As I mentioned in my last post, we went to Snowdonia for a long-planned recovery week (black armbands still apply). Nomi found us a simple cottage up a long forest track in a deserted village. Perfect.
Thick snow and a biting easterly wind kept us off the mountains until a slight change in the weather allowed an attempt at Yr Wyddfa. We got about halfway up the Pyg Track at which point conditions became treacherous. A cold mist descended while half-melted snow gave way underfoot, plunging us up to our knees. We beat a hasty retreat.
Better safe than sorry. In any case, there's a machismo to trekking culture that I find tedious, especially when there are stunning walks to be had at low level in every direction. Our stomps took us to eldritch trees, made luminous by moss and lichen...
...to perfectly proportioned waterfalls and pools...
...to plunging chasms...
...and over hills sufficient to get the heart pumping.
I'm always amazed at how, after just a few days of this, you start to unclench.
On one walk we passed Dinas Emrys, site of the famous showdown between King Vortigern and the young Merlin, but to be honest you get the sense that forgotten stories are tangled around every tree, hummock, outcrop, hill, ridge, Cwm and mountain. If only we could remember.
On our last day the weather broke and it rained as only it can in the mountains. Ghostly veils drenched the valley. We decided on a day of rest and drove to Ynys Môn to visit Bryn Celli Ddu. Once a neolithic henge, then a Bronze Age passage grave, the version we see today is ours, a twentieth century reconstruction, complete with fake serpent stone. It's nonetheless impressive however, with a stunning view of the mountains to the south west and a megalithic doorway that beckons you in to the chamber inside.
But what's this? Some kind of Druid ceremony? Bugger me if we hadn't stumbled on Philip Shallcrass and the World Drum. Again.
As Philip put it so eloquently when he spotted us: 'you have got to be kidding me!'