Wild Swim; Lake of the Maidens

Monday, August 31, 2015

There are hundreds of lakes in Snowdonia, and all have their own distinct character. Sarah and myself have set about to swim them in entirety, there is yet to be a deadline but we're happy to have it as a long term goal. To officially 'bag' a lake we've set the criteria of having to swim the length and back, if it's a small lake, we usually swim without the aid of a wetsuit and prepare to get cold for a while, making sure to have a hot flask of tea to warm us at the end. Our 10 year old collie 'Bella' will usually swim these smaller lakes with us, she's by far the better swimmer and loves to stay in the water and play.

We sometimes choose a lake for it's close proximity to a good cafe, it's a nice reward after a cold swim, not that we feel deserving of one but it makes the whole experience all the more pleasurable, especially when you find good coffee and cake! We knew and heard good things about Pont yr Afon Gam Cafe and felt as though it was the perfect opportunity to check it out, since Llyn Morwynion is only a stone's throw away. It surpassed our expectations and we thoroughly enjoyed our post swim afternoon there.

Some of the lakes in Snowdonia are steeped in mythology, Llyn Morwynion is no exception. At Primary School I remember reading the tales from arguably one of the most mythological books printed in Welsh; Y Mabinogion. I recently found myself researching some facts surrounding our lakes in Snowdonia, unearthing an interesting story about the one we had 'bagged' a year or so ago; according to the tales of Y Mabinogion, the character Blodeuwedd and her Maidens of Ardudwy drowned in Llyn Morwynion whilst fleeing from the wizard Gwydion and the men of Gwynedd.

In more recent times the lake has been adopted as a reservoir and a dam is located on it's Western shore. This is where we got into the water, beautiful clear azure blue water. It's a shallow lake around it's perimeter and we had to walk out a long way before we could start the swim, the base is covered with vegetation as it can probably still gain enough sunlight to photosynthesise. It's August so it doesn't take too long to acclimatise to the cold water as we swam across at a leisurely pace, exchanging the odd comment here and there, mostly just acknowledging the splendour of the lake and it's surroundings.  

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