01/08/2014 by Carl Reynolds
What better location for a wild swimmer and hiker than a range of mountains peppered with tarns, or llyns as they are known in Snowdonia? Mrs Ape, not used to slopes having grown up in Essex, is introduced gently to the combined hill walk/swim experience by a stroll up Cwm Bychan. We are treated to colours galore, surrounding peaks and an almost constant accompaniment of tiny white moths as we make our way up past old copper workings to the summit. From the top of the cwm we can see for miles in all directions. Then we come down to the inviting waters of Llyn Dinas; strip and swim…much to the amusement of passing walkers. I have no idea why people think swimming is a strange activity?
After lunch and another swim in the llyn, we walk down the Afon Glaslyn to the village of Beddgelert. A walk down the left bank of the river takes us into a ravine and some spectacular long and deep rock pools (just after the railway goes into a tunnel!). And needless to say we swim and frolic some more.
Another day, another adventure. Being middled aged thrill seekers we’d booked a trip to the longest zip wire in Europe. Speeds of 100mph were promised and views over the Menai Straits to Ynys Mon and beyond. An exhilarating hour later, divested of our harnesses and jumpsuits, we walked up to Llyn Idwal to swim in its clear waters. And then ascended another 300m (much to the chagrin of Mrs Ape) to the equally clear and dramatic waters of Llyn Bochlwyd, before another dip in Llyn Dinas on the way home.
And after an interlude earning some money in Wrexham, while Mrs Ape wandered up the hills to the south of Llyn Gwynant, we both went up the Pyg Track to the top of Snowdon, and then down the Miner’s Track to swim in Glaslyn at 601m above sea level.
And a final refreshing crossing of Llyn Gwynant in the evening before we went off to Anglesey.