Friday 22 June 2012

Cadair Idris

The run up to Macynlleth is becoming a familiar one. Once more Mike and I linked up on the way through Birmingham.( Arriving in Macynlleth we had an hour or so wait for a bus to run us up to Minffordd . The weather in town had not been too bad; grey and overcast with a bit of drizzle. We indulged in fish and chips. However, as we neared our destination the weather rapidly began to deteriorate. It was a case of out of the bus and leg it to the porch of the public loo to scramble in to waterproofs. The Minffordd path is steep and relentless as it leaves the car park. We where carrying extra rations which included fresh food. Sausages, bacon, spuds, rolls, frying pan and so forth. Oh my, the extra weight made it a hard slog. The storm was rising rapidly, the river cascading down the hill was a raging torrent and water was flowing everywhere. Our boots soon filled with water as we cast about trying to find a spot for the tents. This was was not easy, the ground was saturated. Finally we settled for a slightly firmer spot close to a large erratic boulder. With the rain sluicing down and a strengthening wind, pitching was none too easy. It was obvious we where in for a wild night and both of us added extra guy lines and pegs to the tents and weighted everything down with large rocks.

The problem we faced was that the gale force wind was not coming from one direction. Continuously it ricocheted off the surrounding corrie walls and slammed in to the tents from all directions. Our uneasy sleep that night was further disturbed by a resounding thudding boom, clearly audible above the howling maelstrom of the storm. Boulders bounding the scree slopes opposite.
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, ( 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. 


  1. Don't think of hamging up your boots whilst you can still get into wild places and enjoy them.
    It doesn't matter how much you do, its how much pleasure it gives you that counts!

  2. Lets have none of this loose talk about hanging up boots... there are Welsh things to do....

  3. Thanks Geoff. There is another trip planned.

  4. Don't you dare think of hanging up your boots!!

    Sorry to hear you weren't feeling too good, too many pies en-route perhaps?

    Hope you're feeling better soon and that you'll be oot n' aboot before long.


  5. Yes indeed Mike, Welsh things to be done.May take some Gaviscon next time.
    Hi John, it is a long term problem. The muscles used for swallowing are not functioning properly. Another Welsh foray next month.

  6. Dawn, You must be due a Welsh trip in good conditions together with improved health.

    Keep positive

  7. Hello Bob, a Welsh trip in good weather would be wonderful. Health problems though are unfortunately due to continue. I have Parkinsons. Not to worrage, I keep plodding on.

  8. What a shame you had problems - and after you'd sat out all the rain to wait for the good weather too! Still, you have to swallow whether you're in the hills or in London, so you may as well be out in the wilds even if you have times when you can't do so much?
    Thank goodness I'm a veggie and don't have to carry all this extra sausage, bacon and frying pan weight! :)

  9. Hi Dawn,
    Good read. If you remember, the kids went off in groups of 5 first. The leaders were last to leave. So not a good example was set, they should have made sure that all was cleaned up.
    Don't hang your boots up,even short walks are better than none.

  10. Hello Chrissie, the weight was awesome. Fortunately it was a one off do. Next time it is back to dried rations.
    Hi Alan, good to meet up with you. Yes, I agree, the group leaders really ought to have checked the site over. The next trip will be with extra meds to get around the chest problem. There is an appointment with the surgeon soon. In the mean time it is just a case of just pushing on.

  11. Hi Dawn - some great photos there. Keep going into the hills. Even if you sit watching the grass grow, it's better than watching the traffic go by. What was the dehydrated rice pudding? Was it a bought one, or did you dehydrate it yourself? It sounds like something I might fancy for my camping pud. Judith

  12. Hi Judith! As yet I intend to be out in the hills as long as possible.The pudding was a ready bought dehydrated one. Handy to have as a little treat or emergency backup. This one was rice and strawberries.

  13. Keep those boots on, and as Mike says there are many more things to do.

  14. Thanks Martin. There is another Welsh foray in the offing.

  15. I was there last week, last walk before my operation, weather was a bit grotty as well.

  16. Hi there Howellsey, hope your operation went ok! Heading back that way next week. Pumlumnon nest time.