Saturday lunchtime we were walking through the woods around the back of Llanberis when we found ourselves looking out over a field at the end of which stood a lone Superlambanana looking slightly lost under a glowering grey sky and the benign look of some white cottages.
We had spent the night before eating soup and drinking beer amidst good company and gearing up for the prospect of a night spent in a mini Swiss chalet nestled amongst some hobbit hutches and a Celtic meeting room. The beer was flavoured with elderflower and went down very well indeed and managed to stave off the worst of the midges for a while.
The chalet was cozy until I woke at 4.00 in the morning as the beer took its toll and I was obliged to stumble out in the semi-dark with a torch so I could find a convenient tree on account of not yet having worked out the location of the compost loos. I had had a go of course earlier in the evening but found myself peering in through the windows of what transpired to be occupied hobbit hutches.
After the adventures of Friday night a walk was planned.
The plan kept simple. All we had to do was walk back up the hill until we found some white markers. We could then follow those to an old slate mine where we would find a stairway to heaven and a house full of old shoes.
Somewhat to our surprise the plan almost worked. We followed the white markers and they took us past the Superlambanana and then onto the slate mine. The slate mine was suitably abandoned and grey under the mountains. There seemed to be a number of options for the stairway to heaven and it transpired we took the wrong one. We scrambled to the top of it any way and ate flap-jacks and drank a pint of beer. We then scrambled our way back down.
Having scrambled our way down I put my hand on my head and realised that a new leather hat had been left on the top of the steep path we had just scrambled down. I had taken it off to better tip the can of beer down my throat. There was nothing for it but to mutter an oath and head back up the hill to fetch it. Three days later I can still feel the tightness in my thighs.
We didn’t find the house of abandoned shoes.
Back amongst the hobbit hutches some of us went for a swim in the lake whilst others got ready to do battle with the midges by sampling more of the elderflower flavoured beer. We then stood around a fire outside in the gloming and listened to stories and drank at prosecco fished out of a blue box in a cold stream. The same blue box also held some excellent smoked beer which joined forces with its elderflower flavoured ally. There was then time for more good food before a gathering in the Celtic hut where a fire was lit and we listened to talk of the mountains, and a whistle.
Later as we stood outside the midges descended. Vast bottles of emollients were produced and all available skin duly lathered. I did without confident that the combination of smoked and elderflower flavoured beer and the smoke from the fire would keep them at bay.
I was wrong of course and 24 hours later I became a twisting mass of bumps and itches.
We made it back home Sunday afternoon and I cooked a rum flavoured Jamaican chicken curry with rice.