So, with my old man being off work for a few days I decided to take him and my little sister over to Wales for a bit of a hike. A few weeks ago, me and a friend attempted to walk up Cadair Idris, but the weather was that bad that when we got up to the lake which is about half way, we turned back and headed down the mountain… the visibility was about as far as the end of your nose.
We got up and left for 7am, cheeky two hour drive there, and very nice to see no rain… Some say this is unusual in North Wales though I’m not complaining, if it’s raining, put your coat on, get a grip, and get out anyway. We had a quick brew, got organised and headed up.
As I have heard from friends, Cadair Idris is an awesome climb. There’s a circular route heading up from Minffordd, taking you up through some old woodland, and then up to the lake Llyn Cau (which is stunning) and along the series of ridges and rock formations up to the highest point of Penygader and then back down the other side with the walk circumnavigating the lake. After seeing and walking around quite a few welsh mountain lakes, but never having the confidence to have a dip, I made it my goal of taking my jammers and getting in. So, after the warm hike up to the lake, I donned my jammers and hat, and got in.
The sun was not out. there was a considerable cover of clouds. It wales… it was windy. And the water…freezing. The crystal blue water meant you could stare into the abyss of the lake meaning looking down had never been so enjoyable. I navigated my way around a small section of the lake, dodging random patches of weeds rising from the steep edges of the Llyn, and admiring the topography under the water. Then, after about 20 minutes, I was super chilly. So I got out. Then it was time for the obligatory cup of coffee on the side of the lake.
Whilst I was cold, I was more than happy to stay in for longer, but thought as I was not on my own I should probably not stay in too long and let them sacrifice their day out for me. It was a brilliant experience, and something that I am definitely going to continue after Geneva. Whilst pool swimming is great fitness, its nothing like seeing a mountain cliff face towering above you on every breath. If for nothing else, it is also quite amusing when you’re getting in, and people stand to watch, describing you as a nutcase.
After the swim, I got warm, and we continued on for the rest of the hike, and can safely say that all three of us had an awesome day. However, we are going to have to go and do it all again, because the clouds covering the top meant we didn't get to the supposed spectacular views!
On my first training swim, I remember thinking, "what am I playing at signing up to this". Now, my thought has totally changed, and I feel as ready as I could be to tackle the swim. Don't get me wrong, I am nervous and a little anxious about it all but I am more excited about putting what I’ve been doing in training into practice, and getting into the water with my team mates in Geneva and swim for such a worthy reason!
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