It’s been a couple of days now since I took these photos, and I’ve just been looking through them again and it almost doesn’t feel real. It felt even less so actually being there.
After leaving Colwyn Bay (see part one), I headed back inland towards Snowdonia and almost immediately the familiar rain started to hit my windscreen. I thought, oh here we go, prepare for another wet and windy landscape. Still, I knew that such landscapes could still look pretty dramatic and carried on regardless.
I’d been recommended “Devil’s Kitchen” (Cwm Idwal) by a friend of mine, who had been there a few years back while working on a feature with a former colleague. I was naturally drawn in by the idea of it being an “easy” walk that offered great views. I have less interest in going up mountains than taking photographs of them. I was also keen to avoid an incident with mountain rescue.
Once again, driving through the mountains was pretty spectacular and just before I got there, I felt compelled to pull over and take in the view of where I was heading. No matter how many times I drove through these mountains over the past few days, I couldn’t stop smiling at the view. The weather was also starting to clear up and I thought maybe, just maybe, I might get some good visibility when I arrived.
Boy was I rewarded when I did get there. Not only was I greeted by genuine mountain goats (no photos, I was too excited), but I noticed there was a rainbow arching over the lake nearest to the car park (Llyn Ogwen). At this point I was tempted to take one photo, hop back in the car and go about my day – it’s not all that often that you’re rewarded by such great views without having to do even the slightest of hikes.
I knew I should stay though as I wanted to see what the rest of the place looked like. Once I’d figured out where I was going on an actual map (no phone signal), I headed off. At the start of the walk was a group of photographers (tripods and rainproofs aplenty) and I presumed therefore I was probably in for a treat. I don’t really go in for tripods myself as I’m too lazy to carry more than the essentials (jaffa cakes), and I was glad that these guys appeared to be leaving, not arriving lest my view be encumbered by a group of blokes with GAS (gear acquisition syndrome).
As I progressed further along the route I only encountered two other people – both heading back towards the car park. Two people! In this massive expanse of land – I guess when you ban English residents from coming over here, and thereby reduce the potential for tourism by many millions – there are advantages for the selfish like me. It felt pretty special to have this location all to myself, and I feel reasonably confident that once further lockdown restrictions are lifted, it won’t always be this quiet.
In this section I also found another rainbow, just ridiculously sitting there in the perfect position between two of the peaks. Honestly, I couldn’t have planned it any better if I’d ordered it in especially. It remained very windy though and near to the next lake (Llyn Idwal) the spray was so strong that it was pretty much impossible to take a photo without getting water spots on the front element of the lens. I quite like that though.
This was indeed quite an easy walk (comparable to scaling the mountain itself), and I can’t recommend it highly enough for anybody fortunate enough to find themselves in this stunning area of the country. There’s no guarantees of rainbows though, I’m afraid.
I couldn’t help but feel that an amble around the local park was going to feel a little bit underwhelming after today, but at least I’ve got myself some new screensavers.
Distance – 3miles
Time – 2:05