August bank holiday weekend in North Wales - usually means guaranteed rain, but this time only in the form of short showers between bits of sunshine.
I took Friday off work for an extra long weekend, and in the afternoon we headed up to Bala. Not without incident - for starters, I'd had to beg a security person to let me load my car up (Tall Ships festival = busy docks!).
We went via the back roads, which took forever due to getting stuck behind several slow moving lorries full of hay. Still prettier than going via motorway though.
We camped at Tyn Cornel - aka 'the campsite right next to the Tryweryn'. I'd heard nothing but horror stories about this place, and whilst our stay was uneventful, it's certainly not the most friendly and welcoming campsite I've ever been to! Checking in involved a 10 minute lecture on the many (many, many) rules of the park, and then there were signs everywhere telling you not to do things. My favourite being "do not use excessive toilet paper" - plus a small poem about how terrible it is if you drop hair in the drains.
Chips for dinner in Bala, then a walk along the river, which at that point wasn't releasing so you could see all of the rocks that lurk under the surface of the water. Lots of rocks.
A lazy start on Saturday led to everyone running the Lower Tryweryn. I think we were about half and half 'veterans' and 'virgins', so had quite a bit of buddying up going on. Everyone did brilliantly, and despite a few swims for some it was a really enjoyable afternoon's boating! I certainly enjoyed taking on a more responsible role within the group.
Pizza for dinner, then following a quick drink in the pub we made it back to the campsite with one minute to spare before the 11pm curfew (gates locked, and no noise at all after this on pain of death/being thrown off the site...)
Another slowish start on Sunday - some were heading home so packing up tents etc. I played photographer whilst others had a few runs down the Upper Tryweryn, then after lunch we headed off to Betws Y Coed in search of ice cream.
This wasn't necessarily the best plan, as it was duck race day on the Llugwy and Betws was ridiculously busy. Also, the sunshine was replaced by rain. But we still had our ice creams, and I bought a new pair of sunglasses (actually, that might explain where the sun went!). We stopped off at Conwy Falls for tea and cake (and a look at the falls, of course!), then began the unsuccessful task of finding a pub in Bala serving food on a Sunday evening. We ended up having a lovely roast dinner at the Bryntirion. Yum! I also discovered the football score, so that was rather good (8-2, hahaha in your face Arsenal)
On Monday I really couldn't be bothered to get kitted up (I know, I am very lazy) so stood on the bridge for what seemed like forever whist the others had a 'quick run' down the Upper. Lunch in the cafe, then the long drive home.
Downside to the weekend, predictably, is that I got eaten by some small insects. I'd taken extra strength midge repellent, and whilst that seemed to work fine on my face and hands, my legs and feet did suffer. But then that's my own fault for wandering around the campsite in my pj shorts without bug repellent. oops!