I’m like Goldilocks. Bed’s have to be ‘just right’ for me to be able to get even a minute’s sleep. Unfortunately my ‘just right’ means ‘rock hard’ as far as most people are concerned, and I had to give up on the lovely squishy king sized bed at Gribyn Cottage and move to one of the singles on the landing area in the night. Still at least this meant that Rich got lots of space once I’d abandoned ship. Sleep, or rather lack of it, is an issue for me at the best of times, and I’ve resigned to never sleeping well on the first night when staying anywhere new.

Fortunately Rich slept very well and woke full of life. He knew that I’d not had such a restful night and so immediately started teasing me about the ghosties found in old barns, a reference to the fact that I often seem able to sense strange things in historic buildings. It’s a bugger being so sensitive at times, not least because it means that I’ve felt very uneasy in some places we’ve stayed. Here I feel safe and sound though, and even when I can’t sleep, I enjoy listening to the night sounds – wind swishing through the trees, owls hooting, and sheep baa-baa-ing. It’s a blessed relief not to be able to hear traffic, sirens blaring, or neighbours effing and blinding in the early hours. Although the cockerel could soon end up in the pot if he starts crowing before 7 am 🙂

Here we truly are ‘over the hill and far away’, and it’s heavenly. Once we’d eventually figured out how to break the goose eggs shells, and fished out all of the shell pieces, we each had a plate of scrambled eggs for breakfast (1 goose egg easily feeds 2 people). Rich then drove us along very quiet (and small) side roads to the parking spot at the entrance to Glaslyn Nature Reserve. The 6 mile walk took us down to the Wynford Vaughan Thomas memorial – a famous Welsh journalist and broadcaster from the 1930’s through to the 60’s; across to Aberhosan, and then back via a stretch of the Glyndwr’s Way – a national long distance trail that I’m determined to finish walking in the new two years.

The walk had a fair bit of up and down so that we could start getting our hill fitness back quite quickly, and took us through interesting hamlets full of friendly locals who always said at least “hello”. With glorious weather, and red kites playing in the skies above, I’m always surprised that so few people seem to visit these parts. But then that means that we get to enjoy the solitude. I find it wilder and more scenic here than the Brecon Beacons, and whilst admittedly the landscape doesn’t have the majesty of Snowdonia, it’s certainly more peaceful, and cheaper. It also seems to have more character. Crafts, trades and quirkiness are all taken very seriously here, and we decide that we’d fit in well.

Walking past Glaslyn – ‘The Blue Lake’, we plan a wild swim for later in the week, and are soon back with Skyra (our little car). She’s coming into her own already – taking on the tiny lanes with ease, and powering up the hills.

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Back at the cottage, one of the cockerel’s had found his way into the conservatory and was busy tormenting the tortoises. Eventually it gave up trying to elicit a reaction from them, and perched on a cactus…

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After lovely hot showers and a roast chicken dinner cooked in the well equipped cottage kitchen, we retired to the deck area for a last glass of the Aldi cava, and cuddles with Peaches the cat. Whilst Rich is less keen on fluffies than I am, they always take a shine to him regardless, and Peaches decides that his knee is the most comfortable spot in the garden. This is my favourite time of day when on holiday. No interweb or telly. Just us and the view.

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