Just like when you’re in the shower…
In the rain, no one can see you crying.
That was just a thought I had earlier. So today’s been great! I’ve seen so much stuff! 6-7 hours of walking and I’ve barely met a soul.
This morning I woke to the sound of bird song. Then packed up my tiny tent. It is really small by the way. I could barely fit myself in let alone a rucksack full of stuff I need dry. I’ll have to only flirt with people shorter than me on my hedonistic nights out in the valleys. Just to avoid discomfort.
Despite my minuscule portable home the rucksack only seems to be getting heavier. My shoulders ached as the lump landed on my back for another day making the most of gravity. I started to whisper “goodbye fathers of Penrhyndeudraeth” in a really soft creepy voice. But bad Santa dads camper van door slid open with a clang. He was gripping either side of the doors, legs, hair and belly dangling in my direction. “OH YOU’RE LEAVING ALREADY” he boomed with his usual German twang. He sounded sincere as though he really didn’t want me to go. ‘Not more goodbyes’ I thought! I’m a man of the road now, no emotional strings will tie me down. “WHERE YOU GO TODAY?” He asked. I explained loosely my plan. “are you going anywhere today?” I asked. He just stared at me. I stared back. He stared right back at me his eyes thinning. I thinned my eyes too. He held his gaze, I nervously laughed. He let rip a billowing HOHAHOHAHAHAHO. At that I left.
So we’ll never know his tales. They stay masked behind fluffy facial hair and smelly camper van. However a bond which needed no words had been created between me and this old slightly sexist man.
After buying some plastic cheese I headed up into the mountains I’ve been staring at for the last two days. I think about half an hour in I was lost. I took the wrong turning and found myself in good ol tree felling country. I love thick forests but as with last year when you end up trapped in dark winding lanes unmarked on maps, lined with creepy rusting caravans and cabins rarely used, things get a little unnerving. It’s all psychological I know, I’m sure tree felling fellas are lovely people but I was glad to find my way out.
From there I kept a close eye on my map. Everything was so still and quaint. It’s amazing how remote some people live out here. There are gorgeous quaint houses high up in the hills, clearly full of kids (judging by toy cluttered fields) but with no visible roads anywhere near or on the map. What would those kids make of London I wonder? I wanted to be in Beddgellert by the end of day and I was happy taking the mountain root. I’ve not seen one other town I’ve just seen forests, farms, bogs and sheep. That’s not me moaning by the way. That’s what I wanted.
Although. You know. I love the wild. But when you hit a bad farm my god do things ere towards the stupidly scary. You can tell straight away when you’ve landed on a bad farm. There’s bits of plastic everywhere. Like a troll has lost a huge game of mousetrap and torn the whole thing up. Other features include rusting machinery, cars and derelict caravans littering most fields. Plus the worst kind of livestock are left in the public access field. That’s right, Bulls! This time big horned scary ones. Strangely because of their floppy hair dos these Bulls seemed slightly less menacing than usual. Although I wasn’t taking any risks. I was like an over alert, over weight grasshopper. Springing from gate to gate. But this bloody farmer didn’t have any shut gates. These huge horned beasts were free to roam.
Then I heard it. It was like a war horn. One bull was angry and roaring about it. Said bull was just the other side of a fence going along the farmhouse path, my only exit. If this thick irritated animal decided to join me in my field all I’d have on my side is what I could remember from crocodile Dundee. Slowly I crept along the path with farmhouse on the left and certain skewering on the right. Keeping an eye on dumb death balls to my right I was not prepared for the attack on the left. The farmers dog leapt stealthily up onto a crumbling wall and poised salivating at me right in the face, ready to pounce like a raptor. I held my map between us in shock. I don’t know why, this pit bull thing would tear it to shreds in seconds. It started to bark and I started to shout looking at the farmhouse. “Hello is the farmer home!?”. As I did I looked at all the windows and thought, shit this can’t be the farmhouse – its derelict. The windows are just about all there. But everything about the place looked dilapidated, spooky and empty. Considering running back to the coast I did a second glance at the top window. Staring right back at me through a muddy dark window were two ghostly little blonde children. No expression. Again considering running from this damned farm all I could think to do was stick my thumbs up and smile. “Can you get this dog away from me please” I shouted. God I wished Paul was there, dogs love him more than sharks love blood. One of the children seemed to just whisper something, pointing downwards and the dog was gone. I got out of there as fast as the rucksack would let me.
I know, I know it was probably a lovely dog. Anyway everything about the rest of the day was great. After my first set of mountains it was very daunting looking at the next even larger set. But I relished the challenge and looking back down the valley i’d already conquered spurred me on. Although my feet are in a lot pain and everything aches. It’s been worth it. How often do you get the chance to talk to yourself whilst dipping up and down mountains for 7 hours?
When Paul and I arrived in beddgelert a year ago we were given a Heroes welcome. We deserved it – 19miles in 9 hours with stupidly heavy rucksacks. Today when I got here, drenched, sore and craving a pint. The lady asked where I’d walked from. “That’s not very far!” She remarked. I know guys, I know I should have told her what a fool she was. I know, I know, how dare she, from the comfort of her port-cabin desk mock my limping footwork. I can’t really be sure how I reacted when she said this. I felt a lot of emotions but I’m pretty sure my toes flipped the bird at her, toe style. Poor little left toe nail is about ready to fall off. I’m gonna miss that guy, sure he’ll be back by winter though.
So yeah the rains back and I’m not really sure my tents waterproof. Oh well! Off for a crazy night in Beddgellert! Two pub, pub crawl woooooo! There’s a guy out tonight who’s so weathered his frowning wrinkles look like cracks in rock. They may actually have moss growing in them.
Also just out of curiosity and per chance to make this post even more enthralling… Does anyone know what the hell this road sign means!?!