Saturday, June 09, 2012

Wales - United Kingdom

We landed on Thursday afternoon in London and went home with Swathi who picked us from airport. We had planned a trip to Wales on early Friday morning. The driving burden had to be taken by only Vinayaka and Swathi for the entire trip as i was not allowed to drive the rented car with my Indian license. We started from Chertsy around 9:30 and started driving towards Wales which is around 4hours away. Our destination was Bala in Wales where we had booked a B&B (Bed and Breakfast).

At around 2 in the afternoon we saw a sign board Pistyll Rhaeadr Waterfalls. We took a turn from our actual route and after around 15miles drive we reached a beautiful water falls. The water was pretty cold and the weather was perfect and pleasant. After playing in water for some time we decided to hike to the top of the falls. It was a small hike of around 30min to reach the peak. The best possible view would have been to cross the waterfalls on the top and view from the other side. After some hesitation all of us crossed the water flow to reach the other side from where the view of the entire falls and the valley was spectacular.

We reached Bala B&B at around 7 overlooking the big Bala lake in front of our room. The place we stayed was a spectacular eg of British style architecture of a house. We went around the small town Bala for an evening dinner after which we heard the road ahead was completely blocked due to a major accident. Myself and Vinka went on foot to see what has happened but the police didn't allow to go any further and we had to head back to our room.

Next day we had plans to go to Snowdonia national park. After breakfast we started driving towards Snowdonia, there were 3 things which attracted my attention one was the cyclists enjoying the valley cycling in groups, 2nd was hikers and 3rd was rock climbers climbing huge cliffs. Off the 3 I missed the rock climbing the most as I have never tried it. Huge mountain cliffs and I could see many people hanging at different places. It was a spectacular view to see the spirit and adventurist nature of these people. Probably that was the reason why the British managed to explore so many places across the world.

At Snowdonia national park we took the mountain train, since we had around 2hours time to board the next train we hiked to a waterfalls around 30min from the station. After spending some good time around the waterfalls we took the train to the peak. Since we had rough weather the train couldn't take us to the peak and we had to return back just before reaching the peak. But the view of the entire valley was spectacular. I missed the opportunity to trek these places due to limited time I had. But enjoyed looking at many other trekkers who were enjoying. One thing I observed was the treks in India are more interesting due to the wilderness it offers. Most of the treks over here are well marked and people can only land in trouble due to their stupidity, however back in India each trek is totally wild and rough. Risk and challenge is offered on every step we walk and the worse is limited help which can be provided if one lands in trouble, we are left on our own.

Back from the train we headed towards the Llechwedd Slate Caverns mine. I had never gone inside a mine before. After watching the movie Sanctum I had a wish to go to a mine to get a feel. It was an amazing never before experienced feeling. It was very cold down under and pitch dark if lights are turned off. The best was to watch a small beautiful lake deep inside the mine. I wonder how difficult it is to work in mine with such harsh weather conditions and roughness. I missed doing photography as they used to turnoff the lights the moment they finished explaining each place inside the mine. But it was an amazing experience which I never had earlier.

From Slate mines we drove to Llandudno Beach the drive along the sea side on the mountain was spectacular. The light was perfect for some good photo shoots. After enjoying our time with a walk along the mountain and the beach we headed towards and Indian rather Bangladeshi restaurant after which we drove back to Bala.

We had some plans to explore some places around Bala but then we were tired and then we decided to rest along the Bala Lake where in lots of people had camped. However after lying lazily for some time we decided to try canoeing for the first time. I did Canoeing for the first time and it was a great experience reason being we had to do it ourselves with no helping hand. The tough part was to control the direction of the boat. But after almost one hour we were pretty good as we managed to control the direction as well we as we got a feel of how to do it. After this we headed back to London.

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