Peace. Quiet. Solitude. We arrive up the track in the borrowed 4x4, surrounded by sheep. Nestled into the hillside, hunkered down against the elements is Rhyd Fudr. It has no TV, almost no phone signal, and due to mist and clouds rolling in almost no view. It is our home for the next few days. From here we explore the rain soaked Welsh hills and villages, dance a jig in the spacious lounge and plan our excursions to coast, slate mine and coffee stops. Perfect.
Nearly 7 years on and we are back at Rhyd Fudr. This time there’s four of us, and in the time that’s passed it seems that it is only us who have changed. The hills, houses, lake, rain and mud seem timeless.
But that’s not quite true. This time the sense of Wales being a separate country seems more acute. Perhaps, it’s the strident debate that’s escalated after the EU referendum, which in the media is played out with England and the UK as interchangeable concepts. Slightly out of season In North Wales, away from the crowds we are routinely mistaken for people who speak Welsh. There’s a lack of big chains in the small towns and villages. Even the Gin is made differently.
More than last time we were here, this corner of Wales seems like an escape.