Four days till Ultra Trail Snowdonia. Sara and I are out for a little walk around Lake Padarn. Just loosening up the legs a bit, after yesterday’s day of travelling.
It’s sunny in Wales. I didn’t even know they had sun here. I remember the Welsh comedian Rhod Gilbert joking that he had to go to France to buy sunglasses. But it’s here and we’re not complaining. The sun hasn’t shown its face in the Netherlands this year so we’re happy to see it here.
Plans, no plans
Tomorrow I like to go for a little run. I admit, I had big plans for this week in Wales, but after the Brabantse Ultra Trail (BUT50) I decided it was time for a break. Well, that break will last all up to my race this weekend: the ERYRI 25k.
A little walk is nice as well, and it’s a walk with some altitude as nothing is flat here. Plus I’m walking with Sara, so it’s more a power walk than a stroll.
Crossing Lake Padarn
We started out from High Street in Llanberis, where we’re staying in an Airbnb these days. From there we walked to the bank of Lake (Llyn in Welsh) Padarn and followed the road until the bridge, where the lake flows into the river (afon in Welsh) Rhythallt. There we crossed to the other side.
The start was nice. The lake and the views over the mountains behind it are beautiful, but I’m not such a fan of walking on the road. Luckily just a little after Fachwen we could leave the road behind us. Now we’re walking in a fairy-tale forest with trees so tall and big I can’t get my arms around them, with waterfalls coming down the mountains and flowing under a bridge made of huge stones. This is the Wales we came for.
National Slate Museum
The path keeps climbing and descending. One moment we have a beautiful view over Llanberis and the mountains behind this little village, the other moment we’re totally surrounded by trees and can hardly see the lake.
After a rocky descent, we’re suddenly out of the forest and on the terrace of the Quarry Hospital, which was built in 1860 and functioned up until 1962. Now-a-days it’s a museum. One we skip for today, as we’re moving on towards the National Slate Museum at the far end of Llyn Padarn. Here we see the first glimpses of what will be the event village of Ultra Trail Snowdonia. The first tents are standing, picnic tables are being placed and a red and white ribbon on the grass marks where all the exhibitors and vendors will be.
A bit of altitude
Happily we walk back to the center of Llanberis. Almost 10 kilometers done, with 175 meters of altitude. That’s not bad for a little walk. Tomorrow it’s time for a run, now it’s time to rest the feet and eat fish and chips.