Selasa, 07 Juni 2011

Traveller's Journal: Snowdonia National Park - Day 5

If there was one thing I had noticed from my travels around Wales it was the extensive use of the Welsh language. The people of Wales are extremely proud of their country and rightly so. The language helps Wales keep its identity. Many are resentful of English domination and prefer the idea of more independence.

But one thing was for sure. No one could deny the natural beauty of their country and the warmth of its people. The A4086 to Betws-y-Coed may have been slow progress through the narrow twists and turns of the valley roads, but the sheer beauty of the region made the time irrelevant.

Another great aspect of the valley roads was the low volume of traffic. This was the Easter Bank Holiday weekend and any journey made in England would require a very early start. But with a population of little more than a million people, there's enough room for everyone.

Betws-y-Coed is a quaint little village just within the boundaries of Snowdonia National Park amongst the deep Welsh valleys. Commercial activity has led to the village outgrowing itself and it now bursts at the seams. Retail outlets fight for every square inch of space.

I decided to take advantage of this retail war and buy some new walking boots. After parking on this ridiculously steep hill I made my way to the action. My vulnerability to ingrowing toenails means having to buy at least a size bigger than I actually am to ensure enough space for comfort.

The big sale signs outside one store looked promising so I ventured in and soon found myself amongst the maps. There's something therapeutic about looking at maps. Maybe it's the natural human tendency to travel and explore.

The therapy however, only lasts for as long as you are left alone and out of the corner of my eye I spotted a shop assistant approaching in stealth-like fashion. I thought of making a dash to the other side of the bookshelf, but I had already fallen victim and had to admit defeat.

"The Ordinance Survey provides great detail in a 1:50000 scale as well as being weatherproof in its laminated cover," the man droned monotonously.

"Great," I replied, struggling to find any enthusiasm. "Where are the boots?"

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