Last weekend, I was away in Wales with Scouts. It was the first outdoor activity event run by FLAGS – Active Support Unit for Lesbians & Gays in Scouting which whilst not overly well attended, to put it mildly, did bring four of us together for some craic and some good exercise in Snowdonia. Being a Scouting event we were prepared for most eventualities.
I set off on foot to catch the bus to Belfast Central Station with Andrew. In the station, we waited until the barrier opened, I crossed beyond it, looked back – hoping to get a hug from him – but he was walking away… Turns out we were both nearly in tears: it was the first time we’ve been apart for quite some time, and certainly since our marriage just over a month previously.
The journey from Belfast to Dublin was uneventful, apart from realising I had left my sunglasses at home…. Transfer by Dublin Bus to the Port of Dublin and then we finally made it to the Irish Ferries Swift to Caergybi (Holyhead). Whilst at sea, I got a message from Eddie who was collecting me at the port. He was stuck in traffic near Conwy and there would be about an hour delay in getting to me.
Exploring in Holyhead
I found the Church in Wales’ Parish Church dedicated to St Cybi – not finding it on Foursquare, I added it and gained some extra points).
The town centre is built around St. Cybi’s Church, which is built inside one of Europe’s only three-walled Roman forts (the fourth wall being the sea, which used to come up to the fort).
Unfortunately the church was locked so I was unable to get inside. But it was rather pleasant to sit in the fort in the sun and look out over the port. As I walked back towards the main street of the town I came across a war memorial which had inscriptions in four languages: Welsh, Irish, Latin, and English. I also found the stone marking the Diamond Jubilee of the Scout Movement in Holyhead. Since I was over for a Scouting event it was rather appropriate to see this.
Holyhead seems to be somewhat like most port towns that I have seen, relatively empty as the port has had major improvements to its access which takes the traffic away from the town itself. Sadly this means that the town centre is somewhat like a ghost town, with shops that look far from their best. But back down to the port I went and sat around waiting for Eddie to appear, which he did quite quickly.
And on to Dolgam
The campsite that Eddie had picked for us was at Dôlgam just beyond Capel Curig on the A5 road to Betws-y-Coed. The campsite is run by the farmer who lives just across the road at the rate of £5 per night is really quite reasonable. There is a wash block with two hot showers, cubicles for washing, and separate male and female toilets. With the view of Snowdon in the background it really is quite wonderful. It is helped of course by the close proximity to a good public house and restaurant back in Capel Curig…
On arrival we found Iain had beaten us there from Shropshire, and within twenty minutes Stephen had arrived from Birmingham. We all put our individual tents up and heard the news that the two girls we were expecting were unable to come. So we were just the four of us. Never mind, we would make the best of it.
Snow on Snowdon?
We were told by the locals that there had been snow on Snowdon that day – we wondered what this would mean for our ascent on Saturday. Find out in the next post how we got on. What route did we use up the mountain?