11 June 2016

More southern recce-ing

I hope to have the Dutch hikers over in autumn. I want to take them through Snowdonia again, but this time a bit further south; around Blaenae Ffestiniog to be precise. But it helps scouting out the terrain before coming up with a route. Some paths on the map don't really exist; some pathless bits on the map actually do have paths; such things matter a lot for how much distance you cover in a given time. So when I would be in Blaenau anyway, in the morning, I would be silly to not seize the opportunity.

In spite of it perhaps not being a logical place to start from, I had decided to park in Blaenau and walk up Maenofferen quarry. I had been there before, of course, but never like this. I thought I'd walk out along the west side and then return east, but my plan wasn't very solid. Navigating a quarry is tricky as on the map they tend to be blobs; the very nature of the enterprise is that roads and contour lines change all the time, and the Ordnance Survey can't keep up. I just walked the obvious route, and figured it actually was rather western. I also realised I had not brought sunscreen, which would mean I would have to make this walk rather short. Oh dear!

I walked over the broad roads of the active quarry, until I got to a nice old incline and just climbed it; I like inclines. From there a beautiful tramline ran into the distance. Forget the plan, where did this lead to? I thought of doing a triangulation to find out where I was, but Blaenau is on the edge of the map; I was on one side and what I would aim my compass at was on the other. Not impossible, but too much to ask for someone who had got up at 5:15. I just went on. After a while I saw a lake; that gave it away. I was clearly heading straight east (it was around noon in summer so the sun wasn't giving much away on that front). No probs! I walked on to the nearest mine, as I couldn't resist, and then looped back to the quarry. I had never walked in that area before, it was stunningly beautiful, and I didn't meet another soul. Splendid! I look forward to walking this with autumnal friends!

First thing: a tea break. 

Into the quarry

View into the quarry from above

View from even higher up in the quarry

A lovely old railway bridge and incline

The railway bridge up close

One of the lakes

The lake seen from a different angle

I didn't go further in than this! Honest!

Selfie with ruins

Arty rhodondendron pic

The drum house at the top of another old incline

More rhodondendrons!

The old quarry foreman's cottage (I think)

1 comment:

Maaike said...

Dat ziet er goed uit! Ik heb er nu al zin in!