The latest long weekend took us back to Blaenau Festinniog with the intention of visiting some new locations – ably assisted by Karen & Paul Coe (our hosts and guides for the weekend – many thanks, guys, for another superb visit).
First stop on the Friday was the Precipice Walk in the Dolgellau area – a lovely walk of about 4 miles with views, a lake and bluebells thrown in. Unfortunately, the pics didn’t live up to expectations so it will be one we will have to revisit at some stage.
Saturday’s location came about after watching D Griff Gallery on Youtube and a visit he made up to the lakes and quarry on Moel Siabod. Having parked at the layby at Pont Cyfyng, we made our way up to the first lake and took a well deserved coffee break – the steep walk had proved challenging (but nothing like what was to follow!).
We left Karen and Paul enjoying their coffee and sausage rolls while we decided to head on to Llyn Foel to see what else was about. We passed the quarry and several derelict buildings but found nothing that was worth stopping to take pics of so I decided that we might as well turn back and head back down.
However, the other member of the party (no names mentioned!) decided that “we’ve got this far, we might as well climb to the top”. Now, in hindsight, we should have been a tad more sensible and stuck to our original plan because, 90 minutes, later we were still approx. 100m from the summit and at a point where we couldn’t decide whether to continue or turn back.
Fortunately, just as we’d made the decision to go back, we met John, Dom and Katie (absolute legends, in my eyes) who had completed the climb once before and advised us that the quicker route was to continue to the top as there was a path on the other side. With their assistance, we scrabbled/climbed the rocks and made it to the top – the views were incredible and we were so glad that we had made it to the summit but – several days later, our bodies are rebelling and making every step a painful one – we certainly needed the food and alcohol that followed that evening.
The last location on the Sunday proved that planning and doing a bit of research pays off – struggling to walk, following the previous day’s exploits, we were delighted to find that the walk from the car to Llyn Y Dywarchen was approx. 50m so we were able to limp to the boathouse and boats to take our first pics of the weekend – I’m not sure how good they will be as the light wasn’t great and we’ve still got to process them.
Once we’d loosened up a bit, we carried on walking around the lake and found a nice looking stile plus some more derelict buildings and we think there might be some decent black and white shots of these, with a bit of luck.
While we may not have taken many pics, we’ve enjoyed some great company – thanks, Karen & Paul – along with completing some terrific walks and scouting out some locations for future reference. As we’ve said before, it’s not always about the photography – it’s about being out in the fresh air and enjoying all of the sights and sounds around you – one that will remain with me was the sound of the cuckoo that was heard on every walk we did (and we even saw one from a distance as it flew in front of us). Even the pain of Moel Siabod can be enjoyed, now that we can walk again, and certainly won’t ever be forgotten.