Travelling circus

Written by Haydn Williams

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.

Caesar surveying the Malvern Hills. © Haydn Williams 2012
Caesar surveying the Malvern Hills. © Haydn Williams 2012

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.

Tryfan. Great fun. © Haydn Williams 2012
Tryfan. Great fun. © Haydn Williams 2012

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.

Scene of much stone-throwing and tennis ball-chasing. © Helen Sumner 2012
Scene of much stone-throwing and tennis ball-chasing. © Helen Sumner 2012

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.

View of Llyn Vyrnwy from the hotel bar terrace. © Haydn Williams 2012
View of Llyn Vyrnwy from the hotel bar terrace. © Haydn Williams 2012

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.

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