After our last visit to Llanberis and the Lonely tree our sights turned towards other areas of Wales that we hadn’t visited before and this time we chose the Ogwen valley as there seemed to be a lot of interesting photographs coming from that area, it was also half an hour closer to home so we didn’t have to get up so early. Initially when we woke up at stupid o’clock I looked out of the window and saw the rain and just got back into bed but as the morning went on it was decided that ‘why the hell not’ and off we went with hope in our hearts that the weather would be kind and give us a break. Little did we know………
The Ogwen Valley, or Dyffryn Ogwen in Welsh, blew our minds! Part of the Snowdonia National Park in north Wales, this wide glacial valley is surrounded by the most amazing mountains and tucked away are these little lakes with waterfalls, in the rain anyway, as well as historic towns and massive quarries where Slate, Copper, Lead, Zinc and other minerals were mined. We drove through the valley with so many wonderful views but no stopping points and in its autumnal colours, well it was just breathtaking, the colours were rich and saturated and the light was diffuse through the rain, perfect.
When we arrived at the visitors center and youth hostel it was raining, nothing wrong there it had been raining all day off and on, so we had lunch in the car and this is where it was starting to go down hill to one of the worst days ever. To start with the lining of our big flask exploded when it was being filled, so no coffee, that’s number 1. We waited for about half an hour for the rain to go off but it didn’t so struggling into our waterproofs we decided to head out and explore which is where my idea of a walk and Chris’s idea kind of diverged. I wanted the easy route around the lake, he thought I meant the lake to our right not left and took us off that way, it was stunning!
But it was still raining and it was a struggle to walk along the path because who knew there would be so many idiotic people like us walking out in the rain! Hikers, dog walkers, kids on a school trip, all soaking wet and smiling. We were unsure of the path and there was so much to look at, rushing water over rocks, mountains, waterfalls everywhere and we just wanted to stop and drink it all in, in the rain. This is where it gets tricky because here I am big waterproof pants that I had forgotten reached up to my chest and were now pooling around my ankles, new waterproof coat, remember that, camera bag, tripod and new Nikon Z7 mounted on said tripod and I am looking like I don’t know what with a head on a swivel trying to take in the views all at once so I could get the best photos and my new Nikon Z7 flew through the air and crashed onto the stones at my feet, it had detached from the tripod! That’s number two!
Yes my lovely and very expensive camera was on the floor in a puddle, the whole world stood still!
We had made it approximately 400 meters up the damn mountain and I’d broken my lens, the glass was ok but the lens its self looked bent and the focusing ring had a gap on one side, noooooooo! We decided to press on but the shine was gone from the day, I wonder why and yes it was still raining, anyway we made it up to Llyn Idwal and that is where I stalled, emotionally spent and overwhelmed by the view I’d had enough! I took my best photo of the day at the lake but I wanted to go home and cry in the privacy of my own home, in my p’jays, with coffee, warm and dry and as we turned back the sky lightened and the rain started to thin out and the views down the valley stunned my mind. We made it back to the car in one piece, struggled out of our very wet weather gear and to cap off the day found ourselves wet through.
Yes our coats had done a great job but mine in particular had leaked through the arms and the zip and the shoulders and the back, ok it failed spectacularly and it was not a cheap coat, my old waterproof trousers had done a better job of keeping me dry, that’s number three. And it stopped raining as soon as we got into the car! How I wished we had stayed home and I’d had a p’jay day. Anyway, our waterproofs and boots took three days to dry out and my camera was packed up and sent to Nikon for repair all that was left was to look through the photos I had taken and to process the ones I liked the best and here they are for your delectation, I hope you enjoy them.