Just for a change Wednesday 5th. August dawned clear and sunny, so I decided to set off across the othe side of the Conwy valley and up into the northern Carneddau. The way up to the hills from the valley is by a narrow lane which was looking great in the sunshine, the hedgerows colourful with Rowan berries, Meadowsweet, Foxgloves etc. The Meadowsweet reminded me of childhood walks in the Yorkshire dales.
Soon the hedgerows are left behind and the scenery becomes wilder. As I made my way along the rough track my only company were sheep, a Kestrel overhead and a few Meadow pipits. Somewhere along the crags I could hear Ravens quarreling loudly.
This is what I, as a Yorkshireman would call a wild moor, but the Welsh call the Fridd (mountain pasture). This is typical of the Carneddau; sphagnum moss, cotton grass and reeds grow in the marshy areas, with bilberry, heather and gorse covering the drier areas.
The standing stones stand on either side of the rough track and are at about 1200/1400 feet above sea level. Only a short walk from here there are stone circles, burial mounds and lots of other ancient sites.
Now I left the track and headed up the steep slope of Fridd Cwm-Ithel, stopping frequently to take in the wonderful views to either side.
The only things that spoil the views are the electricity pylons, but even they can’t detract from the scenery completely.
Looking to my right as I climb I can see down the slope to the village of Llanfairfechan and the Menai straits across to Puffin island and Anglesey.
Behind me Foel Lwyd looked bleak and barren, rising to 603 metres (1,978 feet) above sea level. Dry stone walls snake up and across these hills, some of them hundreds of years old.
To my left the fridd stretches away towards the pointed peak of Penygadair with Pen y Gair and it’s tumulus a little lower and more distant.
As I climbed higher I looked up to see summer clouds drifting across the lovely blue sky.
Now at about 2,000 feet above sea level I could look to my left and see right across the Conwy valley and to the Clwydian hills in the distance.
In the opposite direction Llandudno and the Great Orme had come into view.
As I made my way back I again caught some summer clouds above the crags.
It’s wild country up here, but everywhere you look there are fantastic views.
I wish I could have stayed longer, but as I had a ticket for the theatre I had to get back.
As a matter of interest I went to see a performance of “Chicago” at Venue Cymru in Llandudno. It was a fantastic production, well worth leaving the hills for. Venue Cymru get some great productions, so if you’re in the area have a look to see whats on. You can also look them up here: http://www.venuecymru.co.uk/home.php?/home