Sunday 29 April (0715-1135)
Distance: 11 miles
Weather: VERY wet and VERY windy!
As I mentioned in the note at the end of the last post, it was a wild night. Susie Superlite got an absolute battering, but she stood up to it admirably (I don’t think that we even incurred any more curves in the poles, but they’re already so wiggly that it’s difficult to say). With the wind still gaining strength at getting-up time, and with the forecast rain not having yet started, there was, for once, no time wasted in getting ourselves up an packed away. It was also one of those rare days when the tent got packed away completely dry: no rain, and no condensation.
Surprisingly, in exiting the tent, we didn’t find a big ship washed up next to us (at 1000’ above sea level!). Surprising, because something very near to us (probably the wind on some of the metalwork in the sheep pens adjacent to us) sounded exactly like a ship’s fog horn going off!
Having pondered, during the disturbed night’s sleep (tent sounding like it was going to take off; ship’s fog horn a few metres away), whether we would have been better pitching further down the valley, we found out this morning that the answer was no. That wind was everywhere and we didn’t encounter a single bit of shelter as we staggered our way along Llyn Cwmworthin. At one point we were both knocked off the path moments before watching a mini-tornado whip up a spiral of water and carry it right across the llyn. Eeek! Nervous looks were had at trees before we passed under them.
The rain held off until we were an hour into the day, but from then on we were being battered by the wind and the rain. The saving grace was that, by having changed the direction of our walk, it was mainly on our backs. During the two (relatively short) sections that it was hitting our faces it really was unpleasant.
With the weather not being conducive to lingering, it was a bit of a route march, although we did take full advantage of Duallt station on the Ffestiniog Railway line, by sitting in the waiting room there for an early second breakfast. Another (bandstand-esque) shelter appeared alongside Llyn Trawsfynydd at about elevenses time, although it’s a mystery why the designers decided to put all of the benches outside of it!
Mick’s opinion of the day was ‘It’d probably be quite a nice walk in better weather’. I think he was probably right, but as it was I paid little attention to our surroundings, with my hood up and my head down.
By quarter to noon we were sitting in the car, with a cup of tea in hand, eating lunch and watching the horrendous weather outside. We were glad no longer to be out in it. I then slept most of the way home (except where Mick woke me to point out fallen trees partially blocking the roads).
So, that’s the length of Wales walked, albeit in a ‘section hike’ sort of way. A really excellent walk it was too, and one that I will undoubtedly revisit – starting with the high-level route for the northern-most section.
Llyn Cwmorthin in the rather brighter conditions of yesterday afternoon, with a big slag heap in the right-hand foreground