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Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Hidden Cottage Weekend November 2016

Well it was that time of year again when we tucked ourselves out of the way in a lovely cottage in a hidden part of Snowdonia. Our third time at this retreat from heaven and again a very happy few days relaxing and enjoying the very peaceful and stress free surroundings on offer, where we walked, drove and BOUNCED our way round this part of Snowdonia. :-) We even had the luxury of a hot tub to soothe away the aches and pains of the days activities.
It all started on the Friday where we stopped off at CAERNARFON CASTLE to see the Weeping Window First World War memorial and to pay respects to all service men & women. A very sober and moving tribute.
The Weeping Window
Caernarfon Castle Weeping Window
After having a walk round the castle, exploring and seeing all the tributes we went into town for a bite to eat before heading off to our base for the weekend, BUARTHAU. 
The weather was quite cool but dry as we made our way down the near deserted roads and lanes and onto the single track lane that leads to the cottage. As it was still light enough, I went for a quick look round from the top ground above the cottage with views out towards Porthmadog and down the surrounding Valley.
Our base
Murky view towards Porthmadog
A walk on the wildside
View down to Buarthau with the crags of Yr Arddu as the backdrop
Nice way to end the day
On Saturday, we had decided to go for a walk and had a couple in mind that we have done before. One being what is known as the Beddgelert loop of about 10 miles and the other and shorter walk through Cwm Bychan and old mine workings. As there was heavy rain overnight and there was a bit of low cloud and drizzle first thing, a lot of the ground would of been very boggy so we opted for the shorter Cwm Bychan walk. CLICK HERE FOR THE LOOP WALKIt also gave us the chance to have a bite to eat in BEDDGELERT.
We started from the car park at Nantmor and followed the easy path climbing steadily upwards through the woods before coming out in the open with misty views over to Cnicht and the Moelwyn's and back towards Porthmadog. We were following a stream but with the amount of rain overnight, the path in places resembled a stream as we made steady progress to the first rest of the day at the memorial bench that offered great views back down the Cwm.
Our route for the day
Start of the walk
Nice waterfall :-)
View over to Cnicht & The Moelwyns
Memorial Bench
We moved onwards and upwards as we came to the old pulley system of the copper mines. There are small reminders along the path but it's not until you come in to view of the pylons that you get a real sense of the place and all the spoil heaps and stone walls of old sheepfolds. After a look round here it's a straight forward walk to the stile at the top of the Cwm which offered good misty views all the way back down.
Up past the old pylons
View down the pylons
Needs a bit of WD40 to get it working
Soggy way up
View down from the top of the Cwm
After another rest we made our descent to the shore of Llyn Dinas just as the misty drizzly weather moved in to make it a bit on the damp side. Great views when it's clear and thankfully the damp conditions didn't last long, about half an hour or so just as we got to the shoreline.
Looking down to Llyn Dinas & a distant Moel Siabod
Rainbow over the Snowdon Range
Sun lighting up Llyn Dinas
Rainbow watching over Llyn Dinas
From here its a straight forward walk back to BEDDGELERT where we decided to have a bite to eat and take it easy before following the Afon Glaslyn down the Aberglaslyn Pass and back to the car park. A great walk in it's own right especially after the overnight rain had made it  a raging river. There was also the added bonus of having a look down a tunnel halfway down the pass that I've been meaning to do everytime I pass it just for a nosy to see where it went. As it's not got any gate or warning signs on it I thought it couldn't go very far and it dosen't. You still need a good torch and boots though as there was a bit of water on the floor!!
Llyn Dinas outflow with Moel Hebog as the backdrop
Blue skies over Moel Hebog
Beddgelert Village Green
Nearly :-)
Aberglaslyn Pass
Steady as she goes
 A great short walk that's ideal for this time of year in the short daylight hours. There are various ways to make it longer if needed but for a walk at a leisurely pace for a few hours, with a stop off in the village, it's great.

The Sunday saw us have a bit of a lazy morning before our next adventure, bouncing below in the old slate mines at Blaenau Ffestiniog. We have done this before a couple of years ago when it first opened but it's had a bit of a make over since and it's got a bit bigger. Oh what fun we had for an hour, and very very tiring as you climb, slide and bounce your way round the big open caverns, brilliant :-)
Bounce Below

A quick walk up to Buarthau Summit at the end of the day rounded off another brilliant weekend tucked away in this hidden valley,
Buarthau Summit Panoramic

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