Today was quite a long day of walking! Officially it was 12 miles and 1780′ ascent, but we added 2 miles (one on each end between the path and hotel) and the ascent on our GPS said we went up more than that, too.
We started by walking up out of Llanberis to the southwest, which meant nice views of Llyn Padarn and Snowdon. We could also hear the cheers of a triathlon going on below us as well as the first train of the day heading up Snowdon.
We came down into Waunfawr and ended up eating lunch on the train platform there. They had nice benches, public facilities, and we got to watch a train from the Welsh Highland Railway pull in and out of the station.
After lunch it was up again and over a ridge, and then descending through a number of villages (Y Fron, Cilgwyn, Talysarn) before reaching Penygroes. It was exhilarating to see the west coast getting nearer and clearer in the afternoon. And we learned more about the area and how bustling some of the villages were before the slate quarries closed — now many are only a collection of houses, where before they had plenty of shops, schools, and chapels.
I have a special fondness for signs like these:
The moors above Waunfawr — soon after this we started seeing huge slate tips linked to the old quarries.
When we came over the rise we ended up walking through the slate tips to see the current activity — turning old bits of slate into gravel for landscaping. A clever use for the leftovers from past mining!
I recognized this lake as one of the ones we could see from Snowdon:
This phone booth was noted in our guide book as a way to identify our path. I peeked inside and noticed a sign warning that because the phone hasn’t been used enough recently it’s due to be removed.
Near the very end of our walk we reached this nice path, fairly flat, leading into Penygroes. We all agreed we would probably have appreciated its beauty more if we hadn’t been somewhat dead on our feet!
Although it’s sad to see the decline in many of the old slate towns we passed through, it’s also fun to see the current diversity even in these small places. We got takeaway from a doner kebab place run by several Turkish guys and arrived at our hostel near Penygroes to meet an Australian guy at reception. The world is a small place, with so many people coming together in surprising places, and it’s exciting to walk through it.
We saw this map in our hostel, and by the end of tomorrow we’ll have walked all the way across it: