By: Blonde Two


If you recall, Day One of my Welsh Bothy trip saw Running Girl and I setting off; a) Far too late. b) From the wrong place. c) With very heavy packs.

I knew that Day Two was going to include a longer walk (15K) across the hills from one reservoir valley to another, so we dragged ourselves out of our sleeping bags reasonably early … and then faffed … a lot!

Actually, most of the faffing occurred whilst still inside the sleeping bags. An experienced girl can eat breakfast, brush her teeth and put on a pre-warmed bra without extricating herself from her snuggly cocoon. She can also discuss men, beards, politics and poo (often in the same sentence!)

Screenshot 2016-02-18 19.32.52

The Ordnance Survey map snippet above shows most of our route. Up from the Lluest  Cwm Bach bothy to the top of the Craig Goch Reservoir (sounds easy but we chose the bog instead of the long detour); and then over the hills along the byway or Monks Trod to the top of the Claerwyn reservoir. We didn’t see any monks or 4×4 vehicles, but I have a theory about this. From either end the track does everything a track should; it is clearly defined, has an element of width to it and sports marvellous views.

Monks' Trod Feb 2016

In the middle section (about 5K) however this track does not behave well; in fact, it does a very good impression of being a bog instead of a track. Not just any bog either (part of it is actually a nature reserve) this bog was too wide to go round, too confusing to navigate and too cold to go fall over in. It was, in fact, so cold that we discovered a new Blonde phenomenon i.e. Bog-Snow! Note the, “I’m only pretending to smile now!” expression on my face.

B2 Bog Snow Feb 2016

I had a bit of a moment in the bog; but I will tell you about that another day.

Because I thought our track was a Roman Road, Running Girl and I were cursing (in ever more vulgar terms) the Romans for choosing such a stupid route. As it turns out it was Cistercian Monks we should have been castigating, so apologies to Caesar!

We made it to the other side eventually, but ran out of water (ironic because we were surrounded by its many forms), lost a lot of time (ironic because we could have got out of bed earlier) and got a bit confused about our precise location (ironic because I am supposed to know how to do that!)

Monks Trod Near Dark

Despite the bogs, the snow and the irony, we just about made it off the hill before dark (there were stars); but that was the good news. The not-so-good but completely-our-fault news was that we still had 5K to go before we reached the bothy. Luckily we had found our way to this one in the dark on our visit last year (are you spotting a theme here?) so we didn’t have too much to worry about …

Except that is, for Emily …

Emily Claerddu Bothy