DON’T GO TO PWLLHELI EVER! THERE IS NOTHING TO DO!

OK, warning over, lets get on with the day. Today was an early start, as I was going to a attempt an ascent of Moewlyn Mawr. Starting out from Creoso village, the plan was to ascend the peak and if time allowed a lower neighbouring peak Moel Bach. The walk started nicely with an easy stroll along the valley floor, with great views of the horseshoe of hills which make up the valley. Cloud level looked to be a little low, but I was hoping it would clear. The ascent started when I took a right fork which followed an old mining track to 500m above sea level to an old abandoned mine. The path was a continuous uphill for about 1.5 miles until I reached the mine. It would have been a damn impressive operation when it was all up and running. Visibility was not great even at 480m, but I pushed on, but after another 500m and 50m of ascent, it was down to 30m, and was relying on compass to navigate. I decided, given andreas condition, getting lost was not the best idea, If it has been just me, or if it had been a bit clearer, then it would have been no issue, but getting lost on top of a hill isn’t the best way to help andrea relax during her pregnancy.

 

After a breakfast at Erics climbing cafe below the Tremadog crags on the way back, I headed home, and then we all headed over to Pwllheli, and left again within ½ an hour, enough said!, its a working town with not a lot going on, unless you are staying the rather substantial holiday camp just up the road. Retracing our steps back to Portmadog, we took the toll bridge over the bay and stopped at a resturant on the coastal road in Harlech for lunch, which went down very well, with a couple of pints of Snowdownia Ales fine selection. And given the size of elises spagetti bolognaise, I’d have hated to see the adults portion. A very nice drive over to Barmouth then followed.

 

Barmouth is what I would call a typical seaside town, with beachside fairground and arcades, tat shops and cafes along the front. The beach is huge, forming the southern tip of Cardigan Bay, and the views over the Cader Idris range where a nice bonus as well. Elise enjoyed running barefoot on the beach as any child should do. A number of bohemian shops kept elise and andrea busy as well. We returned here on the Thursday, and enjoyed some very nice fish and chips from just up the road from the Last Drop pub, as well as elise making the most of the long promenade.

 

For dinner we headed to the Queens hotel in Portmadog for dinner and had some very nice tapas washed down with several pints of Crag Rat real ale. Food and service were excellent, and my Quesdillas And Spicy Meatballs were spot on.

 

On Tuesday we left the mainland of Wales, we travelled over the Britannia Bridge, and headed to the Anglesea Sealife Zoo. Anglesea is a strange beast when you are surrounded by mountains on the mainland, as is appears to be pretty much totally flat. However moving over to the island, gives a fantastic view of the whole showdown mountain range, and hopefully the panorama I took will come out when I get back home. The zoo was good, if a little small for the admission fee, but there was plenty to see and happily killed a few hours, including lunch at the bistro. The outdoor activities extended the stay a little bit longer, before we headed back to the mainland and the mountain village of Llanberis.

 

With its sheer view up to the Mt Snowdon area dominating the view to one side, and the numerous slate mines dominating the view of the hillside on the other side of the lake it certainly a scenic village, and plenty to do if you arrive earlier in the day. After a trip to Joe Browns Climbing shop to pick up some new gear, we took a walk down to the lake, and then up to the country park. There is plenty to do there when its open (we arrived at 4ish), and the lakeside steam train looked good, but by the time we got there it, and electric mountain was closing, so we headed back, going via Pen Y Pass and Bedgellert.

 

Of all the roads I have driven in Snowdonia, this is the most scenic so far, with view of Snowdon from all angles, as well as many other of the high peaks. It was from this road I ascended Snowdon about 6 years ago, using the Pyg Track, until now I had no compulsion to do it again, but as was head down from Pen y Pass, I caught sight of the Snowdon Horseshoe, and I immediately wanted to do the full circuit! Being here for a week, my eyes have constantly been driven to the mountains, and there are now 3 or 4 on my list of to do hills. I suspect a winter trip is due here!

 

Dinner again was at the Golden Fleece in Tremadog, no unusual steak this time, but a decent pie instead, washed down with several nice ales!

 

When we got back to the cottage, something stuck me, how many stars I could see, and the Milky Way was clearly defined, something I have witnessed for a while now, and left me gobsmacked, its a pity our cities and towns preclude this sight now for most people.

 

As a footnote to this article, I thoroughly recommend any of the Portmadog produced Snowdonia Ales, they were extensively sampled over the week, and not a bad pint among them!