So today I was good and, after going out for lunch with G at our favourite pub, I drove up to the car park by the Cregennen Lakes. Being a Bank Holiday, there were quite a lot of people up there, but it still wasn't what you would call crowded.
There's always a strong breeze up there and walking round the end of the lakes, the air smelt of honey -- or rather heather, so I now know that a lot of the honey I eat must be heather honey. After a moment's hesitation, I decided to venture up Bryn Brith (lit. Speckled Hill) rather than walk along the much easier lower path alongside the lake. It's quite a steep climb and the view was hazy, but still magnificent. As I grew up in inner city Manchester, I still can't believe how lucky I am to live so close to such spectacular scenery. When we lived at the youth hostel, the Cregennen area was more or less in our back yard, but even now it's only 15 minutes drive away.
After pausing at the top to get my breath back and admire the view, I continued on along the ridge. I haven't been this way for many many years, not since we left the hostel, which would be 20 years now. Although there were plenty of people on the top of Bryn Brith, no one else was going this way -- apart from three small boys. I was a bit worried about them going so far on their own and when we reached the next small peak, their parents could be heard frantically yelling and waving. The boys happily waved back but seemed set on continuing. At this point I called to them and suggested that they perhaps shouldn't venture any further as their parents seemed to want them to go back. Fortunately, they capitulated and headed back the way they'd come. It is wild country when you don't know it and they could have got lost if they'd carried on.
So I continued alone, gradually descending now, following the narrow twisting path in the heather until I was almost back on the broader, lower track that runs at the base of the ridge. Here I decided to sit for a while and do some writing. I find writing outdoors is a great way to avoid distractions, apart from the scenery, of course. I managed 500 words on the WIP before moving on again.
As I headed for the lower track, I heard the loud Cronk-cronk of a raven. I stood for a moment to watch the pair of them riding the thermals coming off the cliff and doing what looked like rolls with their wings closed. Ravens are known for their aerobatic displays in the mating season, but sometimes I think they just do it for fun.
Now it was just a straightforward walk back to the car and then a short drive home.
NB: Photos in this journal entry were taken with the tiny 30 quid camera the size of a matchbox, so quality only as good as you might expect from such a device)