For Mothers Day my sister and I decided to take my mom (and my dad of course) to North Wales as she had always wanted to try the zip wire located there. So once booked, we set off on the Thursday morning on our trip to the Welsh highlands.
When we finally arrived we decided to stop for lunch and of all the lovely places we could have eaten, my dad chose Burger King at the services. Typical. Following this we had a very brief (and I mean brief) look round Bangor, which, from what I saw, was very pretty.
We then went on to Zip World, home to Europe’s longest, and the worlds fastest zip wire named Velocity. After dressed up in our rather interesting overalls and harnesses, we made our way up to little Zipper, a smaller zip wire to test out and practice.
To go down the zip wire you have to hold this really awkward press up position and then pull your hands back to allow the harness to take your weight. It was definitely a bit of a workout and a struggle to start. Here are my parents demonstrating the correct positioning, not bad for oldies? Haha
Once we had tried the smaller of the two, we were lumbered into a truck and were taken up to the top of the quarry. The rickety journey uphill was scarier than the actual zip wire!
At the top, we could really get a feel for how high we were and the mile long wire seemed endless!
My sister and I volunteered to go first, essentially to get it over and done with, and it was only once we were strapped in that the instructors informed us that the instructors at the bottom were still in training. Only slightly unnerving.
Anyway, eventually we whizzed down and it was incredible! The wind was so strong and the speed was phenomenal, I would definitely do it again (maybe not for the price though!).
Here are my parents hanging about after their go. They came down all the way from that big hill in the background!
After our adrenaline rush we made our way to Caernarfon where we were staying in a good old Airbnb! Once unpacked and settled in, we took a walk around the town and had dinner in the self-proclaimed ‘Welshest pub in Wales’; The Black Boy Inn.
It was absolutely crammed inside and we could see why, it was lovely! I had boar pie for my dinner, finished with plenty of veg and those classic sweet potato fries (better than normal fries).
To walk off our dinner we took a stroll along the beach which was covered in an amazing amount of shells. I don’t know what it is but there is something very appealing about shells.
After watching the sunset over the castle, we went back to our home for the weekend and headed to bed.
The following day was the big day. We were going to hike Mt Snowdon. I’d done a little bit of research to figure out the best route to take and although the Llanberis route was apparently the easiest, others had suggested that the Pyg Track was also not too bad.
Oh how they were wrong.
When you have two parents over the age of 50 (one almost 60) and a sister that doesn’t enjoy walking on flat ground, let alone hills, the Pyg Track is not the one to try.
However we soldiered on with lots of rest breaks. A family rift was definitely growing with everyone getting short tempered and just desperate to make it up the hill. The only thing making it worthwhile were the views and a pack of wine gums we shared.
Here’s my dad looking tiny compared to the huge summit of Mt Snowdon.
After a long, and I mean long – we were overtaken by the world and his dog – hike we eventually made it to the top.
And it was cloudy.
However, as we sat in the café at the top (I know, a café!) regaining energy in the form of sausage rolls and pasties, the fog slowly cleared and we finally got a good view from the peak.
After realising the train back down was £22 (!!!) my dad and sister decided to join my mom and I on the walk back down. However, this time around we took the significantly easier and less stressful Llanberis route.
It was basically a track with a long and windy slope to the bottom. After finally reaching another café at the bottom (I swear there are more cafés around Snowdon than in my local town) my dad decided to pack it in and we got a taxi back to the car park and made our way back to our holiday home.
That night, with sore feet and tired legs, we had traditional fish and chips from the seaside (scampi for me mmmm) and caught an early night.
The Saturday was an activity my sister chose called Bounce Below which is a giant network of trampolines located in the underground caverns of a former mine. After donning hair nets and a helmet (never a good look), we entered the caves.
The pictures really don’t do it justice for how big it was. There were different levels and rooms with slides and slopes to get between them. The bouncing was also a struggle after trying to recover from climbing a mountain the previous day and we were all shattered after our time was over.
As the sun was out (although you can’t tell from the caves!) we decided to visit Harlech, a place my mom had visited when she was little. It had lovely views of the ocean from above and a castle overlooking the village. Whilst there we grabbed an ice cream where I tried their award-winning Elderflower ice cream. Needed some gin with it really.
After another busy day we headed back to Caernarfon where we visited a seafront pub and had a delicious dinner of locally caught mussels.
For our last day I had decided to give myself a real challenge and signed up for the self-proclaimed toughest half marathon in the UK – The Snowdonia Half – and trust me it was tough!
After arriving virtually on the start line I set off for the 13.1 mile, 577m elevation run and I have to say it is my favourite half marathon I have done so far!
The views were beautiful, the ups and downs made the run more interesting and the high ratio of males to females meant I pushed myself harder.
Obviously it wasn’t my fastest time for a half (think I’d have had a heart attack out of shock if it was) but I still ranked well and impressed myself with my persistence.
No goodie bag (booo!) but I did get a t-shirt, a medal and some serious thigh chaffing to remember it by.
Following the run, after a hopeless attempt to re-energise myself with half a bag of Haribo Tangfastics, I fell fast asleep in the car for the long journey back home.
On the drive to and from Mount Snowdon my dad ended up putting the same song on from one of his albums and I think Stevie and Lindsey’s tumultuous relationship perfectly sums up the rifts developing within my family as we ascended the mountain. We’re okay now we’re on flat ground though.