Windblown Oblivion


Llyn Newydd / New Lake

No. 101 #swimsnowdonia

elevation; 485m, depth; unknown

weather - chilly with sunny breaks

Itching to get out for some fresh air, we headed away from the masses to the desolation of the moors above Blaenau Ffestiniog. Passing our only other contact with humans in the car on the long, winding, single track in we parked up and felt the harsh chill in the wind. I was grateful of the extra coats I’d packed.

Following an old tramway, we passed several small quarries now abandoned, before coming across the first of two lakes. Llyn Bowydd, dark, choppy, peaty and decisively shallow looking. Because the grass is always greener on the other side we headed to it’s sister lake, Llyn Newydd which, was just out of sight a few hundred metres away.

Thankfully, it was infinitely more inviting, although just as windblown and lacking in any shelter, yet a conveniently placed slab of slate made a great seat, so out came the flask. The surrounding area is shallow, peaty and incredibly wet, creating dark, intimidating and often cold lakes. So dark in fact it is difficult to see your feet if you paddle your toes, as they disappear into a orange hued oblivion. An orange hue that despite all it’s intimidation, I find I can’t resist.

It was cold today, the weather has turned. The wind was bitter and it was difficult to swim for any great length. I felt cold before I got into the lake. A brief, exhilarating dip into darkness, feeling slightly deprived of senses. The surface turned to an Inky Indigo as the light changed, it felt fierce and I felt a little cheated by my short swim.

Perhaps a little afterglow crept in, as we both decided the wind felt warm on exit and even let it dry our skin, before the coldness crept back and we were wrapped up in seconds and sipping hot coffee on the slate slab once more, discussing when we were coming back to swim again...

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