On Thursday the 6th of October we travelled from our home to the Plas Dolmelynllyn Hall Hotel in Snowdonia in anticipation of a lovely long weekend walking with members of the Pathfinders. This trip had been organised for us by Malcolm who, very sadly, was unable to join us owing to the fact that he had broken his foot a couple of months earlier. This however, had not deterred him from arranging all our accommodation and walking requirements and for this I would like to express our thanks for all the hard work he put in on behalf of our group.
The weekend’s walking began on Friday the 7th of October and saw the group setting out for the first days walk. This began directly from the hotel with the route following the forestry roads for some way. Arriving at a pre-arranged turn-off the group then elected to split into two. A lower level route was led by Colin, whilst the remainder of us continued upwards to the summit of Diffwys.
En-route to the top we met a farmer bringing in some of his sheep ready for the winter. His request that we round up any strays we might find and bring them in was agreed to in the full knowledge that we had no idea where his farm was thus saving us the worry of actually fulfilling our promise!!!!!
The weather was slightly overcast and a little on the chilly side, but by the time we reached the trig point the cloud lifted sufficiently to enable us to sit and have lunch in some comfort. Our hard work was now rewarded with fantastic vistas stretching out ahead of us. A feast for the eyes, not just the tummy!
The route down followed the ridge until we swung off to the left and, continuing our descent, we eventually came out onto a small lane which we followed towards our cars (parked earlier that day). Ah, a welcome sight indeed! Time to get back to our hostelry and meet up with the others to discuss the days events.
Our second walk on Saturday was a lowland walk along the Mawddach estuary which took us into Barmouth. Again we started from the hotel and soon found ourselves striding along the old railway track which wended its way towards our destination. This walk is some 14 miles in length and proffered some wonderful views of the estuary as we made our way down its length. Stopping for lunch we were able to see the railway/footbridge which we would have to cross into Barmouth. The bridge was opened on the 10th of October 1867 and is a Grade II listed structure. At 149 years old it is still doing remarkably well!
Arriving in the town at around 3pm gave us the opportunity to explore the area and if you were foolhardy enough, maybe even go for a paddle. However, I didn’t personally see anyone taking advantage of the chance to wet their toes, I really can’t imagine why not!
Our final walk on Sunday was at Cadair Idris. Here Malcolm had organised two walks, a high level and a low level walk. Accordingly our group once again split into two with Colin leading the lower level stretch and Bob and Wayne taking charge of the higher route. With the sun shining brightly and a song in our hearts we set out on the walk. Our route followed the old Pony Path up from Ty Nant. This is the main footpath up Cadair Idris from the Dolgellau side of the mountain and is a well laid and very easy path to follow. We climbed steadily upwards stopping now and then to take in all the wonderful views, not least that of Snowdon which stood proudly in the distance.
We arrived at the summit and after a photo shoot at the trig point we sat and enjoyed our lunch whilst basking in the glorious sunshine. It’s not often that you can sit on the top of a mountain without freezing to death. But even with strong sunshine there comes the moment that you realise that if you don’t start walking again the cold can very quickly take over. And so we packed our rucksacks and walked for a short way along the ridge before turning and retracing our route back down the Pony Path.
Once the two groups were reunited the day was rounded off with a celebratory drink at the Ship in Dolgellau. What better way can there be to finish off a fabulous weekend?
So once again I would like to thank Malcolm for all his hard work to make this weekend happen. He had discovered a very lovely hotel where “Mine Host” was a knowledgeable and friendly person who dispensed drinks along with lots of local knowledge of the area. The food was good and the service extremely friendly and welcoming. The whole weekend went like clockwork and I think I can speak for everyone when I say we all had a very good and enjoyable few days walking and socialising. Here’s to our next group foray!
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