London is an amazing city, with vibrant events happening on a day to day basis. But sometimes… this might be overwhelming as well. As someone who isn’t used to living in the city central, being in London might be exhilarating, but can often be terrifying as well. Summer is finally here and with that, I have just completed my third year of studies here as well. After being cooped up at home watching online lectures for a whole year, a few of my friends decided to take this opportunity to try something unfamiliar for all of us. With that, we packed up our bags and went for a short hiking trip in Snowdonia, Wales.
As someone who isn’t a fitness enthusiast, I was a little too optimistic when planning for our hiking trip. While planning for the trip, I got recommendations from different friends who have been there on places that we must visit while in Snowdonia. From there, I also got recommended this website called Komoot. Komoot allows hikers and travellers to share their travel itineraries with one another. From there, we were able to plan our hiking routes and to also estimate our travelling time. I will never fathom why I thought a 6 hours hike would be no biggie, but boy was I wrong.
Hike To Aber Falls
On our first day, we decided to hike to a famous waterfall in Snowdonia called Aber Falls. The plan was to take 3 hours to hike to the waterfalls, and another 3 hours to hike back down before taking an Uber back to our AirBnb. We made our first mistake of not checking into our AirBnb prior to the hike, as carrying all of our luggage together with us on the hike wasn’t an easy task. However, as it was still our first day, we were all in extremely bright and optimistic spirits!
Midway through hiking, we realised that the path suddenly disappeared. We spent some time looking around but concluded that there was no well defined path leading to the waterfalls from here on. We thus decided to make a bold decision to travel in the direction that leads to the waterfalls regardless of whether there was a path leading to it. This might sound like a reasonable solution but it came with a lot of difficulties as well.
Although trudging through different unfamiliar terrains awarded us with unexpectedly stunning views, allowing us to truly appreciate being apart of nature, we also had to maneuverer through hectic and dangerous terrains. This involved climbing down slippery and steep hills, sliding down rocky paths on all fours in case we fall straight down, and also jumping across slippery rocks over a river.
By the time we reached Aber Falls, 5 hours had already past. However, as the sun sets at approximately 9-10pm during summer time, we were awarded with a picturesque view of the waterfall, while the sunlight glimmers across the water. The peaceful aura created by the splashing of the water was rewarding and therapeutic, making us forget all about the challenging hike before.
To The Peak of Snowdonia
After a good night’s rest, we continued on with our hike to the peak of Snowdonia. As this was a more popular attraction, we found ourselves hiking through a well defined paths, and were also greeted by many other friendly travellers, a few of whom we also had great conversations with. Even though the hike was through stable rocky paths, we were met with another challenge of ascending up a 1000m mountain.
As we climbed higher, the view around us started getting foggy to the point where we had difficulties finding one another too through a distance. Every traveller who passed by us didn’t hesitate to tell us that we were almost there and we shouldn’t give up. At the peak of the mountain, even though the fog was so thick and we could not see anything, the feeling of conquering this huge challenge was indescribable. Even though the wind was so strong that we could not stay at the peak for long, we savoured every moment being up there, feeling like the king of the world.
Although we all came back exhausted and drained, I’m already pumped and am looking forward to our next hiking trip. With that being said, I hope to use this summer holidays to explore the UK, and to try out different opportunities that I have never thought to before. Besides, life is short. If not now, when?