01 April 2021

First social walk in quite a while

 For a long time, we were not allowed to meet people outside our household at all. Then there was a time when we could exercise with people outside our household. I did that once! But then the rules were changed, and you could see people socially, be it only outside and in very limited numbers. And I had heard around Christmas that a woman I know from Welsh class, Dani, had moved into the village. We were just planning to go for a walk together when that became outlawed. But now, some three months later, we could pick up where had left off! And so we did.

I had suggested we walk somewhere near Ogwen cottage, as for now only the Welsh could travel within Wales. We weren't allowed into England and the English were not allowed into Wales. That meant the tourist hotspots in the area would still be relatively quiet. There are quite many English people!

We met at Ogwen cottage at nine on a Saturday, and we could still park there. That shows you the English weren't allowed here yet! And we decided to go for a walk to Llyn Bochllwyd. We wanted to avoid the peaks as it was rather cold and very windy. The hilltops were white again!

We had a lot to catch up on! Her Welsh is impeccable so I don't see her in classes anymore. And bumping into people is not really happening during lockdown. And a lot had changed! It was also nice to hear that her neighbours were my old officemate and his wife, to whose wedding I had been in what felt like the very distant past when you could just have weddings however you wanted them. I could see us meeting up all together in the not-too-distant future!

In about an hour we were at the lake, where we had coffee and cake. From there we decided to loop around Tryfan. And when we reached the road again we walked back to the cars on the other side of the lake. Dani knew the path from the cottage to the lake, but the rest of the route was new to her. I was pleased with that! I could show her some new terrain.

As it so happens, this was quite similar to a walk I had done a few years before with my friend Helgard. In a way it is funny I seem to do this route with German friends with whom I do not speak either German or English. I still speak Norwegian with Helgard, and I speak Welsh with Dani. It was very good, by the way, to spend some four hours speaking Welsh! Lockdown has not done my Welsh any favours…

Spring is really on its way now, and last time that led to fewer infections. If that happens again this time, then I could imagine this might well be the first of the significant list of social interactions! I would like that…

On our way to the lake

Coffee break at the lake

The lake vanishing below us

Approaching the pass

Back at the A5

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