How is it already the end of April? This year has breezed past and my birthday month really had just crept up on me. Luckily Mo, as always, was extremely prepared and had the perfect birthday gift sorted.
It seems that over the last few years my birthday has turned into an opportunity for him to show the sacrifices he makes for me as his wife, as he organises trips away and weekend excursions that normally he would run a mile from.
I knew the love sacrifices were strong this year, when the week before we were meant to go away a package arrived for Mo with a pair of oversized waterproof pants. Poor thing looked disturbed as he held them up checking for size, thoughts of ‘why me’ probably echoing through his mind on repeat.
We were off to Snowdonia National Park for the weekend. We were setting off early on the Saturday, jog up Snowdon, jog back down and then spend the rest of the weekend resting at the B&B Mo had found for us.
Now, just like every other trip Mo and I have embarked on over the years, let’s just say things did not go to plan.
First of all, Saturday morning, having had such a busy week and working late on radio the night before, we were both quite exhausted. Sleeping in ever so slightly and then mad packing lunch and equipment for the day ahead.
Still making good time we set off on the very scenic drive to Wales, a good two and a half hours drive from where we were in Eccles. An hour into the journey the rain began to fall… wasn’t looking great for walking, not for people who aren’t fans of rain anyway. As we got closer to our destination we decided it might be best to write today off as a wash out and to wake up bright and early the following day.
Re-route on the sat nav set us onto the course for our B&B. A small cute little place nestled in the heart of the countryside. We stopped briefly at a walkers car park to munch on some of our pre-prepared snacks (it was also the place I discovered my love for babybel! A revelation that was set to ruin my life) before setting off on our next adventure.
Finding the B&B.
I was assured by Mo that Google maps knew exactly what it was doing. Let’s just establish right now on the record – It. Did. Not.
As we we navigated the narrow country roads, heading deeper and deeper into the countryside, driving higher and higher, balancing on edges. My paranoia about falling off a cliff was working overdrive and it was about to get a whole lot worse as Google decided to lead us to a gate.
It was this gate that would take our weekend to the next level.
It’s not our first time driving through the country so I was very aware of the rules: get out open, drive through, close, secure, make sure nothing escapes etc. etc. So nothing seemed untoward just yet, apart from me having to get out every five minutes and deal with some rain, wind and muddy puddles, we were doing ok.
But then we started to follow a track that snaked around this very high mountain (ok so it might have been a hill but I assure you it really felt like a mountain!!). The track not only snaked round, it teetered on the edge, it was barely a road and just one tyre out of place we would have gone crashing down.
It got steeper. And steeper.
And as it did, my worrying tone and requests to turn back got louder and whinier. And Mo’s determination to get to our destination became stronger.
There were moments where we encountered gravel paths that sent us rolling back down. I had to physically get out of the car at this point as the lack of control was driving me insane. For some reason I thought it would be safer for me to be out of the car and that if the car did slip at least I could push it back on track (YES I know that is completely ridiculous but it’s how my mind works ok!?! ?).
This went on for what seemed like hours (It was probably 15-20 minutes) and we managed to overcome many obstacles, but then we hit a new type of hurdle. Really soft ground. Wheels were spinning. We weren’t moving. The sheep were looking at us like we were crazy. I had leapt out of the car again, this time it needed a push and as you guessed me pushing it really made no difference whatsoever.
We had no signal. No way of going forward and as the dark clouds moved along, it was starting to look dark.
After walking round and assessing the situation we both got back into the safety and warmth of the car.
Finally we were both agreed that there had to be another way. I mean, I know this B&B is meant to be a tranquil spot in the middle of nowhere but this really would be quite extreme.
Some pretty skilled driving from Mo, which truly surprised me, and FINALLY we were back at the base of the mountain (sorry, hill.)
Head back to civilisation.
As we drove up the country road, we spotted a sight we hadn’t seen for hours. A human!!
I jumped out of the car, hotel name in hand and did my best to smile and pretend that the ordeal of five minutes ago had not happened. He read the name, chuckled to himself and then took great pleasure in announcing we were in the wrong town.
Luckily, he was able to set us back in the right direction. And a quick call to the landlady once we picked up signal and we were all set.
One last drama, I was dying for the toilet at this point. The babybel had well and truly gone through me and I needed a stop, but it was chucking it down, we were on the right path finally… could I hold it in? Turns out I couldn’t. So I forced Mo to pull straight into the nearest B&B. Car stopped and I flung myself out and ran to the entrance, only to be met by a very disgruntled old man who was not impressed by me showing up looking like a drowned rat at his door begging to use the toilet.
The public ones just over the road should be open he said.
At that moment I knew I could either politely apologise and head to the public loos, but I knew I couldn’t make it so I did the worst thing. I lied and told him I had tried them already and they were locked and that I truly was desperate. Begrudgingly, he let me in to his cream carpeted B&B with perfectly clean toilet, and as I closed the door I heard him say to his Mrs, ‘I’ll just go check that the public toilets are unlocked, I’m pretty sure I opened them this morning.’ Eek, I was now on a time limit and needed to get out prontoooo. I RAN out of the loo shouted my thanks got in the car and turned to Mo…
We escaped just in time.
Turns out it’s really quite simple to get to Ty Derw, once you’re on the right track. Exhausted from our trip we couldn’t wait to get inside and what a treat awaited us. Ty Derw was just what we needed. Cosy, clean, modern, with all the amenities to help us relax. It deserves it’s own review, but for now know that our room was exactly the idyllic getaway Mo had dreamed of gifting me.
And funnily enough it had been the perfect kind of day.
Although I did his head in, and we disagreed with directions, and I worried far too much, and he didn’t listen, and we didn’t do anything we were supposed to do… it had been a heck of a lot of fun.
I often see articles on social media pop up – how to write a good blog post, 10 blog post ideas, how to get your blogging mojo back… all super useful I’m sure. And I’ll be honest I did read a lot of them.
But whilst I was changing the look and feel of my blog and spent a bit of time reading back some of my old posts, I remembered why I blogged. It wasn’t just to share all the wonderful things I do to lure others into getting out there and doing the same. It was also to remind myself of these wild and wonderful journeys and how much they make me smile.
We didn’t end up climbing Snowdon that weekend. We did climb Cader Idrees though. Well, sort of. But that’s a whole other story ?.