Leaving Craig yr Aderyn behind I drive past Castle y Bere, then past Lady Jones' chapel, and then past a farm called Gwastadfryn. The track leads one higher and higher, through two gates until we reach Hafotty Gwastadfryn. This really is as far as you can safely drive, it is an appreciable percentage of the climb and not wanting a full bore hike I settled for this half drive half walk affair.
Checking the compass, I set off in the easterly direction it indicated, naturally it is all up hill and it did'nt take long to start huffing and puffing. With plenty of breather stops to turn and take in the scenery, which is dramatic to say the least. Only the highest peak of Cader Idris was visible for an ocean of fast foamy clouds were spilling over the tops, looking like an otherworldly Niagara falls.
There are two grassy tracks leaving Hafotty Gwastadfryn one leads eventually to the cairns of Tyrrau Mawr , and the one I was treading leads to Moel Gallt.
I got fed up with the even easy track and struck off at an angle up the boggy and uneven slope to try and reach the cliff tops of Craig y llyn. After a great deal of huffing and an unhealthy dose of puffing, I arrived at the top, half way between the cairn of my desires and the peak(ish) of Craig y Llyn.
The view north, east and west were free of clouds and the view was as ever stunning, but the southern aspect was stubbornly remaining completely engulfed in cloud. The cloud bank periodically sent a few tendrils of wispy cloud my way but the wind which was'nt as bad as last time but still quite strong quickly did my bidding and kept the hill top cloud free.
At the eastern end of the mother hills just before the gradient goes steeply down is this cairn, it's been badly scooped out and the wall next to it is probably to blame for its disheveled nature. But enough remains of it to deduce that it was once a big big cairn, it's best view is down the Dyffryn Dysinni to the sea, but with a watchfull eye to the godly abode of Cader Idris over it's shoulder.
The clouds came and went, sometimes thick and veiling but mostly thin and ghostly, the sun just seemed to highlight the shimmery beauty of nature. But to the south always cloud, and the cloud still poured over the mountain tops, I have spent too much time here now and it's time for a short walk in Tyrrau mawr's direction before I loose my mind completely to this heavenly scene.
Carnedd Llwyd on Moel Gallt-y-Llyn.
This is a large carnedd situated near the summit of the above named mountain [...] close to a boundary wall dividing the Nantcow and Gwastad-fryn sheep-walks. It measured about forty-five feet in diameter from east to west. It was reputed to be the repository of treasure; and some years ago an old woman, goaded by nightly visions and dreams, became so impressed with this idea, that she made a vigorous attack upon it; but the wished for prize was dashed from her thirsty lips by an avenging storm of thunder and lightning, as she herself affirms. This old lady is still living, I believe. The story was told to me by one of our workmen, who was acquainted with her.
The Gwynedd Archaeological Trust has the following to say (PRN4230):
'45ft diameter from E-W? Near the summit of Moel Gallt y Llyn. Opened by Wynne-Foulkes in 1850 having been previously opened by an old woman some years before. Wynne-Foulkes excavated the centre but found nothing.... A cairn of roughly piled stones measuring 13m E-W and 14m N-S, on a W facing slope averaging 1.2m high. There is a hole in the centre, 6m across and 1.2m deep which has exposed the natural ground surface'.
A Bronze Age burial cairn (Coflein-certified, but with no details at present) crowns Twll yr Ogof, lying to the SW of the 2,040ft summit of Craig-y-Llyn at the western end of the great Cadair Idris escarpment.
The eponymous 'Llyn' (lake) in question is the beautiful Llyn Cyri, lying at the base of a substantial cliff-line to the north, although the exquisite Llynnau Cregennan can also be seen beyond. In fact the whole northern landscape, crossed by the prehistoric trackway 'Ffordd Ddu', is teeming with standing stones (both solitary and in alignments) and cairns.
To visit the Craig-y-Llyn cairn, park near the entrance to Hafotty-fach and follow an old, green track - past a prominent standing stone on your right - to ascend Braich Ddu to the left of the crags of Craig Cwm-llwyd. The route should now be obvious in clear weather..... if it's not clear, is it worth it?