Mount Snowdon – Highest in Wales

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Snowdon Mountain.

Snowdon Mountain.

Earlier this month, myself and Ash finished our long awaited hike to Snowdon Mountain. We have visited wales a number of times, but because of the famous welsh weather we could never hike this peak. But finally we got such a weekend with a bright beautiful sunny day to hike the summit.

Snowdon is the highest mountain in the Wales, at an elevation of 1,085 metres (3,560 ft) above sea level. It is located in the very famous Snowdonia National Park in Gwynedd. It is beautiful from every corner of North Wales.

There are number of paths to start your Snowdon hike to summit from easy grade to hardest one.

1.Watkin Path 2. Llanberis Path 3. Pyg Track 4. Miner’s track 5. Snowdon Ranger 6. Crib Goch

We took a combination of two routes to see different types of world around Snowdon, and I am very much glad that we opted for that( You will see in the pictures, why am I saying so) We went up by Pyg track and came down via Miner’s track. Both of the path starts at the same point at Pen-y-pass car park. If you are planning to drive there, I will suggest you to reach early as on a good day you will not get a parking space. If you do not get a parking here, your next parking point is 3miles down towards Llanberis, so either you come back via a Sherpa bus or walk (Pheww!!!)

Pyg Track-  It is not known how the Pyg Track got its name – it could be as it passes over the Pigs’s Pass (Bwlch y Mocl), because it is close to the Pen y Gwryd Hotel, or because pyg, in welsh, also means pitch, and part of the surface of the path looks like black pitch.  Whatever the origin, this path starts 1,170 feet above sea level which gives you a helpful start on the way. This walk is rugged, and very challenging, but the scenery is absolutely stunning.

View from Pyg Track

View from Pyg Track

Miner’s Track – The track was built during the 1800’s to serve Britannia Copper Mines which were abandoned in 1917.  Mine Manager Arthur Lockwood drove his car to Llyn Glaslyn, and the track to this point at the lake still resembles a road so is a good walking surface.  The track does get considerably steeper towards the summit.

At the foothills on Miners Track

At the foothills on Miners Track

Do not worry if not in the mood of walk, during the summer months you can reach the summit via Snowdon Mountain Railway.

Whatever path you choose believe me you will never fall short of mesmerizing views around you. Here are some pictures of the day, as always feel free to get in touch if you need help in planning a similar trip.

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Done & Dusted -We did need a celebration 🙂

 

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WPC: Half & Half

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My depiction of this week’s theme is the above picture taken by Ash during our holiday in the Lake District. That is me in the picture 😉

Half and Half- Tranquility meets the Soul 🙂

In response to – https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/half-and-half/

WPC:Shadowed- Mountains & Lakes

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I love this photo. There is story behind this picture- It was clicked in Norway, And you see a tiny human being on a kayak in the picture- He is Ash 🙂 I am not a good swimmer so was scared to get on to that deep lake with a Kayak. So Ash went for it alone, and there was no other person on that lake. I clicked this picture to keep an eye on him while he is over there, enjoying the tranquil nature that prevailed all around.

Luckily I found him through my lens in the shadows of mountains created on the lake surface, and I happened to capture the heavenly beauty that was all around me.

In response to : https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/shadowed/

Betws-Y-Coed- Postcard Village

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View from Miner's Bridge

View from Miner’s Bridge

Last weekend was an anniversary weekend, our 3rd wedding anniversary. So it definitely called for a weekend celebration. As we all know winter is upon us, me & ash wanted to enjoy one more trip to mountains for some hill walks, waterfall walks, village walks, lake walks. Believe me North Wales is paradise for it.

For few of next posts, I will be writing about each day visit to different villages 🙂

1st day in Betws-Y-Coed (Gosh I still do not know Welsh pronunciation), it’s meaning in english is “Prayer House in the Woods”. This exquisite picture card village is as beautiful as it name’s describes it. This village lies in the magnetic Snowdon National Park, a gateway to heaven for outdoor sports lover.

This village is part of Gydwr Forest which offers a number of walks for all the abilities. The very famous Swallow Falls is in bet-y-coed, which is a popular attraction for movie makers, picnics etc. As it attracts a lot of tourists, you will see a lot of local shops offering local wooden craft cravings, local beers, local handmade chocolates (yums) and beautiful cottages.

I lived in the outskirts of bet-y-coed, in a cabin in the woods at Llanwrst. It was a re-treat for us.

While in betws-y-coed, you have to just stand at the Miner’s bridge and admire the river flow, greenery around and simple village people living their livelihood, people walking around. Believe me even if there are people around you, it just offers a peace to you or may be I was in my tranquil moments 🙂 Also do visit St.Michael Church, from where the word “Prayers in the woods” originated.

Sharing some pictures of the day, hope you will love it as much as I did.

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Cabin- We stayed In

 

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Khajjiar- Mini Switzerland of India

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I always wanted to visit Khajjiar, a hill station in the district of Chamba, very popular with tourists in India and abroad.

How to get to Khajjiar- There is local bus service from Dalhousie to Khajjiar, but they are limited in number. So you have to plan your trip really well and within the local commute availability, especially if you are staying over at Khajjiar. Else you can opt for taxis services or if you have a car you can spend time at your own ease.

Best Time to Visit– Anytime of the year depending on your preference. Summer is everyone’s favourite and the most busiest time of the year. Accommodation can also get a bit expensive. We visited in winter, so could see some part of the area covered in snow. I bet it will look wonderful in snow as well. Something to be aware of if there is a forecast of heavy snowfall, the roads access to Khajjiar will be closed.

Where to Stay – We did not stay in Khajjiar as our base in Banikhet’s youth hostel, under the budget. But Khajjiar offers hotels, cottages, rest houses run by HP tourism, but there are some private hotels too.

It has another name to add to its popularity- Mini Switzerland of India, name given by Mr. Willy T Blazer, VC of Khajjiar in India . He also put a sign board of a yellow Swiss hiking footpath showing Khajjiar’s distance from the Swiss capital Berne-6194 km. Khajjiar is among the 160 locations in the world that bear topographical resemblance with Switzerland.It does live upto its name.

It is a combination of lakes, pastures and forest. You can either choose to sit near to a lake, or go for a long walk in the dense woodland of Pine forests. It is a treat to eyes this vast lush greenland.

Local: The main income of Khajjiar comes from tourist visiting this land. So you will find a lot of locals selling Saffron(Kesar), they claim it is the best in Himachal but you gotta check yourself. You can also get your photographs clicked in traditional himachal clothes, horse riding etc.

 

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Khajjiar

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Whimsical Loch Coruisk

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Loch Coruisk

 A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature. ~Henry David Thoreau

The lines above holds true meaning for the Loch Coruisk. It is one of the most beautiful fresh water lake lying at the foot of Black Cuillins and surrounded by other small islands makes it even more enchanting.

There are a couple of ways to get to this lock either by trekking from Sligachan or from Elgol (but you will have to cross the very famous Bad Step to get to the loch) or via boat trip from Elgol Village. Easiest way is a boat trip, and there is Bella Jane Boat Trips and Misty Isle Boat Trips that offers various packages for boat trips around various islands.

Pack some lunch, carry Midges repellent and get on to the boat for a mystical ride around the loch. The boat trip organizers will give you good information around the islands around, will take you through seal colony and then drop you at lock to explore it on foot.

We spent a good two hours on the loch and loved it. As per our boat man, Scavaig river flows through here and it is the smallest river of Europe.

Sharing some pictures instead of words to describe the beauty of this place.

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Hike to Ben Nevis- Britain’s Highest Mountain

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It was two months ago when me and hubby were watching this series on Mountains by Griff Rhys Jones. It was about mountains in england, Wales, Scotland the highest peaks, challenge associated and the surrounding mystical landscape. Till that moment I had no idea about the Ben Nevis or being it a highest mountain. But without a blink it was a mutual decision that Yes!! We are going to hike Ben Nevis Summit this summer!

At Ben Nevis Summit

At Ben Nevis Summit

Sometimes you don’t have to go through your bucket list to check what is next. You just add spontaneously something in to your list and that’s how on 28th June 14, we were on the summit of Ben Nevis.

It is a beautiful hike of 17Kms with some magnificent views around, that pushes you to walk further up. But once you complete the Summit, that rigorous walk of 8 hours gets replaced by sweet pain of accomplishment. You have a mixed feeling of happiness, proud and not to forget soreness :):)

Few pictures from our Hike.

Breath Taking View

Breath Taking View

I was not even Half way through till this point.

Not yet Half way through till this point.

As we climbed Up, View Was Getting More Awesome

As we climbed Up, View Was Getting More Awesome

Temp dropped down to -5 Degrees

Temp dropped down to -5 Degrees

It is true that one can rarely get a clear view from the Summit and it happened with us as well. As we were reaching towards Summit, there was snow and the whole thing was covered by thick clouds.

So once you reach at top of Britain, you will not be able to view anything down 🙂

Near to Summit, Everything is covered with Clouds

Near to Summit, Everything is covered with Clouds

Few details if anyone is planning to hike Ben Nevis:

1.Accommodation: Fort William is the perfect base. If you love camping as much as us, I will suggest you to stay at Glen Nevis Holidays Park. The location is awesome and it is cheap, you will be put up right at the foothill of Ben Nevis, over looking Ben Nevis Peak. Hike to Ben Nevis starts from visitor centre that is just 0.5 miles away from this site.

2. On hike: Waterproofs ( never forget them, it can rain or snow, never trust mountains weather), map, compass, water bottle, small snack box, fleece, thermal socks, walking poles, whistle, torch, mini first aid kit and most importantly a good walking boots.

3. Insect Repellent : Summer is great in highlands, but beware it’s Midges time. This tiny insect will suck the blood out of you, make sure you apply this creams or use a net.

4. A good level of fitness is required as it is not an easy mountain. You will be steeply climbing up till Summit and while returning, it’s a steep descend all the way till down. So tone up those muscles around knees, calves,feet.

5.Take a map along with and make sure, you are on a correct path that takes you up via Five Finger Gully and not via North Face. To climb Ben Nevis via North Face is a serious mountaineering experience.

6. Once completed the Summit, there is a nice Ben Nevis Pub right near to visitor centre. A pint will be a good way to celebrate.

Please free to get in touch with me if you need any specific information regarding hike or Fort Williams.

A night In a Cabin -Preikestolen Norway

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Norway – Where lakes touches mountains, mountains touches sky and the sky touches lakes !!! All of it together touches the tranquillity that prevails around you when you are in Norway.

On a summer bank holiday in August, me and Ash, along with two dearest friends(Nammi & Marcus) set off to Norway. We planned to stay in a cabin in Preikestolen as we were on a budget trip and other motive was to try something different and get connected to surroundings.

We took off the keys from the youth hostel reception, she gave us a direction for a small walk into the forest to get to our wooden cabin, they call it Veslebu or The Little Red Cabin. She warned us for couple of things-

1. You are own your own in that cabin as there is no other cabin nearby.
2. You have to use a compost toilet as there is no modern toilet facility down there in the forest. So basically you use the gravel to dig in sand and cover the poop. LOL I know it doesn’t sound cool, isn’t it?
3. There are no bathrooms, so either you take a dip in the river nearby or walk back to use hostel’s bathroom.
4.There is no heating but you have an old fireplace and chimney in the house to keep yourself warm. There are logs there, if not sufficient, you can choose to go out in forest and pick those dry wood. All you need is skills.

This information was good enough to feel the adventure that was coming along the way. I was excited to see this cabin and spend a night there.

It was a beautiful walk down to cabin, passed through some boggy lands, a tiny bridge, into woodlands and final in front of cabin.

My first reaction- Oh my God!! I have never seen such a beautiful place and I am getting a chance to spend a night here- In the lap of mother nature.

I am sure the photos below will prove my point :

View from the Preikestolen Reception.

View from the Preikestolen Reception.

The Red Cabin

The Red Cabin

Outside Cabin- A view to die for.

Outside Cabin- A view to die for.

Sky, Mountains, Rivers

Sky, Mountains, Rivers

Pure Reflections

Pure Reflections

Thanks to my dear hubby who captured all these moments to cherish for lifetime.

Well after clicking pictures, we unpacked. Started cooking, lit the fire, had a good card games and a lot to talk.

To our luck it was a clear sky that night. In night it was mountains, rivers, sky and Us gazing at the stars 🙂

Day came to end with a bottle of wine, it was time to go to bed because next morning we were to hike The Pulpit Rock.

Anyone visiting Preikestolen, I will recommend you to stay at this cabin for a different & amazing night – http://www.stavanger-turistforening.no/cabin.php?ca_id=2009 Do let me know if you need any further details. It is worth every penny.

While writing this blog, I was overwhelmed looking at the pictures and asked Ash to plan a visit again.

Ash Enjoying Kayking alone in this beautiful World!!

Ash Enjoying Kayking alone in this beautiful World!!