|"Beyond the Fog" © Glyn Davies 2010|
As we headed North on the A55 towards Holyhead, the skies looked darker and featureless ahead of us, whereas Menai Bridge was bathed in strong Autumn sunlight. It was surprisingly early in the morning for us to even get out, but then the clocks had gone back the night before which helped!
|"Life Path", Tre'r Ceiri © Glyn Davies 2010|
I have no idea quite how the decision was made but we found ourselves parked below the three peaks of Tre'r Ceiri near Nant Gwrtheyrn! Carol and I followed the same route as my previous walk here with BBC Weatherman, Derek Brockway (the TV programme appears early in 2010). As before, the ground underfoot was wet, muddy and peaty and the air smelt richly of wet earth. I was amazed at how many of the facts I’d learned for the TV programme had already been forgotten as I tried to impress Carol with my local knowledge !
|"Iron Age Fog" Tre'r Ceiri © Glyn Davies 2010|
After crossing an expansive smooth hillside and winding our way up through bracken and a small kissing gate a stunning ancient hillside comes into view, covered in the ancient Iron Age fortress and settlement of Tre’r Ceiri, the largest such example in Britain with around 150 remains of hut circles. The terrain to get there was seriously wet and boggy and you can just imagine the hammer tribes of the area fighting their way across this land to beat off invaders.
|"Light in the Dark Ages", Tre'r Ceiri © Glyn Davies 2010|
As we approached the hill itself, low cloud and hill fog rolled in again, just like the Weatherman day and Carol and I were suddenly lost in the bright vapour. The stones underfoot were now wet and slippery but we soon found ourselves amongst strikingly well preserved hut remains, literally everywhere we looked to all points of the compass. And then we heard what we feared most, intruders, chatting distinctly in the fog, discussing food, clothing and where they’d come from. How dare they Without warning we were upon them, they looked so foreign in their shiny rainwear and fleece hats, ruining our place, and our peace. And then we heard a sad sound. The Pwllheli road was about two miles away or more but the incessant drone of tail to tail traffic somewhat took the edge of trying to step back in time, to imagine what it may have been like stand here on the hillside maybe 2500 years ago when Apple iPhones weren’t invented!
|"First Cuppa" (iPhone pic) © Glyn Davies 2010|
We sat on the summit in the swirling cold fog and munched our lunch (in my case some manly fare of Morrisons bacon & egg butties, raisin Club biscuits and hot sweet coffee, just like they would have devoured in the Dark Ages). As we sat there silently debating our tactics, we realised the enemy had slunk off, fearful of confrontation I’d say, so we were finally totally alone on the hill top. There is something SO timeless about being surrounded by fog, it isolates you from the mass of indications of modernity and to some extent deadens sounds also. As we left our lofty table and headed for the higher peak of Garn Ganol in the whiteout ahead of us the traffic disappeared and birds were silent. Just the sounds of our Goretex jackets could be heard rubbing as we walked. Carol was fascinated by the huge tunnel entrances and high rampart walls. It was easy to imagine here, how this settlement had survived to the start of the Roman era.
|"Exit Tunnel" Tre'r Ceiri ramparts © Glyn Davies 2010|
We reached the col and then started the long and today muddy slog up the steep slopes of Yr Eifl (Garn Ganol) the highest peak on the Lleŷn Peninsula. Apart from glimpses of view we were basically in low cloud and hill fog the whole way to the summit where we managed a self timed portrait at the cairn. It was a shame as Carol hadn’t been up here before and the views are normally breathtaking, with Ireland sometimes visible from one side and the whole stretch of Harlech Bay down towards Cardigan Bay on the other. This was part of the original Pilgrim’s trail (well nearly) and you can see why there would have been such spiritual reward in the journey itself, on their way to the final destination of Ynys Enlli (Bardsey Island). After a short coffee break we headed into even denser fog and followed the darker peaty footsteps down the West slope towards our final peak of Garn Fôr.
|"Carol dislodged a boulder on the way down but she put it back again" © Glyn Davies 2010|
It was very windy now, probably made worse by the proximity to the Irish Sea, not that we could, see it that is ! We summited late that afternoon and suddenly, a void opened in the cloud and the whole of the headland of Carreg y Llam appeared before us, jutting proudly out into an orange sunlit sea, silhouetted and dramatic within a majestic vignette of rapidly streaking mist. One minute you could see vast stretches of coast line, then just a headland and then just the rocks and grasses just twenty feet away. I was awestruck and shot several images in the few minutes of visibility.
|"Hazy Clarity" Nant Gwrtheyrn / Irish Sea © Glyn Davies 2010|
Leg-throbbingly tired now we retreated off this final peak and found the long dirt track back to the van along which spectacle after spectacle of sun though fog created images for me.
|"A Soft Leap" Nant Gwrtheyrn / Irish Sea © Glyn Davies 2010|
I shot several before we reached the van and the sun gave it’s last bursts as we drive down into the tiny village of Llithfaen and turned left for home in the suddenly earlier than normal dusk.
|"Raven Burn" Nant Gwrtheyrn at sunset © Glyn Davies 2010|
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