September 18, 2008
Half past ten we drive north. To get over the Mawddach estuary we have to
take a detour inland, it is only shortly before Dolgellau where we get over to
the other side and to Barmouth on the coast. After the bridge in
Llanbedr, we go right. The road bears upwards along the river, the
road becomes narrower and narrower. It is lined with stone walls which
make a possible meeting of oncoming traffic complex. One has to use the narrow passing places. There
is, fortunately, not much traffic. It is also complicated to pass a sheep
which decides to walk in front of the car. K goes out to shoo it away,
but instead it starts to run in the middle of the road.
In the end it runs into a farmyard. At the eastern end of the lake Llyn Cwm
Bychan is a car park. You pay a parking fee in a vending machine. From
here, we intend to follow the trail up to the peak of Rhinog Fawr (793 high).
There are already a few cars in the car park, but no people can be seen.
Perhaps they are fishing in the lake or have walked to the same
goal as us. Quarter to twelve we go through a grove of oaks,
then it is uphill on a rocky path.
We cross a stream on a beautiful little stone bridge.
Above and in front of us we can see the mountain pass which we will enter.
It gets narrow. The
trail is partly paved, some of it with "Roman steps" which are said to be remnants of a
medieval path for packhorses. We take a break at the top of the
pass with a view east of an open landscape. In the west, from where
we came, the pass hides the view.
At an information sign about the area, the path takes us to the
right, through a gap in a stone wall and uphill on a rocky path
to the lake Llun Du. When I look behind I can see a far-reaching landscape.
At the lake we meet a couple with 3 dogs. J decides to join them walking back
to the car park.
On the other side of the lake, which is a few hundred
meters long, is our goal, Rhinog Fawr. Along the lake is an area
with large boulders to traverse,
I have to use my hands as support. After the lake we
reach a stone wall which we follow up the slope towards Rhinog Fawr.
Shortly before the wall ends the path takes us to the right, through an
opening in the wall and follows another wall perpendicular to the
former. We follow it to its highest point, where we leave it on a path leading
towards the top. We get a glimpse of wild goats. In serpentines we
ascend on a rocky path that is, at times, steep. Once again I use my
hands to help. Three o'clock, we are on the summit where a cairn marks the
highest point. Unlike Cadair Idris, we get a reward for the effort today.
A haze makes the view beautiful. Far away we can see the lake where we parked
the car. In the other direction Rhinog Fach rises.
An obligatory portrait picture is taken at the cairn.
We choose a less steep path down, further into a small ravine down
to the lake Llyn Du. After passing the lake, we try to take a shortcut,
there is some confusion about the way. Finally, we find the path that takes us back
through the mountain pass and to the car where J is waiting. Half past five we drive
home. Instead of taking the detour around the estuary we drive over the
toll bridge at Penmaenpool. On its southern side a woman is waiting to collect the fee.
In our home village is a small shop (with the emphasis on small)
but it has a little of everything needed, beer, juice, and bananas. A and I then go
to the pub and eat a pâté, hamburger and lemon cake with
meringue - and a beer, which I have forgotten the name of.