Diaries from my Wonderful Walks in Wales
July 16, 2012
A beautiful morning, – crisp, clear air, not a breath of wind; blue blue skies, and a clear gold sun. Took a drive around the glorious Dyfi Estuary. Followed the road through Glandyfi, saw the sun gleam on the still water, the marshes dotted with ducks and geese. Through the little town ofMachynlleth, bustling with market stalls. Over the bridge and round towards Aberdovey. However many times I follow this route, it never fails to take my breath away.
Stopped near Panteidal, to find a favourite path to take me up to the aptly named ‘panorama walk’, which follows one of the many old Drover’s Roads winding through the hills. These lovely grassy tracks were worn into the hillsides over centuries from the Middle Ages right up to 1900, by the drovers taking sheep and cattle to market inLondonand theMidlands. They are all the width of a cart, and, in places, you can clearly see the grooves where the cartwheels have worn away the rock through the centuries.
Walking these well-worn tracks, you can’t help but feel the many emotions of the generations of men and women who have trodden them before. Weary, windswept and sodden as they trudged through storms, or the sheer elation of a perfect day such as this.
Climbing the track, up towards Llyn Bartog, ‘the bearded lake’, the cold, pure air biting and invigorating, glimpses of the mountains tantalising through the trees. The stream swelled by the winter storms, crashing down the gorge below. As we ascend, the panorama unfolds. To the south, the Dyfi estuary stretches wider- the silver water snaking through the exposed sand, the salt marshes dappled olive and brown, beyond.
Climbing higher, up Mynydd-y -Llyn, the forest gives way to open moor, no trees to hide the vistas in every direction now. The sweep of Cardigan bay clearly visible south from the dunes at Ynyslas, theDyfiRiverwinding down towards the sea. The mountains and hills to the north first cloaked in blue green pine, then wild and open with craggy outcrops streaked with glittering white quartz.
The sun feels warm and the exertion of the climb and exhilaration of the spectacular view chase away the
aches and pains.
Just a short climb and we reach the col on the shoulder of Mynydd y Llyn. As we turn the corner theBeardedLakelies spectacularly below. I have never seen it look so beautiful. The water like a sheet of black glass, with not a ripple marking its surface. The mountains reflecting in perfect symmetry like the backs of huge dinosaurs; dun brown, ochre and deep green. Some smooth and rounded others with craggy, rocky fins. The sky so blue and cloudless, and the quiet so dense it pressed on my ears. Not one sign of man’s presence, save the remnants of a jet’s wispy trail. No road to be seen, no hint of traffic noise, no buildings , not another soul.
I sat on the soft mossy bank, transfixed, drinking in this loveliness, looking into the dark waters to see the fronds of the water lilies waiting for spring.
Two Mallards glided silently across the water, sending a shimmer through the reflection. A buzzard circled above and his distant ‘mew’ echoed round the hills.
No where in the world can be better than this!
Very reluctantly, eventually, I tore myself away. Enjoying the descent, and journey home just as much .