Thursday, 21 April 2016

A Walk from Rhyd Dhu to Beddgelert. . .

We have been very lucky with the weekend weather lately.  Last Sunday promised another sunny day, so I went off with my rambling group to Wales.  I decided to do the medium walk as I didn't fancy a fast pace and I just wanted to enjoy the fresh air and views.  This was a linear walk from just outside the Rhyd Dhu railway station, to Beddgelert, some ten miles away.  Though we started on the established gravelled route, which is quite pleasant and easy, especially through Beddgelert Forest, the leader did deviate to add a bit of height and mileage. Unfortunately, I didn't really follow his route on the map, so just going by what I remember from the photos.

This is the beginning of the path but instead of climbing the hill ahead, we veered off to the left, going up about a third of the way, and then entering Beddgelert Forest.

Emerging out of the forest, we had great views of the surrounding hills, including Snowdon (the one with the snow still on the top).

We then ate our lunch at the top of this gorgeous valley.  You can see right out towards the sea.

The valley led down to the remains of one of several abandoned slate mines in this part of Wales. Usually I find these remnants fairly ugly to walk through (the descent from Old Man Coniston is a good example,) but this had a certain beauty to it.  The loose slate seemed more integrated with the surrounding landscape, as if the mountains were being eroded, rather than brutally gouged. Maybe it was just the sunshine making everything look nicer.

The old train tracks used to transport the slate have long gone, but you can see their traces in the grassy path that remains.

It was a glorious day for walking.  Blue sky, hills all around, and plenty of sheep too.

We climbed up to a col in between two mountains. It was a tough ascent as there wasn't a discernible path and the terrain was full of boggy tufts of grass.  The views when we neared the top were fabulous though.

And then we crossed a stile over a drystone wall and a whole other vista of mountains opened up to us.

In the distance was Cnicht, known as the "Matterhorn of Wales".  This was what the hard walkers were tackling and I was glad I'd decided to pass.

We headed down into more forest and followed quite a few muddy paths downhill.

We then emerged onto the pleasant road to Beddgelert.  I would have loved some time to explore the village a little (and perhaps find a fish and chips shop - I was so hungry), but the coach was shortly leaving. It took quite a long time to get back to Liverpool; I wasn't home until after 9:30pm, but it was worth it.  I really enjoyed the walk and wasn't as shattered as I usually am after doing the hard walk. Just seeing the tops of mountains can be as rewarding as actually climbing them.  At least on this day.

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