Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Hitchventure 2012: Day 3...

I woke up groggy. I'd had a tough night.

When I was rigging my tarp up I didn't notice the little white clouds with black legs walking around. Now it was dark and I was trying to sleep I really did notice them. Sheep, everywhere. They were noisey, I could hear them pulling the grass out, a couple baaaa'ed all night and I swear one of them let out a prolonged, human sounding, fart. One tripped up on my guy rope and there was a large commotion as I shoo'd them away wearing my boxers and a head torch.

Shower was awesomsauce as per usual. Had to pay £1 for 7 minutes though. Then I was free. It was ascent time! I ate a huge breaky in 'Pete's Eats'. A caffi (Welsh spelling) but more like a hostel. Obviously taken up the slack of the official YHA property. Big, cheap food, communal areas to be used 'as and when' by scouts, groups etc. and showers at £3 a go.

Asking in a few shops, mountaineering outlets etc if they could look after my bag for a couple of quid revealed that the "No win, no fee, lose my stuff and I'll sue you" mentality had hit Wales. All I wanted was somewhere to leave my pack while I went up the mountain. A small hotel was obliging 'but if anything happens we accept no responsibility'. Yes, yes I gathered that was coming.

I'd read that there was an 80% chance of a clear summit today, and it looked like it was going to be true. Lovely fluffy clouds soared over, casting shadows on the  surrounding mountains.

I'd done it again though. with the big 'I am'. Snowdon. Pfft piece of cake. Far from it. I'd even taken the least steep route! Llanberis path runs from the town of Llanberis over a 4.5 mile route to the summit. But I was panting and sweating and spluttering. A sign of my bad fitness and the need to give up smoking!

My back was the worst. my shirt was drenched. I'd, sensibly, worn a non-wik-away super-duper mountaineering shirt. Some people call them I'm-going-out-on-the-town-not-a-mountain shirt. And this collected ALL of the sweat my body could produce. It was disgusting. As I was passing people they would wait a minute and then murmur, presumably to their comrades, about the big dark patch on my back.

Oh well, screw it, I'll never see them again. That's what travel makes you appreciate. Your not in the business of impressing, you don't really give two hoots what anyone thinks. It's pretty selfish business.

Then at about 800 meters in came the clouds. Big fluffy clouds that soaked anything and anyone in them. Luckily I'd bought the 'cheapest mac in the shop' and pulled it out of its stuff sack, tearing the sack in the process.

So now I was sweating on the inside and getting pretty much rained on on the outside. wonder if there was any point in the jacket... Wasted £24.99.

I was gasping for a drink when I got to the top. Gave the Cairn a hug and hurried in to the cafe to shelter from the wind. No cold tap to be found. None in the toilets and none of the staff would fill it up. I bought a snickers, ate it, then bought another one and munched that down.

If I'm really honest with you I was ready to get the train down there and then. I was shagged, 2 nights of sleeping rough, a party with a heard of sheep during one, and walking 1085 meters up a mountain in a cloud had sucked it out of me.

I queued for the ticket, plastic debit card in hand. 2.5 hours to wait and £10 to get down! Screw this. I huffed out of the cafe back in to the fluff and started down Llanberis path. I'm glad I did. It was no where near as hard as the climb up. I was using bizarre new muscles very rarely used. Walking-down-hill muscles. And I was facing the scenery. not a path of rock and gravel.

Grabbing my bag I spoke with the guy behind the counter of the hotel who was intrigued with what I was doing. I explained and urged him to grab a piece of card and try it. He told me about a hotel that served £2 pints with free internet. I ran till my little heart could pump no longer. Lager

I ended up pretty drunk off of my £10 in the bar. The sign of how little I was eating. I wandered around Llanberis and found a quaint old church with its gates locked. I scampered over the dry stone wall and noseyed round. Seemed like no one was there and what looked like the perfect hobo alcove in a side door to the right. Out of sight and out of mind. I fashioned a little bed as best I could, tarp at the ready incase it rained.

Then I just sat there, listening, watching the clouds and generally trying to take my mind off the fact that I was hunkering down in the grounds of a church with a graveyard!

I'm in no way superstitious or have any belief in the afterlife blah blah blah but something just didn't feel right. It was probably the thought of getting caught. But hey, what's the worst they can do? Ask me to move on?

I turned my netbook on to chill out a bit with a film. My choice: [Rec], The Devil Inside or Machete! Nice one Adam. Only horror films.

Then all of a sudden the organ chimed up inside the church! Not just random notes but whole scores of music. I was nervous as hell. I was now snuggled down outside a door with god knows how many people inside practicing the organ!

It was played well though. I have plenty of videos of it! They'll be coming later. They practiced for about an hour and then I heard shuffling, banging and finally a big ole lock turning. Phew.

I had trouble sleeping the whole night. The concrete wasn't particular comfortable, the temperature was alot cooler than the previous night and whenever I opened my eyes I could see 4 or 5 bats flying around the alley next to me.... Oh god

Click here to carry on to Day 4

1 comment:

  1. Up at night with boxers and a head torch in a field of Welsh sheep. Must have been scary for the sheep still, I hear it's legal in Wales. LOL

    Good one on climbing Snowdon. Stay safe. D x