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Wet + Windy But We Were Out

Today was miserable with persistent rain and gusty wind. The cloud was low and the mountain tops (and at times bottoms) disappeared. We'd decided that today we'd go out for a drive so what could we do (or rather where could we go)?

We decided to drive down the Llyn to Aberdaron. We love it there. On a nice day the beach is beautiful, there's an interesting church and plenty of walks along the coast. But on a day like today we thought that we'd have lunch at Becws Islyn ( a lovely bakery with a cafe area attached. We drove down the lanes, through puddles and avoided the mud. We parked up in the National Trust car park in the middle of the village (remember your membership card as there are a few NT car parks in the area), got kitted out in our waterproofs and headed to the cafe. IT WAS CLOSED! Should've checked... they close Wednesday and Sunday 🤦‍♀️ Anyhow the tide was in and we couldn't resist a quick peak at the waves from the car park. Apparently this week we are experiencing the highest tides in 25 years.

Back into the car and implement Plan B.

So we decided to head for the garden centre at Y Ffor. On a nicer day we might've headed into Pwllheli but we didn't fancy wandering around in the rain. We've been to Tyddyn Sachau Nurseries ( quite a few times for lunch. They do a lovely roast on a Sunday (but get there early before they run out) and there is always nice cake. Today we were busy chatting about the new Aldi that they're building in Pwllheli and other things that we'd driven passed the garden centre and through the village before we realised. Should we go back or go onto Plan C?

Plan C maybe somebody had foiled Plan B on purpose 😉

I heard "I know what... the next right hand turn (signed St Cybi's Well) will take us back towards Criccieth. How about chips from Chippy Dre (

in Tremadog. We haven't been there for ages?". So that's what we did. Managed to catch them just before they closed at the end of lunchtime service.

Ask about their Irish Curry sauce - yes a new one on me too

Chips in hand (or rather in car) we drove up the Aberglaslyn valley. The fields alongside the river and there was water pouring off the hillsides onto the road. We went to a layby by the river just passed Pont Aberglaslyn. This is a regular stop for a cup of tea or to eat our sandwiches. On the oppositeside of the road it is possible to get close to the river and it's a nice place to spend some time in the summer. We sat and ate chips in the car and looked at the river. It was far higher and faster than it was last week and much of the valley is flooded. When it's like this it is easy to see how people get swept away down here.

Chips finished and it was off again.

We decided to drive up the A498 from Beddgelert, towards Pen-y-Pass. Again the water was pouring off the hillsides and Llyn Dinas was almost overflowing onto the road. We drove up towards Pen-y-Pass stopping at the Snowdonia Horseshoe viewpoint to take some photos through the gloom and the rain. As you can (almost) see, there was water pouring down every gully.

We drove up further and turned left onto the road up to Pen-y-Pass car park. Cars coming towards us were pushing bow waves in front of them there was so much water running down the hill. There were plenty of cars in the car park though. I couldn't imagine a gloomier walk - soaking wet and no view! Can you tell that I hate walking in the rain (I hate walking in full waterproofs). It isn't as though the weather had deteriorated through the day... it'd rained all night. One of those occasions where I certainly would've said "the mountain will be there another day - let's give it a miss".

Anyhow we carried on down Nant Peris and came to a part of the road that was a bit more sheltered so we stopped to have a cup of tea. There was nobody parked in the lay-byes which tells you how bad the weather was. My "chauffeur" managed to stop in a place where the wall was down so that I could see the river running past without having to get wet (again).

Got me thinking wouldn't it be great if we could harness the power of all of this water? I'm not talking about great power plants or even weirs but just small turbines that could be placed in a stream which powered a battery or be linked to a car charger. I know that force isn't there all of the time.

After our cup of tea we continued our drive down into Llanberis and then headed home.

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