Wales, 2006

Wales Travel Blog

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Time for my adventure in Wales. I was going to work for a Dutch outdoor sports organization for Dutch travelers. Every week a new group arrived and the old group left. I was there with my collegue and friend Wilmke.

The day before I had to leave I finally got my contract and signed the papers. Next day, July 4th 2006, we flew to Liverpool where a friend of our boss, Timmy, was going to pick us up. When we arrived at 8pm there was nobody at the airport. We made a few phone calls but no answer. We decided to go into Liverpool centre and find a place to stay for the night. On our way Timmy called us back and came right to us. We had to wait a few hours. We went to a bar but got kicked out at 11pm.

Closing time. We decided to wait with all our stuff in the city centre. There were some crazy people there... A three hour drive from where we had to go to.  Timmy was helping us setting up the campsite and got us a car. That time I didn't had drivers licence but Wilmke did. Driving at the other side of the road, left side, was pretty dangerous for us in the beginning. But we survived.

Next day we drove to the campsite, which lay between Betwsy Coed and Beddgelert at a large lake Llyn Gwynant under Mount Snowdon. We got our own corner on a huge field. I tought our boss had arranged every thing and we only had to set up it all. But I was wrong. We had to buy so much stuff! From camping equipment to outdoor gear... So we did. But we only had three days to arrange it all en set up 20 large tents.

10 of them fully furnished... A double bed, freezer, cooking stuff, table, chairs, you name it and it was there... These were for the families that came. Three days we worked hard and finished on time.

We had been lucky with the weather, but we didn't saw the sun any more after the first group arrived. When the group came it rained so hard all night that the first damage was done by the next morning and a single mother with kids decided to go back home because of the weather... The weight of the water broke two poles of the dinning tent.
Every week we had the same program: archery, canoeing, climbing, English breakfast, mountain biking, day trip to Dublin, hiking up Mount Snowdon and white water rafting at the Tryweryn River. A lot of fun.

I've been up to Mount Snowdon seven times.

Always cold, foggy and rainy. Only once I had a clear few over the mountain and the valley. In summer time many people like to hike. If you go late morning it's crowded with tourists. I hate walking in a long line to the summit so we left the campsite with the first bus at 7am. The hike started close to the campsite at Penn Y Pass. The path we took up was the Pyg Track with a great view over the lakes. The fastest time going up was under two hours and the slowest group (single mothers with kids) took over three hours. What most people didn't know was that you can go to the summit with an old train. After a rest at the restaurant we walked back over the Watkin Path. This starts with a steep descent over gravel. This path lead all the way to the campsite.
Our campsite
Fastest group under three hours, slowest group under five hours... It's a beautiful hike and there are many trails leading to the summit. Mount Snowdon has an altitude of 1085m/3560ft. In winter time mountaineers train here there skills for climbing the highest mountains in the world. Would love to go back there in winter. Any one interested??

Every week we also went to Dublin. Early morning we left to take the 9am ferry at Caernafon. British people were drinking pints for breakfast. You will never see something like that in the Netherlands. Only if they're addicts. I love Dublin. It's a great city! There are so many things to do and see, the ambiance is great and people are friendly. Dublin Castle, many cathedrals, the Guinness Brewery, shopping centre, Irish wiskey brewery, Trinity College, Temple Bar Area with the Temple Bar.

In this bar U2 became famous. After walking around we had dinner in restaurant/bar Thunder Road in the Temple Bar Area. They serve really good food for nice prices. And then it was time to take the latest ferry back to Wales.

Unfortunately Wilmke had to leave after six weeks. I got a new collegue for the last two groups. The last week I was alone and had to break down the campsite. This week the weather was worse than worse... A few nights I didn't sleep because it rained so hard and the wind blew even harder that the pigs didn't hold. And I needed a bucket to get the water out of the tents. Never pack wet tents, cause they're going to molt and then you can throw them away. So I wasn't able to break down all the tents. The day I had to leave, to go back home, the weather was like a tornedo.

 Behind the tents, two meter lower, was a small stream. Within three hours this stream was a five meter wide river and I was in the water up to my knees. I packed my stuff and at the moment I wanted to leave the tent it got blown away in the river. Nobody was at the campsite anymore. No wonder with this weather. I was able to jump out the tent and got grip of one of the poles. My stuff was still in the tent. I was lucky that the campsite owner came to check on me after fifteen minutes. When I let go of the tent another tent got blown in the river. Big disaster... Weird to left the campsite like this. The owner promised me to take care of every thing. Next day was my flight back home...

I had a great time, even the weather was bad, it simple sucked. But that is Wales. Don't look for much sunshine in Wales, but nature is great. Definitely going back some day!

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Our campsite
Our campsite
Our car, that it didnt fall apart…
Our car, that it didn't fall apar…
Mount Snowdon
Mount Snowdon
Ever seen a road sign like this??
Ever seen a road sign like this??
Campers blocked our tent after we…
Campers blocked our tent after we…
Bad weather and storms resulted in…
Bad weather and storms resulted i…
This was a meter wide stream of ha…
This was a meter wide stream of h…
Wales Hostels review
Great get away for exploring Wales
In 2006 I stayed 9 weeks at this campsite (July and August), Llyn Gwynant in Wales. It's a big campsite and you can put your tent where ever you want … read entire review
182 km (113 miles) traveled
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