Wales is bloody brilliant at rain and we’ve been treated to some of its best over the last few days. Heavy enough that it sounded like a troupe of tap dancers on the roof and piss-istent enough to keep going for hours. And hours. And hours.
Of course, all the rain is what makes it so beautiful. Our campsite is off a country lane which loops around in a circuit which fellow campers told us made a great walk. When we tried it, we came across a group of cows and calves standing in the middle of the road – having Uller with us and remembering horror stories of walkers being killed by stampeding cows protecting their calf (two people died earlier this year trying to save their dogs), we decided to let them have the road – apparently they sleep on it at night because the tarmac warms up during the day! Instead we headed off on a footpath we had just spotted which we hoped (me)/knew (D) would loop back to the road.
Wow. I’m beginning to sound like a stuck record and Mum laughed when I told her, but I think this must be the new favourite place. Views across the estuary in one direction and to the mountains in the other. The sun was out (this was a few days ago) and the colours were vivid – bright green grass & moss and the glowing gold of the gorse. A really stunning walk on a glorious evening.
Dolgellau is a great little town too. We’ve made a few trips for laundry, wifi, lunches and groceries. The cafe with wifi is funny – we’ve had great panini and cake there, but it is a bit like watching an episode of Fawlty Towers – none of the staff seem to know what they are doing, customers keep getting the wrong order and the owner just stands in the middle of all the chaos trying (and failing) to pull it all together. Since the start of the heavy rain, we’ve avoided the 1:2 mudslide-down-the-hill route and walked in via the road – how about this for a view from the suburbs?
The town is mostly built from grey stone and is a muddle of tiny streets and tucked away corners. It is the sort of place that makes you feel glad you didn’t drive the van through until you see the bus – although at one spot on the one-way system, the bus does have to do a 3-point turn to get around the corner!
We’ve had an interesting couple of nights recently too. On Saturday, there was a night rally on the tiny country road that I mentioned earlier. From midnight to about 2am, we had the high-pitched whine of rally engine screaming past us every minute or so, together with the shouts of marshals and cheers from the hardy few who watched it. When the owner warned us it was going to happen, we thought we might get up and join the spectators, but when the time came it was just a bit too wet and a bit too cold. I managed to sleep through some of it, but I think D was awake the whole time, trying to work out what the car was from the engine noise.
The last couple of nights sleep has been broken by the tap-dancers on the roof, combined with a hefty gust of wind occasionally to keep us on our toes. It hasn’t been helped by the Battle of the Bedcovers. We have a pretty good range when it comes to bedcovers – a beautiful quilt that D’s mum made us, blankets and a choice of two duvets. The first is one that we bought when we were living in an unheated house in the Adelaide Hills and so is about 100 tog. It is like a soft fluffy radiator. We decided on about day 2 of this trip that it was too warm, so we bought our second duvet. This is the complete opposite. Despite what the label says, it is about -100 tog and is like covering yourself in a soft fluffy fridge – I’m not sure how it does it, but it seems to suck all the heat out of you. I paid a whole £8 for it in Asda, so I’m not sure why it is so crap. Even combined with the quilt, blanket and dressing gowns on top, it was impossible to get warm on Sunday night. So we swapped back to the radiator last night – we were too hot but decided that was preferable to too cold. We’ve also given in and turned the heating on this evening. The heater at the back is the ‘slow and steady wins the race’ type, but it is starting to feel really toasty in here now. The heater at the front can be reached from the bed and is good for a quick blast of heat when we are not brave enough to get out of bed.
Naturally, all the rain we’ve been having, combined with being on the side of a grassy hill, adds up to one thing – mud. We are going to make a break for freedom and hardstanding tomorrow and see if we can get off the site, although it wouldn’t be a bad place to get stuck if we can’t! Success will require rocks, tree branches and anything else that can fill the muddy holes we have to get through and provide extra grip. Wish us luck.
Wales…was there last in approx 1958, if my date is wrong I am sure Uncle Richard will correct me, memories of kestrels,cows and catching wasps with the marmalade trap
do you plan on playing with anything in Aberystwyth, possibly involving a mat?
SOME TALL BLOKE
My God, do you ever take a bad photo? Not to mention I tried reading your blog, months ago. I’m still not comfortable with the word blog. Anyway I’ll have to keep up with your entries.Sounds like you are having a great time. Supremely jealous and all that.