Breakfast on Saturday morning was held in the halls of Mike's Atko. This was an interesting exercise, two of us in a small tent,with the weather still stormy and Mike valiantly cooking a breakfast fry up!! The rest of the day was spent cocooned in our sleeping bags, reading, dozing and drinking tea and coffee. What tended to fray our nerves a little was the hammering of torrential rain on the flysheet. At least there was no need to go out for water, a cooking pot placed under the edge of the flysheet soon topped up water supplies.
Mike cooked a stew for supper, unfortunately due to health problems I struggled a bit eating it. Very frustrating, having all this delicious food and unable to really enjoy it. Fortunately after another night of heavy rain, Sunday morning broke with the promise of better weather. Alan, (alanrayneroutdoors.blogspot.com) came up to join us and was happy to indulge in a sausage butty. Mike had a plan to bag a few tops and had decided to make it a two day walk.The first was to be Mynydd Moel and some of the outlying tops. Unfortunately I was feeling far from good and decided to turn back rather than have the lads constantly having to wait for me. It was a slow walk back to the tent for me. However, I was delighted when the guys got back and found out they had a cracking day out and with good weather as an added bonus. Mike cooked up a lovely supper that, potatoes, onions and cheese. Sadly I had to refuse such a luxurious meal. Swallowing solids was posing a problem and I was suffering chest pain. Experts have said this is a digestive problem not a cardiac one.
Mike and Alan wandered up to the tarn above our camp spot. They where a little taken aback to find the area taken over by a large group of teenagers, with a multitude of tents pitched close to the water edge. Wild camping is supposed to be a discreet affair and this certainly was not.
Monday morning saw us heading up the main track for Cadair Idris. It was the start of a warm, sunny day. Mike was certainly affected by the change in the weather, taking delight in scrambling up rocky outcrops. Alan and I where left wondering just what Mike had put in his morning porridge? With the chest pain continuing and feeling well out of sorts I thought it prudent to let the guys go on. Mike in particular had wanted to visit these tops for some time. Slowly wandering back down, I strolled over to the tarn. The youth group had left earlier that morning. The evidence of their stay was there for everyone to see though. Fire blackened stones, with charred wood and a burnt piece of clothing. Scorched circles of burnt grass. Orange peel and sweet papers scattered around the area. An ugly eyesore and it brings in to question as to the validity of youth groups going out on the hill. Youth group leaders seem to be failing in educating youngsters in the very basics of the countryside code. Possibly some folk may think I am just an old fogie having a moan but this is something I have seen on several occasions recently. Another pressing issue of large groups, (this one was fifteen plus) is the hygiene issue. Areas getting fouled can pose serious health problems for others who may camp in the same vicinity.
Alan and Mike returned later that afternoon delighted with their day on the hill. They had experienced excellent conditions with superb views all around. Unable to face much in the way of supper I made do with some dehydrated rice pudding.
Tuesday morning saw heading down the hill. Alan had kindly offered us a lift to Machynlleth. Mike and I had an idea of booking in to the bunkhouse or a b&b. A large lorry had attacked the railway bridge at Machynlleth by wedging itself underneath .Saying goodbye to Allen, we wandered in to town.With the bunkhouse full and no cheap places to stay, we made our way back out of town and camped at a spot we have used previously. A lazy afternoon just enjoying the sunshine.
Wednesday saw us once more catching the train at our trips end. For me, it was a good trip but yet a frustrating and maybe an embarrassing one. Being constantly ill on and off makes me question as to whether it is time to hang up my boots? Thank you both Alan and mike for your tolerance.
My tent has sustained some damage, as has Mike's My thoughts at the moment are of replacing it. So, if anyone fancies a damaged Shangri La 1 and nest and a Shangri La 2. Give me a shout.