06 September 2019

Lots of mines (and consumption) with the Cornish

If you love mountains and mines, and you are UK-based, and you are not living in Snowdonia, you are probably visiting it sometimes.Both the PCG and the YCC tend to travel up here! And two of the Cornish chaps I did my best trips with back in the southwest come up periodically too. And then they drop me a line! We've been down a lead mine, a mixed mine, a slate mine, and up a rather cold hill. And suddenly I got the call again. They would be coming!

I had a thought. They like both mountains and mines, and I had never been to Lliwedd Copper mine. I asked if they had been. They hadn't! So I had a plan. It combines both. A good mountain walk and industrial archaeology! I asked about when they wanted to do it and they said they'd get back to me. But it became Friday and I still didn't know. I started nagging. And it was almost 10PM when I had them on the phone. If you want to do Lliwedd it's best doing that from the start of the Watkin path, and in a weekend in summer the parking there runs out pretty early. But it turned out they had already done, but just not remembered the name. And they were knackered after driving up through awful traffic. So we wouldn't get up at silly o'clock to get a parking space at one of the Snowdon paths. We would just make it up!

I drove up in the morning and found (in two attempts) their cottage. It was very snug! And we made plans over coffee. And we figured we'd do some slate. They hadn't done Cwt y Bugail. And if we were there anyway, we could do the top of Rhiwbach (the surface works) too. It's around the corner! And then maybe do Foel Gron on the way back. None of them are big but with all three we should be sorted for a while!

We set off. The men did not know about the tiny road to Manod! The map doesn't show it as a navigable road, but it sure is. We parked up and went to Cwt y Bugail. It's on the map for everyone to see but they had never really noticed. And it was a lovely day for it! It had been bucketing down while I drove to the chaps' accommodation but now it was sunny. And we had a thorough stroll in there! They were positively surprised; there was more than they had expected. We also did the wet bits so much wringing out of socks followed.

Cwt y Bugail from a distance

Pretty tunnel

Mike and Daz

Funkily shaped entrance

The pit, with Cornishmen for scale

We then walked to Rhiwbach. We admired the incline and the mill. And walked around to the pit. Would there be anything going underground there? We scampered all around the small pond and found one that was not easily accessible (maybe some free climbing would get us there) and one that was accessible. Nice! Bonus! It didn't go far; it lead to a level with two side levels but all of that was either a dead end or run in after between two and some ten meters. But more than nothing! And we found a nice rock with stitch drilling in there.

On the way back to the car Mike noticed an adit by the side of the path. We went in! It was only one tunnel with no side tunnels or anything like that. And it was quite wet again! More wringing out of socks.

Tips below the mill

Stitch drilling

We changed back into dry stuff at the van. And set off towards Foel Gron! I had misremembered where it was but I recognised it when I saw it. So we changed back into our wet gunk and walked up. We left the wet bottom adit. But we did do the wet bits inside! And after we had seen what there was to see underground we walked up. We found no more entrances but surface workings are nice too. And I am particularly fond of the empty landscape there! The men were too. But then it was time to go home.

Nice winch

Daz in the milky water

The spoil heaps in the otherwise largely empty landscape

We changed once again and headed for Betws-y-Coed via Penmachno. Mike took the sneaky route past the mill. I had never driven that! And we stopped to admire the waterfall, as far as you could see that from that side ot the river (the 'official' viewing platform is on the other side). But then we went on! We were getting peckish. And we went to the Royal Oak for dinner. It was very busy but we found an outside table. I got quite nervous from the crowds! I don't like crowds. But it wouldn't be any better anywhere else (I thought) so we stayed. But the men were the ones to go in and order!

We also discussed the day after. We had plenty of time as the kitchen forgot our order (we got our money back). And the men were keen to do a trip near me. So I showed them on the map where it is. And suggested they pop over for dinner afterwards! That's nice and that way I can show them my house. And then I left! They still had drinks but it was getting late, and I couldn't drink any more as I was driving. And I would see them the next morning anyway!

The next morning I did my normal morning routine. And in the weekend that can include a run. And it did! Of course the men knocked on my door just when I came out of the shower. And my towel isn't big enough to maintain my decency! I slipped into a dress as quickly as I could and opened the door. They were a bit surprised; they had never seen me wear a dress. But they got ready for their trip. And I went back to my chores!

When they came back we had a beer in the garden until we were chased out by the midges. They could really see why I love this house (and its accoutrements) so much! And then we had dinner. And they were fascinated by one of my books about the Welsh slate industry. I have the Welsh language version but they have now already ordered the English version!

By about nine we were all yawning and we said goodbye for probably another year. I'm sure they'll be back! They haven't seen everything yet. And there are also always more mountains to climb. And I don't think they mind a beer in my garden! And I sure don't either!

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