of an old quarry. Especially in North Wales ruins of mines or quarries are so very common and part of the history and heritage of the area. And although man made, they do add to the atmosphere and feel of the place.
Climbed around the side of a bigger outcrop and then made my way down to the Watkin path with the ginormous shape of Y Lliwedd sitting right in front of me. Like a monstrous giant sitting right in front of me, demanding a toll for letting me pass. I didn’t go far enough to challenge him, but instead had a break at the beautiful waterfalls at the Watkin Path watching countless people going up or down. Snowdon’s popularity unbroken.
The sun came out more and more, but Cwm Llan was throwing an icy blustery wind at me as I sat by the water having lunch. So I wrapped up warm whilst my face was glowing. British weather, eh? Back down to the main road I passed a young couple asking me if I knew the way up to “the Snowdonia”. I must have looked like I knew what I was doing with a determined stride and all. Figured out they meant Snowdon. Told them they were on the right track, but it was at least three hours to the top and they better take food and water. They had no backpacks. They thought about it and went anyway.
Crossed the bridge by the main road and walked along Llyn Dinas all the way to Sygyn mine. Didn’t fancy the £10 to go in today, as the weather was still too nice. Had a hot chocolate instead and chilled a bit outside before walking the last 15mins back to the car.
Brilliant walk! Had taken my time and was back at the car 15:30. But I still wasn’t finished. I drove straight through Criccieth into the next village of Llanystumdwy, try pronouncing that! A lady was selling ice cream straight from her front garden, couldn’t resist. So munching my magnum, I strolled along the lovely woodland path along the river up and then back down.
Back at the campsite I had clocked another 20k today I think. Same procedure, shower and then chilli part 2 whilst sipping some Malbec and catching the last of the sun.
That was almost it. Only a little bit of the Criccieth walks left to recce in a run on Monday morning and then back to Bristol.