Tag Archives: writing

Snowdonia

17 Feb

Snowdonia August 2009

Of course to do the whole walking thing you have to have the correct equipment I was told. Walking boots (preferably 10 years old and well worn), haversack containing all necessary bits and bobs to cover every eventuality including mars bar, water, first aid kit (containing plasters for the inevitable blisters that will appear despite the 10 year maturity of your walking boots!), the Nordic walking poles and of course a compass. As every seasoned walker knows a compass could save your life – I’m not too sure how this occurs unless you actually know how to use the compass i.e. attending a three month course in orienteering so the fact that it is neither edible nor drinkable is of no bloody use whatsoever.

The walking is the pleasure, the hours of solitude and being at one with nature, the birds singing the soft rushing of the wind the absolute peace. What? That’s not what I say, I can quite easily find hours of peace and solitude in my own back garden without five hours of constant walking on uneven ground (despoiling the environment with every step by the way) following the herd that are today’s walkers up the side of a mountain.

I mean, some of them looked totally ill-equipped to go for a walk to the park never mind a slog up a steep gradient but hey ho off they went anyway with a packet of salt & vinegar crisps and a carton of Vimto in a Netto bag they’d found in the bathroom at their B & B. I just dreaded to think how many call outs the rescue service were going to receive today – I know it had been raining constantly for two weeks and this was the first dry day we’d had so wouldn’t a much better idea have been to sit peacefully with a Richard & Judy summer read at the side of Lake Padarn with a faithful companion by your side to stave off any unwanted encroachers. Paradise in the sun. Ok so the toxic warning sign at the side of the Lake was a bit of a put off but as my trusty companion had an aversion to water I had no problems on that score – he looks like a Japanese Water Dog but there any resemblance vanishes.

I had kissed my other partner (there are three in this relationship, me, him and the dog) goodbye, farewell, a bientot, ciao, arrevederci at base camp and waved him off up the mountain track making sure he had at least a bottle of water. Yes I am unfit and yes it did not fill me with glee the thought of putting one foot in front of the other for the rest of the morning not to mention the constant nodding of the head at heaving, puffing and sweating out of condition families overtaking me up the mountain track. I had toyed with the idea of taking the train and meeting him at the top but as the next available train was 3.00 pm there seemed little point.

I opted for the lakeside and apart from two unruly jack russells whose owner very kindly let them off their leads just before they met my beloved Nam (it means “devotion to” in Buddhism) and me having to disentangle his lead from around both the bench and my own legs a good two hours was spent reading, taking in the breathtaking, if not slightly daunting, view of the slate quarries and stroking my Nam.

I headed back to our B & B for a well earned cup of coffee six chapters into my book. We had a balcony overlooking the High Street in Llanberis and I sat waiting patiently for my conquering hero to return. I don’t think he noticed me on the balcony at first and was wincing quite badly and sweating like a turkey at Christmas but I guess he must have seen out of the corner of his eye as he suddenly put on a jaunty gait as he approached the B & B. Ah well at least he could tell people back home that he was into extreme sports now! He entered our room and my questions of how was it at the top and was the view as good as people said were met with grunts and groans as he endeavoured to remove his walking boots from his swollen feet. Needless to say he didn’t leave the B & B for the rest of the day claiming he had to re-charge his batteries and all extreme sports enthusiasts had to take at least a day off before attempting further feats of bravery! Aaaah bless his blistered little feet.

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