Roughing it, while climbing it
For anyone who knows me well the idea of me ‘roughing it’ in the wild is a laughable activity. Although I have always had horses and am used to being out in all weathers and getting mucky, I also have a fondness for white towels and warm hotels (doesn’t everyone?). My previous travels have led me to glamorous destinations such as Dubai, Paris and Barcelona, with business class travel, spas and shopping. However a recent addition to my life (namely a man who likes everything outdoors) and new found hobby (climbing of all things) has lead me in a new (and much wilder) travel direction…
Beautiful sandy beaches, clear blue sea, jelly fish and sunshine you could be tricked into thinking that I am talking about the sunny shores of the south of France, but on a recent climbing excursion we wound up in Wales and I was pleasantly shocked at how beautiful the place was. Gogarth is a sea cliff climber’s paradise with an abundance of rocks rising out of the sea and route upon route to satisfy the climbing craving. Picnicking on the cliff top the water looked as blue as the sky and there was an abundance of flowering and sweet smelling gorse. For none climbers – the bottom of the cliffs are just as stunning as the top with powdery golden sand and lots of paddling (or if you’re brave enough, swimming) potential. There is a lot of wildlife to be seen in this area, and I had a good poke around in the rock pools whilst ‘the boys’ were climbing the harder stuff. I spotted plenty of jelly fish (some were huge!) and lots of tiny fish which were chilling in the warmer shallower water. We camped on a camping beach near to Holyhead, much to my delight, which was only my second experience of ‘wild camping’. Of course we had taken a few home comforts namely strawberries and wine (you’ve got to have a little glamour in your life) and as the sun went down we played Frisbee on the beach.
After being woken early to the sea lapping at the shore (amazing!) we had some breakfast and headed further on our Wales road trip to Llanberis, where there is an old slate quarry. This is a popular place for climbers and walkers alike, the quarry is immense in size and quite beautifully menacing. Personally I couldn’t believe how much rock there was there, and it almost seemed otherworldly to me. The views across Llanberis to Snowdonia were stunning and being not too far away from the centre of the small town we even indulged in some breakfast in one of the cafes after another night of camping. Wales is certainly set up for the simple traveller something I never thought I would embrace, the small eateries welcome mucky boots and unwashed hair, and with everyone in the same boat there is a jovial atmosphere to the place. It helped that the weather was perfect (a rarity in the UK) but the sun helped me realise how much beauty there is to see in England (perfect for a low cost weekend get away).
The full piece can be seen at Born to be a Tourist plus check out other travel pieces by Louise Gibney