…and that would be Wales, or more accurately North Wales or to zoom in further still Snowdonia National Park. For the geographical purists amongst you I refer specifically to Snowdon Mountain and for the socially challenged try 53°04'4.75" N, -4°04'19.27" W.
I have lived in the UK for nigh on 28 years and have never visited Wales but that was recently remedied as I spent the weekend camping with a friend and hiking up Snowdon. The brief was quite simple (pitch a tent and hike up Snowdon) and my requirements were even less demanding albeit, in hindsight, ambitious (no rain) Overall, two out of three ain’t bad.
When we set off towards the summit, which we were unable to see, it was blind optimism that convinced us that the cloud and mist would lift and the drizzle would abate. As we ascended the drizzle did ease off but visibility remained poor. Our optimism was challenged when greeted by fellow hikers on their way down with hoods pulled firmly over their heads, the drawstrings tightened so that only their eyes were exposed. Pleasantries were briefly exchanged and on enquiring as to the conditions at the summit the reply was simply “shit!”.
We reached the summit and the conditions were certainly less than ideal. It was dry though. And very crowded. My hiking partner excitedly sprung into action and produced a small gas burner and proceeded to tell me how much he was looking forward to his cup of coffee. He rather smugly produced a container in which was the cream he had carried up for his perfect cup. The look on his face when he opened the container and found the cream had churned to butter was worth the hike alone, actually the whole weekend!
And then the weather began to change for the better and we were afforded previews of the surrounding hills and peaks. It was stunningly beautiful and while photographs give a sense of the location they do not capture the sounds or smells or accurately depict the scale and perspective. I was enchanted.
Preparations are underway to do it all again very soon and my son is keen to tag along :-)