Monday, June 21, 2021

The Glyders Walk and Kyffyn Williams "The Gathering"

Just back from a smashing long weekend in North Wales to see family and do a bit of walking. Not seen my Mum or elder sister, due to Covid since August 2020. Zoom and Facetime are really good at keeping in touch but it was great to meet up in person again. 

I was also really pleased to finally go for a 5 mile circular walk around "The Glyders" in Snowdonia (Route 28 "Snowdonia, Anglesey and the Llyn Peninsula "Pathfinder Guide). 

My favourite artist, Kyffyn Williams, has painted a marvellous picture of Welsh Shepherds on top of Glyder Fach, a copy of which hangs in my living room (see collage).  I had promised myself that I would go up after lockdown. 

The walk started next to YHA on Llyn Ogwn. I arrived at 9.30am and was incredibly lucky to get a parking space nearby. I would recommend getting there far more early on busy Saturdays when the weather is good. There was decent toilets there and a takeaway shop (I enjoyed a hot sausage roll).  It took me 5 hours to complete the walk but maybe I should have had more rests to recover and taken longer. 

It was probably amongst the toughest walks I have ever done. I had thought that during lockdown, I had got pretty fit but jogging in Wanstead flats and walking along Kent green lanes and Essex fields had not prepared me for walking up and down (or rather scrambling on your hands and knees) Welsh mountains. I had plenty of cuts and bruises from minor falls and scrapes. When your legs start going shaky and your feet are sore with blisters on the way up then the way down is always going to be problematical. Wearing shorts wasn't a great decision either. 

From the start, after about 10 minutes of walking up and up on the hard stone surfaces it all started to came back to me and knew I was up for a bloody awful challenge.  The painful ascent of Bristly Ridge confirmed this.

There again, the views were simply phenomenal and the rock formations on top were amazing, Most fellow walkers were also very friendly and open to a chat on how knackering it all was but how great it was as well. 

Near the end, after beautiful Llyn Idwal, I passed a couple with their young daughter, probably aged about 6. As I passed, I heard her say to her Dad "that man in the hat looks like a Partner". The Dad responded by saying "We don't talk about what people look like when we are in public but what do you mean by "Partner". His daughter said "he looks like a cowboy with that hat". I had to turn and smile broadly (see collage and make your own mind up but anything to keep the sun off my face). 

Enjoyed a cool Welsh bitter beer in Bethesda on way back to Ruthin. 

(Please note warnings in guide book that you should not do this walk unless you are "fit and experienced". I was not but was lucky on this occasion and the weather was good). 

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