FAIRY GLEN SNOWDONIA
Saturday runs - 26th September 2009
The Pack, having been warned not to miss the 10.30 bus were waiting expectantly for what had been promised as a long run. Instructions were given out on the bus by Lick It Up to the usual Hash banter especially on mention of a Bar Mark meaning ‘Don’t Go There’. The ‘Short Walk’ group were dropped off at a lay-by to follow the ‘Delightful Pink-Flour’ Trail, led by Hares JJ & Mo (see below) whilst the ‘Intrepid’ moved on through Betws-y-Coed to their drop off point and the start of the White-Flour Trail Hared by Lick It Up, Ddog, Grope and Black Widow. Good Bye to the bus and Annie is off like a Gun Dog. OnOn down a rocky path to the curious Miners’ Bridge which rises at a 45o angle over white-water rapids. The pack duly spread itself over the wooded hillside beyond but eventually found the path to a check point on a road that had everyone fooled. There followed a scramble up through more woods and thence through a boggy field, Flossie’s Pee Stop, a minor ford and derelict miners houses to a delightful Little Red Mini abandoned in a field, desired by Jack Tar, Sirlostalot and Evers.
OnOn to hilly forest tracks, a magnificent view over Conwy Valley, our trail criss-crossing Marin mountain bike routes, much to the concern of mountain biker Grope recalling past biking exploits of mowing Foot-Persons down who get in His Way. Coming out to Llyn y Parc lakeside we now found Pink Flour as well as the White as we ‘sped’ along the bank. A steep climb from the lake took us to ‘BS HV’, a spot where the Beer Stop could be spied half-a-mile away on the opposite hillside. A select few, including Annie, Sirlostalot and Superdrug took the Rambo Runner’s steep Miners’ Path with an HV of the Kneebones mining cutting to the Beer Stop whilst the rest of us wimped along the more sedate route.
Once more Heroin had done us proud with sandwiches, nibbles and beer. Wheels and Jack Tar switched to the short trail to keep their strength up for the evening’s revelries when the Cheeky Monkeys would again entertain us whilst Joan Collins joined them having not recovered from the previous night’s excesses. Meanwhile Miss Whippy and others decided they were made of sterner stuff and joined the Rambo runners.
The short trailers set off along the Miners’ Path heading for Grey Mare’s Tail water falls and a final stroll along the river to Llanrwst (more below) whilst the long trailers headed vertically up steps alongside an abandoned mining smelting settlement to emerge in an area of rough scrubland where Annie got especially annoyed at failing to find the correct route and finishing at the back of the pack. The footpath through forest took us to a magnificent view of small lakes with Snowdon, Glyder Fawr and Tryfan mountains clearly visible on the skyline, thence between the lakes and over fields to the trickiest checkpoint of the day, again to Annie’s dismay, the correct route being hidden by old mine workings and rusty fences and gates. The trail made its way diagonally down a bracken-clad hillside to reveal sailing boats on Llyn Geirionydd where Heroin greeted us with more victuals.
The Ball-Breakers were dispatched to find their way along a wooded valley with sun-dappled trees, past a delightfully quirky settlement with preserved old farm machinery, donkeys and a wooden parrot and thence up a domed Ball-Breaker hill with views right down the Conwy Valley to the Great Orme. Pints, Mark, Annie and a few others ascended the wrong hill before finding the right one and more complaints from Annie that the Ball-Breaker wasn’t hard enough ! Little Stiffy arrived at the “S” Summit first to find his reward – a cereal bar concealed in a mini-cairn – had already been consumed by wee beasties – leaving only the torn wrapper as a prize! Meanwhile the slower group followed the same trail excluding the Ball-Breaker Hill and amazingly came together with the Ball-Breakers at the 11th Century Llanrhychwyn Chapel – where we lingered to explore and somehow resisted tucking into the harvest festival offerings.
Reluctantly we left this delightful haven and proceeded over lumpy pastures housing a king’s cottage (Ty’n y Coed) and a hippy settlement to where a mini-distaster struck with Tea Lady twisting her ankle on a divot just before the pigs enclosure. Fortunately the local farmer volunteered to transport her to the On-Inn (accompanied by a relieved Ddog!) whilst the rest of us continued the trail over more lumpy pastures, a mini-waterfall, a steep pine-needle clad path though forest and finally wide path across the river flats to Pen-y-Bont Inn, the On Inn next to the magnificent Llanrwst Bridge over the River Conwy. No question of us stopping for tea at the ivy-clad tea-rooms (see re Twonk below). We had worked up a real thirst which only Pints of Real Ale could quench.
Snowdonia Weekend – Saturday Short Run
The weather was spectacular (which means it wasn’t raining), the company was suitably decrepit and the run planned accordingly for zimmers and gimmers.
Mo stayed with the group to make sure no-one got lost along the way while mountain goat (or is that old goat) JJ scurried ahead up a steep incline to prepare a “tonic stop”. The trail climbed past mine shafts and water falls and reached Llyn y Parc where JJ had set up shop with his Elderflower Vodka shots.
After a few minutes of gentle reflection and refreshment, the re-invigorated ramblers rallied and strolled around the lake following pink flour although various comments were made about the minimal application of flour. And so on through wooded glades and miners’ tracks to the beer stop where Long and Short runners re-grouped for Heroin’s vast array of food and drink.
At this point a number of Long runners decided that the lure of the elderflower vodka and the downward slope to the pub was too tempting to resist and so joined the Short trail. Jack Tar also switched as he declared that pink is his favourite colour and the short trail was marked with pink flour. The route led them to a panoramic Hash View of the Conwy Valley and Llanrwst (our ultimate destination) whilst imbibing in the last of the elderflower vodka.
Down through the forest, the trail led to the next hash view, the Grey Mares Tail, which is a dramatic waterfall area. In spite of the non-existence of flour and hares’ attempts to bring the group back to the set trail, Clueless got overexcited and continued on down the waterfall taking Jack Tar and Wheels with her (more of this later)
The main pack then meandered past the old stone chapel and the Forestry Commission Office down to the River Conwy. The On Inn consisted of a pretty stroll along the banks of the River Conwy. However, towards the end of the trail the hashers had to pass a Tea Shop. This proved too enticing for Twonk who gathered a gaggle of like-minded individuals who joined him in convivial conversation and tea and scones.
The rest of the group made it to the pub only to find that Heroin had received an emergency call from three of the Short runners. Clueless, Jack Tar and Wheels, having taken their own route, proceeded to head for the pub named Pen Y Bont. On reaching the village they enquired as to its whereabouts. One problem – they were in the wrong village (Trefriw) ….. Heroin by name and by nature rushed to the rescue and brought them safely home.
THE ON-INN – Pen Y Bont Inn (aka Bridge Inn!) in LLANRWST
(NB JT & Co NOT in Trefriw!)
Amazingly, Short and Long trailers all arrived at the On Inn at the designated times despite the long trail having been at least 8 miles (BUT some with SAT NAVs even claim a full 10 miles!!). Whatever >> the comments book reveals that a good time was had by all (even conceded by Annie under the RA’s duress by next day!) and the serious purpose of the day (i.e. the runs as apposed to the evening entertainments) was concluded by an entertaining circle the highlight of which was Jack Tar’s ride in a wheelbarrow having received a thorough dowsing in his beloved Pink Flour – IN LLANRWST. Soup and rolls were eagerly consumed before a short walk to the bus back to The Fairy Glen.
Scribes: Lick It Up, Mo & JJ
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