Only the week before I had spent a night in the hills in order that get the cat used to me sometimes not coming home for a night. But I was going to be away from home again, so I decided again to extend that day out a bit for that same purpose. I was going to have mine rescue training somewhere quite far east (not too far from Mold), and I figured I could attach one or two nights in a tent to that. I had a fair number of things to do on the Saturday, though, so I didn't leave until 8 PM. My initial plan had been to drive to the Clwydian range, sleep there, and explore that area bit in the morning before training. But with me leaving so late I decided against. I thought I should sleep closer to home. I decided to go drive up the old road to Ogwen cottage, park somewhere close to the end, and then find a nice place to sleep. Then I could just drive to the Clwydian range in the morning and still explore that environment.
It was supposed to be dry that night, but it wasn't really. I had already taken the precaution of bringing my big tent, which had been off to Scotland for repair. If the weather is bad you want a bigger tent! You can have breakfast in the vestibule, you can pack your bag inside the tent while sitting upright, and such things. My small tent is so small it can host me and just about my luggage, but that is it.
I found a small parking spot near the top of the valley. I had a fair amount of water with me, so by exception I did not need to camp by a stream. I just trundled up the hill, through the wet grass, looking for a flat and soft space. And I soon found one! It had amazing views over the valley, and it had a backdrop of dramatic cliffs. When I had pitched it I went for a small stroll. I walked over the crest behind the tent and ended up looking out over Cwm Idwal. It was menacing weather, and it was getting dark, and the valley looked decidedly grim. It was quite special. There were midges around, but not too many.
I went to bed. In the morning I woke up to some light rain. I did indeed have my breakfast in the vestibule, and then I packed up and went back to the car. By the time I parked it, the sun had come out. I grabbed the bare necessities and decided to go walk to what was on the map as Jubilee Tower. It was a stuffy day, and soon I changed into shorts and a tank top. The area was nice and not spectacular. The paths were broad and busy, and the views mainly of the surrounding lowlands. It looked a bit like an area where families go for a Sunday walk! And it was good to have seen it, but it is not an area I think I need to spend an awful lot of time on in the future. Although there were two Iron Age hillforts there, so if I ever am in the area again, I might explore these. Now I didn't have the time. I looped back to my car, had a quick coffee, and then headed for the site of the rescue training. I was glad with how things had panned out so far; I had had a beautiful night in the hills, and turned the annoying drive to a faraway training into a day out! So far so good…
|Evening view of Nant Ffrancon|
|Morning walk in the Clwydian range|