Hello people. It’s Joe the Cocker here again. There was a short break in the weather on 21st November 2019 so me and my human dad decided to drive to Snowdonia to do another hike. The day’s plan was to do a circular route from Capel Curig to Llyn Crafnant and Llyn Geirionydd. The weather forecast was for cold and cloudy but, wait for it, NO RAIN! Well, not until 5 pm anyway. So, we wouldn’t have to wear waterproofs. I can’t remember when I just wore my harness with nothing over the top.
The drive to Snowdonia was uneventful and as usual I slept for most of the way except for a toilet break at Rhug Estate takeaway. My dad bought a coffee and I did my toilet stuff on a quick walk around. We drove through Betws y Coed and noticed that it appeared to be Christmas. The shops and pubs all had their decorations and trees displayed. A bit early if you ask me but, that’s just my opinion. We arrived in Capel Curig and parked behind the Joe Brown outdoor shop. I was surprised that it was sunny and there was some blue in the sky as we prepared for our hike. We were prepared for bad weather just in case it happened. We also had plenty of food and drinks. Our usual navigational tools and extra clothes were also packed in my dad’s rucksack. So, off we went on our mini adventure just as the sun disappeared behind the low clouds.
The hike started across the A5 opposite Joe Brown’s shop through a gate to a field. There were sheep in the field and I would have loved to chase them but I was on a retractable lead and I was being good anyway. We passed through a few gates that were erected next to ladder stiles. Luckily someone had placed gates there as the stiles are quite difficult for my dad to lift me over. The path was soon large rocks laid to prevent walkers sinking into the boggy ground. Soon the path became a rough stony trail with streams regularly crossing. I had a ball running in and out of the streams and puddles as usual. I was trying to chase birds again. This is my passion and I suppose that I will always do it. I know that it annoys my dad but, I’m sorry, I love it. I got overexcited and started to try to chase sheep again. I was doing, what my dad calls, my girly bark. It is a bit high pitched. Well, it’s a lot high pitched really. So, I was told off and made to walk to heel for a while because I was pulling on my lead again. I was thinking about asking my dad for subscriptions to British Birds and Sheep! Magazines for Christmas. They are more my cup of tea than his Trail magazine.
My dad started his usual irritating singing round about this time. The song of the day was ‘Here Comes the Sun’. Why was he singing this? OK, the sun shone for a while before we started hiking but it certainly didn’t have it’s hat on now. Nor was it forecast to do for the rest of the day. ‘Here comes the sun do do do do. Here comes the sun’ over and over again. Once you get it in your head it won’t go away. I wish that I could sing. He would get choruses of ‘Who let the dogs out, woof woof woof woof’. Revenge would be sweet!
The area was beautiful that we were walking through. The only sounds that we heard was the tweeting of birds and the odd RAF fighter jet training, flying low through the hills. When we turned around to look at where we had started the walk the view would have been amazing on a less cloudy day. Even so, we could see Llynnau Mymbyr, the Snowdon range and Plas y Brenin spread before us. As we reached the col up a steady incline we came across four wild ponies grazing at the side of the track. I didn’t bark or even pull on my lead. We crested the col and the views on the other side of the hills opened up and were stunning. My dad said that this walk was becoming one of his favourites. We could see the rugged rocky Creigiau Gleision and Llyn Crafnant with it’s wooded surroundings in the valley. As we walked slowly down the rocky hillside I was allowed to run off lead for a while. My dad was a bit annoyed with me as I ran off chasing birds but I did return to him, eventually. It would have been slippery on this descent if it was raining as a lot of it was on grass. But, amazingly, it wasn’t raining and my dad managed to stay on his feet.
As we reached the bottom of the hill we turned left and passed a few buildings before we walked across a small footbridge over a fast rushing stream. We passed through a small coppice and a couple of fairly new kissing gates before we reached a bench. I asked my dad if he wanted to sit on it for a short break. I always stop at benches and look at my dad to see if he is ready for a rest. He sat on it for a few minutes while we both had a drink of water. The next section of the walk took us along a forestry track that followed the north western banks of the lake. Waterfalls could be seen on our left amongst the trees. It was an easy and pleasant walk. My dad let me run off the lead for a while as there was nobody around. At the end of the lake we crossed the outlet stream and turned left along a minor road. We passed the carpark and immediately joined a forestry track leading uphill on our right.
The next section should have been easy and we have walked it before. When we reached the ruined Clogwyn-y-Fuwch slate quarry we joined a narrow undulating path through the forest. The route that we were following was clearly marked on the map and was to take us to the shores of Llyn Geirionydd. However, the route marked on mudandroutes.com showed a way off the path to the right up a steep mossy bank. After a short while my dad said that although we were following the route as stated exactly on his GPS that this way was impassable. Even I was struggling to find a way through the ferns that were above my head height. I was off the lead again because it was getting tangled in the undergrowth. There was no path marked on the map and no path to be seen on the ground. So, we turned around and headed back downhill. My dad slipped a few times and he decided to glissade down the hill. He bounced down the hill on his backside more like. Glissade sounds more controlled and smooth than what he was doing. I thought that he had fallen over and I was worried about him. I ran to him and lay across his legs while I tried to lick his face. He gave me a hug and said that I was a good boy but he was ok. Soon we were back on the proper track.
We passed through a wooded area before we reached the Taliesin Monument at the head of Llyn Geirionydd. I had a run around in the shallow area of the lake. I loved it and splashed about while the miserable one watched me. Why doesn’t he get in the water? He says that all his gear is waterproof so what is his problem? Anyway, the choice now was which way should we head along the lake. We could walk along the narrow gated road on the left or along the forest track on the right. My dad chose the road walk as he said it was rare that traffic came along it at this time of year. The views across the lake were better from this side and there is a picnic area near the end of the lake. He said that we could have our food there and decide how we should get back to Capel Curig.
When we arrived at the picnic site the last of the day’s canoers were just leaving so we had the place to ourselves. Dad gave me my food and water and he ate his chilli and rice. We shared a piece of ginger cake which I swallowed without chewing. A bad habit, I know, but that’s me. It was around 3:30 pm and the light was already starting to fade. My dad took his map out so that he could choose our route back. When he took his phone out to check the route on the OS online map that we had been following he saw that the battery had died. This wasn’t a problem because he had a fully charged power bank and the USB lead. Then he noticed that the adaptor for his Samsung phone was not attached to the lead so he had no way of charging it. So, there would be no more photographs today. He still had his Garmin GPS to navigate with along with the map. He decided that he didn’t like the idea of walking up the pass and over the col and across the moorland in the dark. Also, it was forecast to rain in an hour or so. He decided that we would do a road walk back to the car. This would mean that we would walk on two minor roads then along the pavement of the A5.
I had a bright red light on my harness and he had his head torch so we would be ok. The walk along the two minor roads was deserted. We didn’t see one vehicle along the entire way until we joined the A5 by the Ugly House. The rest of the walk back to the car really could have been anywhere as the skies were pitch black by now. It did start to drizzle slightly on our way back but it wasn’t enough to make us wear waterproofs. We passed the Cynfyng Falls on our left and these looked amazing in the light of my dad’s head torch. It didn’t take long to return to the car in the carpark behind Joe Brown’s which had unfortunately just closed. My dad had planned to have a mooch around the shop to look for even more stuff to cram into his rucksack. That was the end of another fun hike with my dad. All I had to do now was have another drink of water and a few treats before it was snooze time for me. Nice and comfortable in my bed on the back seat of the car while he had an hour and a half drive home. It’s a dog’s life they say! Until next time!