03 April 2021

Easter holiday walk

I was allowed to travel freely within Wales. The English were not allowed into Wales yet. I was allowed to go for a walk with friends. The weather was beautiful. My marking was done. In other words; it was absolutely perfect day for going into the mountains. I could pick mountains that would normally be very busy on a sunny day, as with only the Welsh on them they wouldn't be busy. And I didn't have to go alone.

Kate had suggested doing yr Aran as she hadn't been yet. That sounded fine to me! We could make it a round trip and walk back on the Watkin path, as it wouldn't be too busy. Sounded ace! And I couldn't start too early as I had a dentist's appointment first, but what with no English people I didn't think that would be a problem. It's not as if the parking lots would fill up at dawn!

After my appointment I drove through Paris pass and through Nant Gwynant, and it was lovely to see how quiet they were. And when I parked up I saw that Kate was already there. I changed into my shorts and my walking boots, applied some sunscreen, and was ready to roll. And we started in the woods, which are quite pretty. And when we got out of the woods it was still pretty. Even though you are clearly in Snowdon County here, if you look around on that slope you barely see any human influence. And if you see any, it tends to be associated with abandoned mines, and blend into the landscape.

After a short while I requested coffee break. Due to my dentist's appointment I hadn't been able to drink coffee since about 8 AM! And normally I quaff about a litre of the stuff between that hour and noon.

After the coffee break we continued our way, and soon were on the old road to the mine. I was in a bit of discomfort; I think my stomach had noticed the lack of coffee or something, as I had a bit of a stomach ache. Whenever we stopped for a bit I lay down on my stomach, as that was in my experience the best way of getting rid of that.

Then the road (or the path that extends it) plunges down into the valley, and we had to make our own way to the top. It is always harder going if you have to do some bushwhacking, but it was okay. We just stomped on. And that was rewarded! From the top of yr Aran you have an amazing view on Snowdon, the Watkin path, and the slate mines of Cwm Bwlch Llan. And even though we were at 750m, I was still perfectly comfortable in my tank top and shorts. It was such a lovely day!

Kate ate a banana while I did my last lying on my stomach thing. Then it was over! I just drank some more and was ready to go down again. We discussed a bit on how to go down; we decided to not go via the Watkin path, but back over the ridge instead. At some point we would bump into a wall, and if we would follow that down we would come back on our path again. And we did that! We overshot the cars a bit initially, but that didn't matter, as we were not in a hurry and the landscape was beautiful. But we got back to them in the end. What a perfect day! I hope we can cram a few more like that in before the teaching starts again after Easter…

The empty landscape

Improvised medical treatment

View on Snowdon from the top

Snowdon and yr Aran together

Back in the woods

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