It was only a fortnight ago, that the Snowdonia hills of Northern Wales were under foot and claw of mine. Being with three traveling kin, two English and an Australian. We gathered a few necessaries, and set out from Rhoshirwaun up through Pwlhelli and Porthmadog before closing in on the slopes and shales. All the roads appeared the same until then, thorn hedge and sheep folds on either side, the creeping caravan of would be hill walkers formed a link to anywhere and everywhere they were already going. The wind was set to cool the skin, and the altitude reveal further deeps of the valleys climbed as we drove further into reserves of the Welsh finer primeval territory, a home for dragons.
The character of the hike was far different than that I usually experience, for I am usually solitary. The lot of us rambled forward over a pretty basic rise, which set the pace and setting more than challenged the sinews. A few mountain cattle nooked themselves beside boulders, noble beasts of the land, and a mid-altitude lake revealed itself before our steps soon. The definitions of this lake would soon be apparent on the gaze downwards, but we took a pause here to set a route upwards, smoke a pipe, (at least my Australian mate and I), and generally purvey an anti-social air amongst the other hikers.My mind reached a heightened inspired state and we tramped further upon steely gray steps towards the zenith. One of our english friends decided to prove his prowess on some sheer cliffs beneath the army of rope climbers, and well, he did not too bad for rough ascent. I practiced some calisthenics planche positions on the edges of another tumultuous rock face. Thrown here probably millennia ago by forces I can not fathom, with drops on both sides, I had to first conquer vertigo before meeting the ledges, though my confidence at high perches is fairly steady these days, which I can accredit to my walks in the cairngorms.
Peering back over the valley from a respectful height, there seemed a mutual belief that the shape of the blue lagoon that lay beneath resembled highly a sea leviathan, or some kind of marine serpentine reptilian, with an open mouth and scaly head. Up again, and further still, the rise began to show new pictures, for the valley was of the many, and the now, and we were but insects on a rock. I liked this thought. My Australian comrade noticed a cave from afar, and I observed the scale of the downfall of rocks coming from a scree, a tumble of pebbles in macro focus. A harrowing but lushly grown Ash tree protruded from the side of a cleft between the mountain itself, some hundred or two feet up with another gap above to match. Simply clinging, though in perfect equilibrium of space, holding trunk in bare stone, of who knows go its roots down through these goliaths. I fantasized of hanging there, from hooks in my back, or ropes around my foot, and remembered the time I floated for awhile in a similar fashion.
We peacefully quarreled then, in the way only two English city folk, an Aussie and a Canadian can, and decided to cross a rock wall to rest at the cave mouth. This provided a scenic panorama of the opposite side of the lake which we have now reached. A large African family were out for the day, and it was pleasing to see them engaged in a country which I thought would be so foreign to them. The Canadian migrants were out as well, though not people, but the renowned goose. Though they could have also came from Svalbard or somewhere in Greenland. Awesomely, there was beach sand, high up here, and this site marked our descent, though we did not climb very high, the sun was not descending from it’s apex and casting longish shadows from the perspectives of the horizontal slants of Snowdonia. Despite being in a nature reserve, I did not observe much life, the odd bird too skittish to get to know as an ally close held, and perhaps a lizard in the crooks of hairier footfalls where most people did not go. Paint marks on some of these goliath stones spoke that they could cascade from their own precariousness at any time.
The sun at my back, and feeling fit from this micro-adventure, we loosed ourselves back to the tarmac and set course back to Felin Uchaf, a peaceful ride if there ever was one back through the eastern Llyn Peninsula. I feel that I have barely penetrated this landscape, yet find myself soon to be leaving for a new frontier. I only yearn that my return quest will bring another story and company of the like, for to walk with other on the scraped bones of the world is a lesson in true society.