Despite the warnings of the entire British Isles being under at least 2 feet of water, Jake and I set out for Wales. According to the AA route planner it should have taken us 4 hours 36 minutes to get from Maidstone to Narberth – in reality it took us about 7 hours. The AA obviously doesn’t take into account motorways closed after collisions and rain that was so heavy the traffic was only travelling at about 20 – 30mph for long stretches of time. Jake drove most of the way down – so certainly got practice in driving over most sort of weather conditions!
We got to Tim’s at about half past six, met his cats and then went for dinner in town – we had a lovely evening reminiscing and gossiping – it is great to know people who you can still connect with after crapty six number of years. No photograph as I had taken the broken camera – and not the one which we replaced it with at great expense and which I lurve. We had to buy (well – not had to) a cheap one in Tescos as I get photowithdrawal symptoms otherwise.
We left Tim’s a lot later than we intended – and Jake drove all the way up to Snowdon. He saved us a lot of money by not stopping anywhere that I wanted to stop – like the shop which advertised that it sold Games Workshop games and re-enactment clothes – or Machynleth for the Alternative Technology Centre – or Bets – y – Coed for many, many outdoor gear shops – all of which were having sales. I have not given up on the sales though!
We got to the Royal Victoria at about 5 – we were going to go for a walk around the lake in the evening but were too lazy and just slobbed. The hotel is a huge ramshackle place – a maze of corridors and creaky floorboards. The décor is straight out of the 70s – false dado and all maroon and cream. The first room that they gave us stank of cigarette smoke – so went down and got us moved – the second room was OK with views out to the mountain – not that much bigger than a Travelodge room but with a deeper bath!
We had a table in the conservatory for dinner – I had poached cod in watercress sauce – which was a bit of a virulent yellow colour but tasted good.
Spent the rest of the evening in our room reading and knitting while Jake watched Scrubs on the computer. No internet – aaargh!
Today we went up Snowdon on the railway – packed in like sardines. It didn’t go right up to the top as they are renovating the café and the station at the top. We got out to walk up to the top – but I stopped half way as I am incredibly unfit and it was all swathed in fog anyway. I found a nice lady to sit with who had also given up, and we sat and chatted and I knitted until Jake came back down. He didn’t seem to be that impressed!
See how steep it was where I was sitting.
It was the day of the Snowden Mountain Race – just to rub it in that I am decrepit. We sat a little way down from the Half way café and watched the runners go up – one little man was way ahead of the others – he ran up and down in 65 minutes – the record is 62 minutes! Mountain running seems to do strange things to the posture – they all looked curiously hunched forward – almost deformed. All the front runners were slight, bony little men who looked as if a gust of wind would blow them off the mountain.
We walked back down trying to keep out of the way of runners hurtling past us, which would have been easier if they had kept to the path instead of trying to cut corners and swoop down the grassy bits where we were standing.
The hotel was besieged by people who would definitely never ever get up the mountain in 60 minutes – the majority of them very drunk. We retreated to our room and stayed there until dinner and then watched Jaws.