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Friday, I left work a little early for two reasons: 1) I'd been working hard and was a little frazzled and 2) we were going for a weekend away to Snowdonia with the Tawe Trekkers. We had plans on getting away a little early. These were thwarted when an offer we'd made on a house was accepted, and suddenly there were heaps of things we had to do before leaving. Eventually, we did leave, getting stuck in peak hour traffic.
We got to Aberystwyth about dinner time, and I decided I felt like having pizza. Bec suggested that we park somewhere and walk. This was a nice plan, except that Bec had inadvertantly parked right outside an Italian restaurant, so there was no walking involved. The trip was uneventful, apart from some prick deciding, once nightfall had set in, that he wanted to overtake me. I appreciate that most of my readers have some level of commonsense, and so would think, "so what? when safe to do so, he sticks on his indicator, pulls out, goes round and speeds off on his merry way." You'd think so. But you'd be wrong. His indicator obviously didn't work. So he flashed his high beams at me. I slowed down a little (I didn't know what he wanted). He put them on fully, the light reflecting right into my eyes. I slowed down and pulled over because I couldn't see a thing. Hopefully the accident he ends up having doesn't involve another car or a passenger. Tree perhaps, although I have nothing against trees.
Anyway, we got to Jesse James' Bunkhouse at met up with the others, as well as people from Birmingham. We had a couple of quiet beverages, discussed the routes: an easy one, a moderate one and a hardcore one, and went to bed.
In the morning, we woke up, got ready, and Jesse James suggested a different route, which replaced the easy and moderate walks, and we left. Both Bec and I were feeling a little frazzled still from work last week, so we did the easy route, rather than the hardcore walk (from the tales by those who did, I'm not upset we did the easy walk). It was a nice walk, although a bit of a climb (obviously, being up the highest peak in North Wales). Once we got up the top, we were surrounded by cloud, it was cold and we couldn't see anything. Fortunately, at the top of Snowdonia there is a cafe, so we had some food and a warming beverage before heading back down (by foot, not by the train you can take to the top).
We got back, and headed straight back out for a curry. Nice. Not thrilling, but nice. After dinner, we went back and had a few more beverages (of the slightly less quiet variety, although we had the place to ourselves, and there was nothing especially loud about them).
Sunday, we went for a walk up a different slope. Again, a nice walk. Also quite strenuous - my calves are a little tight still. And we found some wild blackberries. Bec picked lots of them, but they didn't survive...they were yummy. While we were on the walk, someone had the brilliant idea of a lamb roast for tea, as only Tawe people were staying, so the numbers were small enough for a communal dinner. A lamb roast didn't happen, but Doug and I cooked a casserole, while Lionel and family cooked a potato tart for accompaniment and a tarte tatin for desert. It was all very yummy. And worked out at less than £3 per person.
Monday, Bec and I were woken up by a fire alarm. Someone had burnt the toast. We got up, my calves hurting, and went for a walk. Between taking some wrong turns, not knowing the route and a couple of other minor inconveniences (I had an ice cream stop), we took far longer to get back than we intended, and ended up getting a mini-bus back from Llanberis. Again, though, it was a nice walk.
After the walk, Bec and I went with Lionel's family to Caernarfon, where we saw the castle and market, and had lunch in a quaint tea house. We all had Welsh rarebit, and Bec and I also had sglodion, while the others had Jacket potatoes. It was funny to see (and be) two Aussies and a Frenchman trying to speak Welsh (Lionel also learns). Unfortunately, the waitress didn't try to speak Welsh, so we didn't get to practice.
Bec and I then made our way back home, me driving as far as Llandeilo before we had dinner in a nice smoke-free place. I had a beer called cwrw, which literally translates as beer. I asked Bec to get me a cwrw and she thought I was being funny.
It is now Wednesday evening, and we have just about caught up from the weekend away.
Comment from Doug
A small number of us on the trip did a walk up Crib Goch - the 'scary' route up Snowdonia. Alex, you are probably lucky that you chose not to do this because if you did you would still be having nightmares now. I know the flashbacks certainly affected me for a time after. I'm sorry I talked you into having beef for the casserole - I know how much you like lamb and I feel bad now. Tell you what, we'll definitely have lamb next time. Doug
Don't get me wrong, the beef casserole was great. I enjoyed it immensely. And as Doug knows, the lamb available for doing a roast in wasn't of great quality anyway - Doug and I were the ones who bought the meat. We were far better off with the beef casserole. So no need to apologise.
As far as the scary walk goes, given that I suffer from a fear of heights, it would probably not have been a good idea at all. So saying, once up there, I wouldn't have had much choice, and so would have kept going. In blood stepped so far, and all that.
My favourite procrastinations
The Head Heeb - Jonathan provides a balanced view on various Israeli and (former) colonial states in less developed regions of the world.
The Bladder - a sports satire site. Well worth a look.