The weekend saw the first ever Wild Escapes weekend retreat.
The aim of Wild Escapes is to make adventuring accessible to everyone. I get lots of messages about my adventures, such as how did I get into it, where do I go, what gear have I got, how am I brave enough to go alone etc.
It made me look back at when I first started doing stuff on my own, and I realised how I now take that for granted that I am happy doing this stuff by myself, but not everyone is. I didn't just do it, it took me years to build the confidence to do this stuff, and sometimes I even feel a little daunted at times. I remember even messaging a few people on Friday night (before the Wild Escapes) saying I felt a bit nervous being on the campsite on my own, and I've camped on a lot of sites by myself.
So that's what made me realise how much I wanted to be able to help others enjoy this stuff, the outdoors and hopefully find new experiences they can turn into hobbies.
So, in the midst of this crazy time it was amazing to be able to some incredible women (it's open to men too by the way) to be able to share lots of new adventures with.
There was lots of walking, talking, laughing and adventuring with the aim of the weekend to be relaxed with no real places to be by a certain time - we all have those pressures in every day life I didn't want that from the weekend.
We met for coffee to have a gentle start to the weekend, and took a walk around Llyn Padarn before heading for lunch and an afternoon on the paddle boards. Snowdonia Water Sports is based on Llyn Padarn in Llanberis and where you can hire SUPs from (with life jacket, wetsuit and board included in the hire) - it's a great way to test out your paddle skills in the perfect location surrounded by the mountains. Two of the girls have never really paddled before so it was great to see them have fun. We all got dragged into the side with the waves, and it was a slog back down to where we started with the winds pushing us but we all had a giggle at what hard work it was.
Then we headed off to Llyn Gwynant to set up camp for the evening. The campsite is set in the heart of Snowdonia just a few miles from the start of some of the Snowdon routes including Miners/Pyg, Watkin and up to Crib Goch. The weather, was interesting overnight and the wind defiantly picked up, it would literally go from peaceful to wondering if our tents were going to get blown away! But we managed to survive the night..... some on less sleep than others.
We started Sunday to a beautiful morning and sunrise yoga. Looking out over the mountains and Llyn Gwynant, Becky took us through an hours private yoga session. It was a great way to start the day (even for me who hasn't tried yoga since getting kicked out of a class about 15 years ago for being inflexible). After packing up the tents we headed off for some breakfast at the amazing Caffi Gwynant which is just at the bottom of the Watkin Path. I have never eaten there before - but I will definitely be returning!
It was then time to explore the beautiful waterfalls on the Watkin Path. It's about a mile or so up to the waterfalls and the walk is definitely worth it, not only for the views but the stunning waterfalls. There are some more pools as you carry on up the path too, but these are by far my favourite! We were lucky enough to get the pools pretty much to ourselves too - it definitely made it a little more special.
Then the last little bit of the weekend was spent around Beddgelert Forest where we went for a trail run, taking in the sunshine and the last of the mountain views before heading home. After a quick snack and putting the worlds to right it was time to say goodbye.
It was a memorable weekend for everyone and all taking on new experiences (me included) and amazing to be able to share these adventures with new people.
During these uncertain times I will now look to hold the next Wild Escapes in April 2021.