Part of this years family vacation (or holiday) depending where you read this from was a week in North Wales, specifically in the Snowdon area. Now anyone familar with Wales knows that the weather is typically doing one of three things:
(1) Raining or
(2) Just about to rain or
(3) Just finished raining
This in itself is ok as you always know to pack a large amount of Gortex and other technical fibers however this year was something special; from the BBC Weather website:
"Wales Rainfall Series (series began in 1914). The provisional total for the month is 170.5 mm 205% of the 1961-1990 average. Second wettest June in series.
The weather review for the 25th to the 30th records the following; Persistent and heavy rain on the 25th continued with up to 75mm of rain falling in some parts. Although quieter conditions then affected the country over the next few days with generally lighter and more scattered showers, yet more heavy rain spread in from the west on the 30th."
As with comedy, the crucial element in booking your holiday is; timing! Unfortunatley ours was rather off!
On the way there we stopped at Simmons Yat in the Wye Valley, to break up the journey, the B&B was on the banks of the River Wye and you can really see the effect that the rain had had in washing the topsoil into the river and turning it brown. I managed a quick run along the river before finding the trail had been washed out: Simmons Yat river run
Still it wasn't all bad and we managed to get some decent hiking in, despite the rapidly growing five month bump. The first was a local - out the back door - walk which had us trying to locate a Bronze Age ruin; unfortuanley, to employ a quintessential British term "rain stopped play" as we found ourselves almost mid calf deep in a large wet area; ok it was a bog! and after 4 hours we back-tracked it just to be safe. Our second jaunt was is almost complusory when in the area; Snowdon, this time heading up the Watkin Path and safely made it nearly to the summit which was covered in cloud for most of our climb, prudence being the better part of valor we decided against the "big push", which is essentially along a slate-bed shale path, we managed to make it up and down in around five hours. Our third and final stroll took us up and above Harlech, of "Men of Harlech" and Michael Caine and Zulu fame, for some fantastic views of the Glaslyn Estuary, Port Madog and Port Merion.
Of course I had packed my running gear and slotted in a few runs here and there, with a simple view of getting in some hill training. Anyway in typical British fashion - it's all about the weather! Here are some of the compulsory snaps taken along the way; from both the runs and walks as well as the Garmin profiles for anyone more interested.