The Monthly Newsletter of Chelmsford YHA Local Group
For our weekend away in late September, we stayed in Penmachno, a village just south of Betws-y-Coed. Our accommodation was at The Eagles – a pub with some comfortable bunk rooms upstairs; the main attraction being that when we cooked our meals, we could take them downstairs to the bar to enjoy with a plentiful supply of real ale.
Most of us took at least part of Friday off work, but even so some of us arrived at the hostel quite late. We’d just about persuaded Carol to serve up dinner regardless when the last car-load arrived, so sadly we had to share the delicious casserole after all.
Saturday’s walk took us from Capel Curig up Crimpiau to Creigiau Gleision, the easternmost of the Carneddau mountains. The weather was fantastic, and we hand wonderful views across all the big mountains of Snowdonia. The route took us across interesting terrain which our guidebook described as "fashionably unkempt". The book’s promise that the “final romp will fly by” wasn’t so convincing as we trudged the long track back beside the Llyn Cowlyd reservoir, but the lovely evening sunshine was compensation for getting back after the teashops had closed!
Our Saturday meal, courtesy of Chris, was crowned with a slab of yummy chocolate cake to celebrate Cynthia’s birthday. This unexpected treat meant the originally intended pudding could be saved as a mountain climbing reward for the next day.
Sunday was an equally lovely day. We drove through Cwm Penmachno and over the pass to Bala for a walk in the Arans. We climbed Aran Benllyn with great views back to Bala Lake, over to Cadair Idris and Barmouth, and in the distance to the north to the Snowdon massif. Ali remarked that she didn’t know they had views like this in Wales – having not climbed a mountain here when there’d actually been a view to see.
All too soon we had to head back down, but there was that tasty muffin saved from Saturday to fuel us back to the cars.
Dengie in the Rain
Thank you Doug for organising an interesting cycle ride round the Dengie peninsular.
We met at Southminster railway station as planned, although numbers were modest thanks to a less than promising weather forecast. It was dry at 10:30, so the five of us decided to set off straight away to try and get as many dry miles under our belt as possible. The first village was Tillingham, which made a convenient loo stop, then we continued on to Bradwell. We could have paused here for a beer, but we were very conscious of the glowering clouds, so we only stopped long enough to pick up Doug’s previously deposited cycle helmet before pressing on to St Peter’s Ad Murum at Bradwell. St Peter’s is probably the oldest church in the country and it’s certainly a very atmospheric place. Whilst the cycle ride would have been nicer in blazing sunshine, it has to be said that the stormy clouds did lend the place a certain something!
The pull along the sea wall past the Power Station seemed to go on forever. With the soft ground, it was like cycling with flat tyres! At the far end we found a bench for some well-earned lunch, but here our luck with the weather faltered and sandwiches were munched in full waterproofs.
The ride back to Southminster was decidedly damp, and a strong headwind made it a challenging ride, but distinctly exhilarating!
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