Last week was a whole lot of fun when we parked the Freedom Wizard bus at Pen Y Pass car park, Snowdonia. The day was set for checking accessible routes for those who can no longer walk.
It was a gloriously sunny day and we rolled out the BOMA plus a mountain bike to take a peep at the Miners’ Track. The aim was to see what condition the path was in and potentially add the detail to a guide. It turned out to be perfect and we fairly zipped along. The path is flat, mainly composed of crushed slate, so it was a simple route and pushchairs won’t have much difficulty either.
The causeway across Llyn Llydaw had me concentrating hard… it was too cold for a dunking. Apparently it was built in 1853 to allow copper to be brought down to Pen y Pass, before being transported to Caenarfon. Before that, copper was carried across on rafts. Sadly, a horse drowned in an accident and this is how the causeway came to be built. To do this, the level of the water had to be reduced by 12ft and in the process an ancient dugout canoe was discovered, providing proof that man had been in the mountains for thousands of years.
The path rises gently to Glaslyn where you will see the old Britannia mine workings and crushing mill. This mill was joined to mines further up the slopes by ropeway, but that all came to an end in 1916. This is as far as a wheelchair user can go, but it makes for a great day out, a special place for a picnic and there are links to Authurian legends. Llyn Llydaw is (another) lake that is associated with Excalibur, Arthur’s sword so let your imagination run free as you pass this way. (I still can’t get past the poor horse drowning!)
The second route of the day started from Capel Curig. Allie drove the Freedom Wizard bus along the A5, headed NW along the Nant y Benglog valley (Ogwen valley) where we eventually met below the very lovely Tryfan mountain. (One I really must do!)
The bonus was seeing the kids, (no, not those noisy things that need feeding ice cream and fleece you of money and sanity) I’m talking about those little hairy things…( oh dear this is getting worse…) apparently Tryfan mountain goats are rare – so it made my day to spot two goats with their kids grazing quite placidly alongside the A5 unconcerned by the traffic racing by. Sadly, I couldn’t get a good picture of them. The route itself was interesting, a bit muddy in places and quite a few gates to go through, approximately ten, but what a route! If you are doing it on foot, it is quite simple and relaxing, with all that wonderful scenery it is a fabulous day out for those who don’t want to walk the mountains. I believe there is quite a bit of Roman v Druid history in the area—worth checking out—perhaps not on a dark night!