Getting to Snowdonia National Park

Thursday, July 25, 2013 @ 07:30 pm from Wales Wales
Day 29

Today was a pretty easy day of waiting around for public transportation. Llanberis, where I'm staying now, isn't very far from Llandudno and only required two local buses (totaling less than 2 hours of in-the-bus time). I took my time getting ready this morning, packed up and went on search of some sunscreen.

I only brought a tiny travel sized tube of sunscreen not expecting Ireland and the UK to be going through one of the biggest heat waves they've had in 7 years. I had about two squirts left so I set out trying to find some more. Unfortunately since Wales only gets a few weeks of sun a year, no where has sunscreen it seems. I went through several stores and struck out. I eventually decided I'd just find some later and hopped on the bus to Bangor.

On the bus to Bangor (the large city I needed to catch my connection to Llanberis) I saw that I couldn't check into my hostel until 5pm. It wasn't even 11am when I got into Bangor so I thought, what the heck, and walked around town for a bit. I went into a pharmacy and found some inexpensive SPF 50 sunscreen that should last me for quite some time. I had a quick bite to eat then walked down to the harbor area. I thought it would have been more situated for relaxing by the water but that wasn't the case. It was a ghost town there.

Since there wasn't really anywhere to hang out, I headed back to the city center and ran across an Aldi on my way. I knew I'd have access to a kitchen at this hostel so I bought some pesto filled ravioli, pasta sauce and some snacks for the hike tomorrow. I waited around a little longer but got bored and figured I'd just head to Llanberis on the next bus and find something to do there.

The 85 bus runs from Bangor to Llanberis every hour on the 45 minute mark and costs 3.10 pounds. The trip only takes 45 minutes which is nice. Once I got into town I hopped off and walked to a big lake to relax. Unfortunately some dark clouds were rolling in and I didn't want to get rained on so I went back into town. The clouds died out a bit so I went into some of the shops. I had been meaning to buy a hat since I didn't bring my own so I went into an outdoor shop and picked one up. It has a detachable flap on the back to cover your ears and neck which I thought was pretty neat. The guy working at the store was telling me about the Snowdon Sherpa bus service that takes you to some ascents up Snowdon than the ones from town. I'm going to do that tomorrow to get a much more scenic climb than if I left from the hostel.

I still had about 2.5 hours to kill so I went to a grocery and picked up some bread to go with dinner and a cider. I went back to the lake and found a secluded spot to enjoy my cider and an apple. I skipped a few rocks and sat around for a bit until it was time to head to the hostel and check in.

I walked the half mile up to the hostel and ended up waiting outside for about 15 minutes with a huge group of kids that looked like they'd just spent a few days backpacking in the forest. They finally opened up for checking in and I got my room. Instead of trying to shower right away with that big group in front of me, I went and cooked up my dinner (which tasted great) then got some of my gear situated for tomorrow.

The Sherpa bus leaves from town at 8:30am tomorrow morning and I want to make sure I eat breakfast and have a chance to run to the grocery to pick up a few more snacks for the hike. In order to do all that, I'll have to get up a little earlier than I have been, but it'll totally be worth it.
Teaser photo
Snowdonia National Park from Llanberis
Teaser photo
Snowdonia from view near hostel

Where this entry was written:

Where I've been:

Good Evening… Planet Earth
All the countries I visited on this trip (in yellow).

What's this about?

Traveling is something I've loved doing for as long as I can remember. I've been lucky enough to travel out of the US a few times but never longer than 2 weeks at a time. I decided that I should go see the world and experience all it has to offer. I booked a one-way ticket to Dublin, Ireland to depart on June 26, 2013. After I get to Europe I'll let serendipity take hold and see where I end up. No schedules and no itinerary… just go with the flow. That's as close to a plan as I'm making.

Who am I?

My name's Brandon O'Brien and I'm a travelholic. Before this journey I've been to 11 countries and put over 17,500 miles on various motorcycle trips through the USA and Canada. I'm a self-employed web developer so I'm fortunate enough to be able to work anywhere there's an internet connection. That's what truly made this experience possible.


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