We got married in the rain. I adore the sound of heaving drops tapping on the roofs when I am warm and cosy inside. Rain, I have always felt, brings many blessings.
This is just as well, since for the second week of our amazing honeymoon we journeyed into Snowdownia.
I recorded the tale of our best adventure there in the log book:
' After our wedding on the 2nd August Ty Uchaf was our own piece of paradise for the second week of our honeymoon. We spent our first week at St Winifred's Well, a Landmark trust property in Shropshire. Already recharged and full of energy our plan was to set out on some big walks and enjoy the views. We spent our first full day orientating ourselves, looking around Betws y Coed and walking from the house to Llyn Elsi. We weather was mixed on Wednesday and so we headed to Penrhyn Castle - a beautiful and interesting stop.
Finally on Thursday the day for our adventure arrived. Following local advice we spurned the tourist laden Snowdon trail to Llanberis and drove the short distance to Moel Siabod. We parked at the Cafe by Bryn Glo and turned right onto the road, then took the left hand road over the bridge. Already the walk was beautiful as the path turned steeply upwards. we had been reassured that from the summit it would be possible to view 13 of the 14 peaks of Snowdownia, and at 2950ft Moel Siabod was a majestic challenge. Past an abandoned slate mining village and two beautiful mountain llyns the ridge we were to attempt still rose above us. Moel Siabod was not going to give in easily.
The path, or route we had to follow, rose steeply upwards and large steps became bouldering challenges! We climbed, scrambled and helped each other along the way. When things looked very tough a man named John and his friendly dog Max appeared. Max only had four short legs so we helped him up a few of the rocks. the company of John and Max helped make a punishing ascent enjoyable. Sadly, not 10 minutes from the summit Max had had enough and he and John turned back. Graham and I soldiered on - and we made it! The view was immense and every bit as spectacular as it claimed to be. We could see clearly all the peaks of the Snowdownia range. We stooped for a short while to celebrate before descending on the shallower north side - not that it was that shallow. Moel Siabod had us scrambling and choosing out footing until we were only a mile from the car. We headed home happy and exhausted, fully deserving of our hot baths and cold wine.On Friday I could barely walk! We explored the amazing Swallow Falls and Fairy Glen - both well worth it. we had intended on taking on Snowdon via the Watkins Path on Saturday, but we finally chose a cosy day in admiring the cottage. Sunday came all too soon - we headed to Beddgelert - a beautiful little spot with stunning views all the way. now it is our final evening and Snowdon will have to wait for our return. Ty Uchaf is a special place and a wonderful setting in which to begin your married life. Moel Siabod we salute you!
11 - 17th August 2014'
Winter food was the fayre in Wales - for some reason it is always colder there than anywhere else! But, in the beautiful slate miners cottage 20 minutes hike from a forestry farm track and more than 3 miles form the nearest public road, the huge warm fire and big dinners made Ty Uchaf the cosiest place in all the world.
Honeymoon is, of course, a time of great blessing. It is a time to revel in each other and learn new things about each other. The challenge of Moel Siabod certainly ensured that we both knew what the other is like under pressure! And, we both helped each other. I remember feeling quite tired and scared at some points in the journey, and I am sure that my husband felt the same, but we laughed and joked, and sat and took a few minutes to reflect and recoup our energies to travel the next bit. For all the difficulties the mountain offered I would jump at the opportunity to do it all again.
On our way to Ty Uchaf we visited the major shrine to St Winifred at Holywell. It was there I discovered that we would have to move home when we returned from honeymoon. I was alarmed by this, and prayed to St. Winifred that everything would work out. I was also nervous about explaining this to Mr. Cloister at first, but when I told him he looked up from his wine glass and said, 'Do you think we could stay here?'
Sadly, we couldn't stay there, but we do have a lovely new home in the country, and having a new place has been good for us. So, I thanked Winifred for he prayers and have made her the patron of our home.