Wide vistas in Wales. Soon to become wet vistas in Wales.
From Abergele at the Irish Sea I cycled into the mountains. To avoid A-roads with heavy traffic I took to the back roads.
Some of these roads were impossible to cycle (see photo above) and I even had trouble pushing the fully loaded bicycle uphill at some points.
Not far from Curig Capel I found a small campsite where I pitched my tent between grazing sheep.
It was at the second attempt that I was successful at summiting Mt. Snowdon. The first time was under averse conditions: rain, strong wind and I had started too late because I had to cycle up to the car park first. High up the mountain it appeared that everybody had left for the day and with almost being blown off the mountain, soaking wet and slippery conditions, I decided to abort the attempt. I wasn’t having a good time either.
The next day was beautiful and it was hard to see how I could have missed the path on the previous day. From the Pen-y-pass car park I now took the Miners Track that joins the Pyg Track that I had tried the day before. After reaching the summit I walked over to the other summit, slightly lower, for good views of Snowdon itself and without the crowds.
The day after conquering the highest mountain of England and Wales, the weather held out and I set out to hike to another mountain with lots of wandering sheep, soggy grass and windswept rocks. Then the weather turned bad again and for one whole day it rained steadily and I kept in my tent reading the Count of Monte Cristo and making coffee. Fortunately, I had lots of coffee.
Yes, it was better before, the woman said. I think we had a heat wave some weeks ago. A heat wave? I thought. But then definitions might vary. Maybe a heat wave in Wales is three consecutive days over 20 degrees centigrade with no rain to speak of. The last time that these circumstances occurred was in 1974.
Mount Everest was named after George Everest, a Welsh surveyor in British India, and forever mispronounced. It’s eve-rest and not ever-est. Another Welsh connection is the Western Cwm, a well known feature of the highest Himalaya peak. In Welsh a cwm is a valley. So no typos on your map there.
When it brightened up again I packed my tent and crossed the Llanberis pass to a picturesque lake on the other side of the massif. This is where the slate industry took off in the 19th century. Very interesting if you’re in roofing.
Road signs are often an entertainment when touring through Wales. I think the one on the left means something like: Careful. Hobbits. Ysgol is sooo Lord of the Rings! By the time you have finished reading the other one, you’re sure to have forgotten it actually meant to say not to drive faster than 40 miles per hour. Miles? Yes, despite years of going metric, they still use miles….
Milk is sold in 568 mils and coffee in 227 g packets. Very metric.
Anglesey. This is the island at the very north western point of Wales.
Not far from Holyhead, where the ferry for Ireland leaves, is South Stack with its cliffs, sea birds and rainy weather. There was a lighthouse too. I saw a somersaulting chough (a bird) but failed to photograph it. So I tried an easier target: myself:
Despite all the rain and the sometimes impossible inclines, Wales is still one of my favourite destinations so far.