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Great Orme and its Environs


A bit of Great Orme insanity (which gives a taste of the terrain):
This mountain appearing, at a distance, like a rock in the sea, is a peninsular, nearly circular, about four miles in circumference[..]

.. [the precipice] is some hundred yards above the [sea], and in many places is almost perpendicular, against which the sea is always beating, making a hideous noise, so that it is really shocking to be near the declivity [..]

We left our horses at one of the cottages under the mount, and ascended the hill on foot, which is about a mile to the top; to have rode up was impracticable. We marched on, sometimes over barren rocks, and rubbish out of the copper mines, which lies there in great plenty [..]

By this time we were got very near the summit, which was very steep, but covered with the same green turf [very lush, and which supports the 'sweetest mutton in Wales'] [..] Being arrived at the top of the hill or highest point of the Peninsula, we sat down to refresh ourselves, being a little fatigued with clambering up. We had rum and fruit in our pockets [..]

It remained to know the most expeditious way to descend, which was this-- we lay flat on our backs, and slided down at a great rate; the natives have a more expeditious way than this. When they have a mind to descend a mountain with speed, they fix their backs upon a flat kind of stone, holding the forepart fast with both the hands, betwixt the legs; then giving a spring, away they go, at the rate of a mile in a minute or more, according as the descent is. This is called "riding the stone-horse."
p74 in 'Notes of Family Excursions in North Wales', by J. O. Halliwell, 1860. Online at Google Books
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
23rd July 2007ce
Edited 23rd July 2007ce

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