A few weeks ago, I managed a whole week off work to travel around various parts of the country. Part one involved a trip to Malven for some dog training…
It had been my intention to go for a run while Becs and Caesar learnt how to not chase anything furry which runs away. In the event, I got dragged into the training and it was very interesting. The poor old hound was absolutely exhausted after a day of concentrating hard, so we had a nice quiet walk over the Malvern hills the following morning.
The day after, we travelled North to my parents' house and onwards to the caravan. Having missed my run in Malvern I was keen to get out, so I immediately went for a quick loop of Cwm Bychan. With the dog recovered the following day, I repeated the route with Becs and Caesar. It's a lovely loop to squeeze in if you're in a hurry, and the run down from the top towards Aberglaslyn is fast and fun.
The next day we headed around to play with the big boys – Ogwen was the destination. I again went for a run, this time a quick loop up Tryfan from Llyn Bochlwyd and down the West Gully, while Becs did a lap of Cwm Idwal. We then drove over to Llyn Geirionedd to meet some friends, throw stones in a lake, and play on rope swings. A nice picnic fortified us for our drive to the final holiday base, the Vyrnwy Hotel at Lake Vyrnwy.
The numerous waymarked trails around the lake turned out to be, in the majority, a bit disappointing (consisting entirely of fire roads through forestry). After an aborted run – on the grounds it was too boring – we drove to Bala via the highest mountain pass in North Wales, Bwlch-y-Groes. This has great views of Aran Fawddwy, which is definitely now on my list of mountains to visit, and is a spectacular road in its own right; the Austin car company used it as a test ground.
Back from Bala through the gorgeous Cwm Hirnant, we finished the day with a walk to the Rhiwargor waterfall at the north end of Vyrnwy. It's remarkably similar to something on grit like the Kinder Downfall, but bigger. Becs and I thought it was very scenic, and Caesar had fun munching on someone's discarded sausage roll, so everyone was happy. On the final day we went a bit freestyle first thing and did a lovely loop up over the hills and moorland, getting back in time for a full Welsh breakfast before the drive home.