Sunday, 8 July 2012

In the shadow of Cader Idris

After Shetland we thought we'd stay a bit closer to home. Well sort off. To take advantage of the additional public holiday graciously granted to us by virtue of her Maj having been queen for 60 years we thought we'd escape the endless sycophantic TV coverage and diappear to the wild s of Mid Wales and one of our favourite places in the shadow of Cader Idris - Dolgellau.

In the the time honoured tradition of British public holidays and Wales in particular it was a bit wet. OK very very wet but a lot warmer than Shetland.  We were only able to stay for a day or two so our first port of call was a circle just past Barmouth on the way to Harlech

This is a big circle and I couldn't photograph it in its entirity but this shot gives a good idea of the sheer bleakness of the scene.

 Llecheiddor stone circle is not terribly accessible. It is a steep pull up the hillside and the weather was pretty appalling. The days of rain had left it  even wetter underfoot than is usual for Welsh moorland and the circle is in the middle of some pretty boggy ground which would have been wet even in better weather. As it was we were hopping from tussock to tussock and trying not to step in the worst of it. Hard work and tiring with a strong wind and a smattering of rain  doing its best to try and blow you back down again. Very much a case of 3 steps forward and 2 back at times. 

Just above the circle is a long abandoned farmhouse and we joined the long suffering sheep in enjoying the shelter of a drystone wall for a few minutes before pushing on up the hill and circling back to the welcome warmth and dryness of the car.

The next day the weather looked a bit brighter so we headed back to Barmouth and up to a site we had previously visited. This time though rather than visit the circle  we were headed for the woodland - Cae Gwian and the standing stone  which is all that is now readily visible of the complex of circles and stones that once stood there.

This was a much more pleasant expedition and reminded us why we keep returning to this part of the country over and over again.

Our final find of this trip  was this rather nice little burial tomb. It was well hidden behind a barn and snuggled up against the wall and easily overlooked, Worth the search though to find Gwern Einion.

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