The Cambrian Way 2010

Author: George Tod

This walk is illustrated with photographs. Click on small photo to enlarge in situ, or click caption to enlarge into new window.
Part 10 - Days 18 and 19 - Bronaber to Bryn Gwynant


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Day 18 - Friday 18th June - GPS 17.3 miles - 4,390 ft ascent

Bronaber to Trawsfynydd via Rhinog Fawr and Moel Ysgyfarnogod

The GPS mileage figure is what I recorded from accommodation to accommodation, and includes any small detours, meandering around, and errors in route finding. In general this is about 5% to 15% greater than the mileage calculated from a map, depending upon the type of terrain, but in some cases is considerably more.

I was down to breakfast at nine o'clock and the other couple were already down there. They were friends of the owners and came from Leicester, where they were returning today. A cold buffet was laid out with a good selection of everything, though it appeared that there was no cooked breakfast on offer. Tea, coffee and toast were available using the kettle and toasters provided, so I just filled myself up on whatever was available in preparation for what was to be another tough day over the Rhinogs, though I must admit to being somewhat disappointed in having paid 38 including a 10 single supplement and having waited until nine o'clock for breakfast, only to have a cold buffet. However, I realised when I later checked their website, that it clearly advertises a continental breakfast, so it was my own fault for not remembering.

It was 9.55 as I set off down the road, passing campers in the field on the way to the ford and footbridge over the river. There was a well-trodden path for a while leading up towards the minor road I had been on yesterday evening. However, the path started to get fainter, though still not too difficult to walk, and I reached the deep concrete drainage channel running along the edge of the gently sloping hillside. A fine looking little bridge with four rounded stone pillars crossed it. From there on, the path got less and less distinct and I ended up just trying to find the least difficult route over the rough boggy ground covered in tufty grass. I kept finding little sections of path but they didn't necessarily go in the right direction, so I just had to keep struggling along towards the road that I could now see some way in the distance. It seemed to get worse and worse until I finally reached firm ground and then the road a few hundred yards further on from where the right of way should have been (having given up hope of finding a path, I had been aiming to cut off a bit of the corner).

At last on terra firma and able to walk unhindered and at a reasonable pace along the road towards the farm I had passed yesterday, I reached the car parking area where two chaps were preparing for a walk. They greeted me and reminded me that I had said hello to them as I passed their tent earlier, as I was setting off from the farm. They were out walking for the day and heading over towards the Roman Steps. From there, I did chance one short cut along a waymarked footpath that I had avoided when coming the other way. This path was reasonable apart from having a lot of exposed tree roots in places and soon rejoined the track back through the forest. I passed by another chap who had parked his car in the forest and he walked behind me with his dog for some way until I lost sight of him.

The weather was hot and sticky at first, but then turned cool and dull with patches of cloud hovering over Rhinog Fach and Rhinog Fawr. The cloud then gradually lifted and I started to get a bit of hazy sunshine. I climbed over the top of the pass, keeping a lookout for the route of the main ascent upRhinog Fawr. I passed the grid reference given in the guidebook, but there was no sign of a path there, so carried on until I neared the ladder stile I had crossed on my way from Rhinog Fach yesterday, and the path ran from near there at SH661281. However, there is no footpath marked on any of the maps, so the choice of route is arbitrary, though it is generally better to follow one that has been fairly well used rather than one that hasn't. I stopped for a drink and a short rest before tackling the steep ascent, having walked four and a half miles from my B&B.

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Bwlch Drws Ardudwy between Rhinog Fach and Rhinog Fawr
Bwlch Drws Ardudwy
Gloyw Lyn from Rhinog Fawr
Gloyw Lyn from Rhinog Fawr

I set off again at 12.10, crossing along a grassy path to where the steep ascent began. There were scrambles over rocks, boulders and loose stones in places and peaty tracks through heather in others. It was hard going and I needed frequent stops for breath. There was never too much doubt about which way the path was going, just a relentless climb up and up the gully. However, all the steep climbing paid off and I reached a small plateau at the top of the gully, with the summit just a few hundred feet higher a little way ahead, with not quite so steep a climb. Some years ago, there was no visible path to the summit from this direction and I took a gentler approach round to the right, but now there was a clearly visible path straight ahead, and I reached the summit at 13.10 (checkpoint 27). It was overcast now with cloud still covering some of the higher mountains, but elsewhere it was fairly clear, though the scenery didn't look the same as in the bright sunshine of yesterday. I could see across to Clip and Moel Ysgyfanogod, as well as Llyn Trawsfynydd at the end of my day's walk. I was booked in at the hostel in Trawsfynydd, which is less than four miles by road from Cae Gwyn Farm where I stayed last night, but is more than fourteen miles the way I was now walking.

After having my lunch, I set off again at 13.45, heading down the well-worn path down the steep western side of the mountain, which joined a track along the hillside leading to Llyn Du. There was some zigzagging in places, but once again, the paths around here have become more well-defined with use and it not nearly so easy to lose the way as used to be the case. The rocks around the side of Llyn Du were a bit awkward, but they don't go on very far and I soon joined the path towards Bwlch Tyddiad and then over the pass to the Roman Steps.These made a big improvement in the walking conditions from the rough and rocky paths I had been on for the last few miles. Though not actually Roman in origin, these stone blocks make for much faster and easier progress towards Cwm Bychan.

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Roman Steps and Rhinog Fawr
Roman Steps and Rhinog Fawr
Llyn Cwm Bychan
Llyn Cwm Bychan

I met a couple coming up the other way. They didn't have a map and didn't know where they were going, but just thought that there was a lake somewhere. This may sound a bit foolish, but they were not likely to get lost if they didn't stray far from the Roman Steps. A bit further along I met a lady who asked if I were walking the Cambrian Way. She had met Richard and the others on Clip and they had told her to look out for me - the bush telegraph obviously works quite well sometimes.

Soon I reached Cwm Bychan and stopped for a rest and a drink for fifteen minutes at 15.15. There were four tents in the camping area by the farm, but it was very peaceful and quiet overlooking the lake. There followed a long steady climb to the top of the pass, then a steep scramble up towards Clip, with a broken ladder stile on the way. I had forgotten just how hard the going is along this ridge, which starts with a walk and a bit of a scramble for a few hundred yards in the opposite direction to the summit of Clip, then countless scrambles up and down ledges all the way along the ridge. It is difficult to tell exactly which route is best, but it is more a matter of looking for the paths with the easiest scrambles up and down, which are not always on the shortest route, so there is a tendency to cover more distance than the map would suggest. Despite the difficulties of walking this ridge, it is nevertheless very worthwhile, as it is a fascinating area with several little lakes and many interesting rocky ledges and outcrops. The only problem was that it didn't look at its best in the dull weather conditions, but then I had been spoiled by having so much good weather so far and had to be satisfied with the fact that it was at least clear and dry, even if it wasn't bright.

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Moel Ysgyfarnogod and Foel Penolau
Moel Ysgyfarnogod and Foel Penolau
Llyn Trawsfynydd and Arenig Fawr
Llyn Trawsfynydd and Arenig Fawr
Llyn Trawsfynydd and Decomissioned Nuclear Power Station
Llyn Trawsfynydd and Old Power Station

I finally reached Moel Ysgyfanogod at 17.35 (checkpoint 28) and it had already become obvious that I would be somewhat later than usual in arriving at my destination. At the summit I had some reception on my mobile phone, so rang the hostel to say that it would be at least 19.00 before I arrived. The warden was at home rather than in the hostel, so he asked me to ring when I arrived, as he could get to the hostel within a few minutes, and it would save him having to wait around for me. I had been trying to press on as quickly as I could, so I only had a short rest at the summit and was on my way again at 17.45. Although Moel Ysgyfanogod is the highest mountain along the ridge, the ups and downs were still not over, as there were still a few more peaks to traverse before descending towards the lake. By this time my legs were feeling worn out, but I just kept on relentlessly and as quickly as I could manage.

One of the remaining summits was that of Diffwys (not to be confused with the mountain of the same name on yesterday's walk), which I remembered from the past as being a plateau with a mainly rocky surface, which didn't lend itself to forming a visible path. However, I was pleased to see that there were now a few small cairns marking the route, and also more evidence of a path on the ground. I also remembered that the only route down the steep ledge that runs around the northern and eastern sides is close to the wall at to the southeast, so it helped that the way there was more visibly marked. The final peak of Moel Y Gyrafolen was all that remained now, and with that put behind me ,there was just the path down to join the road by the side of Llyn Trawsfynydd to contend with and then some easy walking to Trawsfynydd. I always think that this is a really fine manmade lake, as it has lots of little inlets and a number of small islands, as well as the rather unusual feature of a long footbridge taking a shortcut across one end. It looked particularly spectacular from this bird's eye view, especially as the weather had now brightened up and the whole scene was bathed in sunshine.

After the initial steep descent, I was glad to get onto a path with a lesser gradient, though there were still a few boggy and stony parts to overcome before I finally reached the road at 18.40 (checkpoint 29), with about two more miles to go. The road walking, though not very interesting, meant that I could walk at a better speed and it did give some good views of the lake in places. The main dam is at the western end of the lake, and is crossed on the main route, but there is also a section of low dam round this end, and I went up onto the embankment and walked along there to join the footbridge. Suddenly, I was surrounded by midges, having not been troubled by many of them all day. However, as soon as I started walking across the footbridge, there were no more: they were only by the water's edge. Over the bridge, I came up a footpath into the village opposite the pub, with the hostel just a few yards further up the road. Despite my efforts to make good time, it was19.35 by the time I arrived, though it would have helped considerably if I could have had an earlier breakfast.

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Footbridge crossing Llyn Trawsfynydd
Footbridge crossing Llyn Trawsfynydd

As arranged with the warden, I rang him and he soon came across from home to check me in. I was the only person staying tonight, and he showed me where everything was, and what areas I could access with my electronic key, which I just had to leave behind when I let myself out in the morning. I paid the remaining balance for my bed and the warden then returned back home after telling me that I could get a meal at the pub and that the newsagent's shop just across the road opened early in the morning, so I could buy things for breakfast from there. The hostel was only opened a few years ago, and is equipped to a very high standard, having all the self catering facilities you could wish for and the beds already made up, unlike those in youth hostels that you have to make up yourself. There were also towels provided, which is not the case in youth hostels.

I had been counting on the pub for a meal, but didn't realise that I was lucky to get one, as they only serve food on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so I am not sure what I would have done if I had arrived on any of the other evenings. I was advised not to leave it too long before going to the pub in case they stopped serving food, so I had a quick shower, which was a great relief after a sticky, sweaty day, and went down the road to the pub, the Cross Foxes Hotel. There was a crowd of people in the bar watching World Cup football on the television, but the lounge was quite peaceful, so I settled in there to have a very good sausage and mash with onion gravy and vegetables, plus a couple of pints of Brains SA. My feet were feeling as though I wished they belonged to someone else, so I didn't stay long before heading back to the hostel where I could lie down and relax.


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Day 19 - Saturday 19th June - GPS 21.4 miles - 2,550 ft ascent

Trawsfynydd to Bryn Gwynant via Moelwyn Mawr and Cnicht

The GPS mileage figure is what I recorded from accommodation to accommodation, and includes any small detours, meandering around, and errors in route finding. In general this is about 5% to 15% greater than the mileage calculated from a map, depending upon the type of terrain, but in some cases is considerably more.

I was up just after seven o'clock and went across to the newsagent's shop to get things for breakfast and lunch. It is always difficult buying things for one, as a lot of things are sold in larger pack sizes. After some deliberation, I bought a pasty, a sandwich, a can of beans and milk having seen in the kitchen that there were tea bags and muesli amongst the things that had been left by others for anyone to use. They did say in the shop that they would sell eggs individually, and I thought I had asked for three, but the lady must not have heard me properly and I found when I got back to the hostel that I hadn't got any. However, I had a large bowl of muesli and the beans for breakfast, saving the pasty and sandwich for lunch. At least I thought I was having muesli, but the bag wasn't labelled and it tasted more like oats. Nevertheless, I at least had something to eat for breakfast to help me on my way.

In planning my stay here on a route variant, I was primarily thinking of reducing the distance of yesterday's walk, knowing that I had quite a way to walk to rejoin the route at the start. Trawsfynydd was a couple of miles nearer than Maentwrog and also avoided an extra bit of climbing near the end. What I hadn't really reckoned on was the extra 5.3 miles this would add to today's walk in getting to Maentwrog, though some of this would be offset by staying at Bryn Gwynant youth hostel with its own more direct route variant, which was shorter than the main route going via Beddgelert. For the last few days, I had had no definite deadline for arriving at my accommodation, as I was eating out at pubs, whereas tonight I would be eating at the hostel and meals often need to be booked by about 18.00 or thereabouts in many hostels to avoid problems, so I didn't want to be too late arriving.

The weather started off cool and dull, as I set off up the road from the village at 8.35, soon joining the A487 main road for a while. It is never pleasant walking along busy roads, but in this case there was a wide cycle track and pavement, so at least I wasn't dodging the traffic. The weather also started to brighten up and I could see the Moelwyns ahead bathed in sunshine and beckoning me onwards. About a mile from the hostel, the cycle track takes a route around by the edge of the lake, making a very pleasant, quick and easy walk with lots of good views of inlets and islands as well as the now disused nuclear power station and the surrounding mountains. There were a number of people out around by the lake and it looked as if there were some log cabins available there for hire.

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Llyn Trawsfynydd
Llyn Trawsfynydd
Moelwyns from Llyn Trawsfynydd
Moelwyns from Llyn Trawsfynydd
Llyn Trawsfynydd and Decomissioned Nuclear Power Station
Llyn Trawsfynydd and Old Power Station

Despite my tiring day yesterday, I was feeling fresh again this morning and encouraged by the lovely weather. The cycle track eventually came to the power station, which is now a popular visitor centre and the route then followed a bridleway through trees, which meant that the views were lost, but progress was still easy. A lady passed me on a horse, but otherwise there was nobody else around once I had passed the power station. Where the bridleway joined the road into Maentwrog was the point where the Trawsfynydd variant rejoined the main route, and there were less trees and more open views, with the Moelwyns much closer now. I reached Maentwrog, passing the Grapes Hotel at 10.35 and then making my way down to the main A487 road in the Vale of Ffestiniog. A new cycle track makes the walking a bit easier for the few hundred yards that it follows the main road. It then turns off along a minor road through a nature conservancy area, below the Ffestiniog railway.

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Moelwyns from near Gellilydan
Moelwyns from near Gellilydan
Maentwrog Church
Maentwrog Church
Dduallt
Dduallt

I must have missed the path going up from the road, but was able to take the next path up to join it. The path climbs quite steeply, mainly through trees, but with some clear views, eventually meeting up with the narrow gauge railway line at Dduallt. I heard a train passing higher up but it was gone before I reached the railway line. A little way along from Dduallt was Dduallt Station where the railway line does a loop round to gain height, and I stopped there for a drink and a rest at 11.15. I was ready to set off again when I looked at the timetable and saw that there was a train due on the way up at 11.50, which was in only ten minutes time. I decided to stay a while and took the short detour to the nearby toposcope whilst I was waiting, making sure I was back at the station with camera at the ready in time for the train. However, time went by but no train appeared, so I decided to have an early lunch while I was waiting. Still no train arrived, but I heard the whistle of one in the distance, though it sounded as if it were coming down from Ffestiniog rather than going up. Eventually, it came round the loop and then through the station going downhill. It didn't stop, as this is just a request stop, and there was nobody waiting to get on. When I looked at the timetable again, I realised that the times were colour coded with a list of dates that applied to each one, and there was no 11.50 train today.

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Train leaving Dduallt Station
Train leaving Dduallt Station
Moelwyn Mawr and Tanygrisiau Reservoir
Moelwyn Mawr and Tanygrisiau Reservoir
Tanygrisiau Reservoir
Tanygrisiau Reservoir

I was on my way again at 12.15 after a much longer than anticipated break, though I had made use of it as my lunch break and had, at least, seen a train coming round the loop and got some photographs of it coming through the station. The route follows the railway line on its way towards Tanygrisiau, and passes by the now disused tunnel that the line used to go through before the Tanygrisiau reservoir was built flooding part of the line. The railway was disused at the time, so when a group of enthusiasts wanted to reopen it they had to reroute the line to a higher level by the reservoir and build the loop at Dduallt to lose the extra height. Further on, the route of the old line can be seen at the edge of the reservoir when the water level is not at its peak level. Whilst busily looking at the railway, I missed the path going off to the left. I did, in fact, see a ladder stile over near the railway, but there was no footpath marker pointing in that direction, with all the waymarks pointing ahead to the path beside the reservoir towards Tanygrisiau. I carried on rather than turning back, thinking that I could make my way up by the pumped storage power station building.

As I neared the power station, I started having a few problems with my new camera. Sometimes it didn't shut down properly when I tried to turn it off, leaving the lens still extended. I thought it might be because the batteries were low and stopped to see if I could sort it out. I got it working again after a fashion, but it still wasn't quite right. I set off again anyway and then realised that I had not picked up my GPS from where I had put it whilst fiddling with the camera. Fortunately, I had not gone too far, so I dropped off my rucksack and went back to find it. Luckily I managed to find the spot where I had stopped and retrieved it from there. Whilst doing so, I met a group of four walkers I had passed earlier and had to explain why I was going back and forth without my rucksack.

They were just out for a walk by the reservoir and were returning to Tanygrisiau for their lunch, so I walked along with them for a little way. One of them was a seventy-year-old chap who had just been given the all clear after beating cancer for the second time. He was a real inspiration and was convinced that his positive outlook on life had been a big factor in helping him through. He was a firm believer that, with a positive outlook, older people could achieve just as much as younger ones because what they lacked in sheer strength they could make up for with stamina. I was telling him that this was my third walk of the Cambrian Way with five years between each one, and saying that I wasn't sure whether I would be able to do it again in another five years' time, to which he replied 'Of course you can! Just think positive.' It made me think that there is a lot of truth in what he said. I have always tended to think the same way myself, but have nagging doubts about the effects of age as time goes by. Now, whenever I start doubting, I will remember his words and just get on and do things.

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Old Incline on way to Llyn Stwlan
Old Incline on way to Llyn Stwlan
Dam of Llyn Stwlan
Dam of Llyn Stwlan
Llyn Stwlan and Llyn Tanygrisiau Reservoirs
Llyn Stwlan and Llyn Tanygrisiau Reservoirs

We soon parted company, as I needed to head uphill towards the upper reservoir, Llyn Stwlan, whilst they were going straight ahead to the village. The ascent was very steep up some old tramways left from the quarrying days, but the views were marvellous in the lovely sunshine. I reached the dam at 13.45 and had a ten-minute break before tackling Moelwyn Mawr, then headed up past the edge of the lake to the dip in the ridge between Moelwyn Bach and Moelwyn Mawr. A steep scramble led me to the summit of Craigysgafn with a rocky path through a dip before the final zigzag ascent up the grassy slopes of Moelwyn Mawr. It was 14.45 when I reached the summit (checkpoint 30), and there was a panorama of mountains three quarters of the way round, with the Bay at Porthmadog for the rest of the way. I could see nearly every mountain in North Wales from here, but it was getting chilly in the strong wind despite the sunshine, so I made my way onwards at 15.00, hoping to get more shelter when I dropped down from the summit. I was still having problems with my camera and found that it was because the lens cover was sticking and not always opening or closing properly. It had probably got a bit of dirt in the mechanism, but I found that by giving the camera a flick when it got stuck, I could generally get it to work. These compact cameras have such tiny moving parts that it is surprising that they don't give more problems. I am sure that just one tiny speck of grit could be enough to jam up the mechanism.

After an initial steep descent from Moelwyn Mawr summit, the rest of the way to the old quarry below was down an easy grassy slope, and at least there was a bit less wind, though it was still quite chilly. The final approach to the quarry area was down two inclines from old tramways, leading to where a huge area of buildings once stood, and there were several people down there looking around. The path up beyond the quarry was not difficult for the most part, though it did meander around somewhat in places with a steady climb up onto the ridge leading to Cnicht. The whole area is covered in lakes, many being natural but quite a lot being manmade. I quite often come around this area on day walks, and find it a beautiful area to explore, as although there are only a few main rights of way, it is not too difficult to walk over open ground going past many of the lakes and along ridges with marvellous views. Apart from the area around the quarries and the approach to Cnicht, it is generally very peaceful, with very few people around.

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Moelwyn Bach from Moelwyn Mawr
Moelwyn Bach from Moelwyn Mawr
Cnicht and Snowdon from descent of Moelwyn Mawr
Cnicht and Snowdon from descent of Moelwyn Mawr
Ruins of old Buildings at Rhosydd Quarry
Ruins of old Buildings at Rhosydd Quarry

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Llyn Cwm-corsiog
Llyn Cwm-corsiog
Llyn Cwm-y-foel
Llyn Cwm-y-foel
Snowdon, Crib Goch and Tryfan from Llyn yr Adar
Snowdon and Crib Goch from Llyn yr Adar

I reached the ridge leading to Cnicht at 16.10, and made good progress to the top, as it was mostly easy walking up steady grassy slopes, with a few steep and craggy bits towards the summit. The views everywhere were fantastic in the bright, sunny weather, with a huge vista of mountains and lakes all the way, and I reached the summit at 16.40 (checkpoint 31). There were several people going up and coming down, and a large group arrived at the summit just after me. I was getting a little concerned about the way time was progressing, so didn't stay there for long, and started to make my way back along the ridge. The main route carries on over the summit and down the steep side of the mountain, but the Bryn Gwynant Hostel variant, which I was taking, doubles back from the summit and takes a more direct route to the hostel, rather than going via Aberglaslyn and Beddgelert. I had had my back to the northerly wind on my way up Cnicht, so hadn't noticed it very much, but now that I was heading back into it, it was still quite bitter.

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East from Cnicht
East from Cnicht
Cnicht Summit
Cnicht Summit
Moelwyn Mawr from Cnicht
Moelwyn Mawr from Cnicht

Once I reached Llyn Yr Adar and started to make my way down towards Bethania, the path became quite difficult for a while as it made its way around the steep, craggy hillside, but then it improved considerably for the rest of the way down. Just when I was thinking that I was on the final two-mile stretch of walk to the hostel, I took another look at the guidebook and realised that this was only to Bethania, and there was another 1.4 miles to the hostel, which was shown on another page. It hadn't helped that the last few miles I had walked went back and forth between two of my OS maps, making it a nuisance to see just where I was. Just when I thought that I was making good time and hoping to arrive at about 18.00 or so, this put me under more pressure and meant that it would be considerably later by the time I got there. Also, knowing what some lesser-used footpaths are like in Wales, I wondered whether I would be better off by keeping to the road when I reached Bethania, rather than taking the footpath to the hostel. However, this would add quite a bit to the distance, which made me rather undecided.

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North from Cnicht to Moel Siabod
North from Cnicht to Moel Siabod
Duckboards on path to Bryn Gwynant Youth Hostele
Duckboards on path to Bryn Gwynant Youth Hostel
Bryn Gwynant Youth Hostel
Bryn Gwynant Youth Hostel

When I reached the point where I had to make a decision, I took one look at the footpath and there was no question about it. This was a motorway amongst footpaths, with new hunting gates, a wide level path, and new duckboards over any boggy bits. I made good speed along the path, hindered only a little by overhanging branches as it went through the forest. Even the waymark saying 'YHA Only' was easy to spot. Once I was off the main path and into the extensive wooded hostel grounds, though, it was a little more confusing. I had entered the grid reference of the hostel into my GPS, which indicated I was going in the right direction at first, but then started to show that I had overshot my destination, yet there were no other paths going off anywhere. To add to the confusion, my GPS kept losing signal strength, so became very erratic and kept pointing in random directions. There was little I could do, other than to keep following the path, which eventually doubled back on itself whilst dropping down the steep hillside, and then the hostel came into sight.

The hostel building is magnificent, being an old country house, Plas Gwynant, with stunning views of Llyn Gwynant from the dining room and from the gardens. The grounds consist of forty acres of woodland, with large displays of rhododendrons everywhere. It was 18.40 by the time I checked in (checkpoint 32B), but I had no problem in ordering a meal, which had been my main concern. I had spaghetti bolognaise and treacle sponge with ice cream plus a couple of bottles of beers from the Purple Moose brewery. There were quite a few other diners, some of them being very chatty and interested in the Cambrian Way and other long distance walks.

After dinner, I did some washing, as there was a good drying room. I should then have enough clean clothes to last me for the rest of the walk. Although there were a number of people staying at the hostel, it is very large, so I was only sharing a 9-bedded dormitory with one other person and was able to get the only non-bunk bed, which was a definite advantage when it came to making up the bed. I set off to go outside to have a look around, but was waylaid by a South African couple by the doorway for some time, so never made it. There were a few midges around because of all the trees, but they weren't too much of a problem, unlike the Highlands of Scotland, which had recently been on the news because of the huge swarms that they had been suffering. They had hoped that the severe winter would have helped to reduce their numbers, but this didn't seem to have happened. I never quite understand why Scotland has so much more of a problem with midges than similar areas of England and Wales, but then if I did, I could probably make a fortune by selling the secret to the Scottish tourist industry, which loses a fortune every year because of them.


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