Freshly Dived: Cloddfa’r-coed Quarry and Llyn Dinas [Part Two]

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View across Llyn Dinas

…After deciding to give Llyn Nantlle a try another day, Dave suggested Llyn Llywelyn, a small lake in Beddgelert Forest. I’m not sure where Dave had heard about it but I had it on the list after spotting it on google maps, not knowing if it would be accessible or not.

So not knowing whether or not we’d get to it, we headed towards the lake. Entry into the forest is pretty good at first, most people seem to park up immediately after getting off the A4085 and walk or bike into the forest, which caters to hikers, mountain bikers and horse riders. There’s a light rail line that runs through the forest with a few crossings, the first of which was locked so we headed further in, finding a nice parking area but still we weren’t close enough to the lake to walk. We ended up getting much deeper into the forest and seemed to be making progress, although the road quality had deteriorated and my small car barely made it over a small humped bridge. Dave jumped out to make sure the car wasn’t going to completely bottom out and I felt the slightest scrape as it broke over the top.

The next hurdle was the rail crossing, which I parked in front of so Dave could get out and open the gates. I then executed the most brutal hill start I’ve had to endure yet and with the all clear from Dave, quickly drove across the tracks.

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Beddgelert Forest signs
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Look both ways!

Thinking we’d found the right trail in the woods we headed on only to have two massive dogs run down the lane towards the car. One of them was more like a hyena than a dog! we cautiously crawled forward and I made sure the windows were shut. A couple young lads called the dogs back and gestured us to continue though so we headed on assuming they were out on a walk until we came to a gate and a house.

We immediately realised that we’d driven into someone’s garden! OOPS! The bloke who looked like the owner was probably wondering who the hell we were and we knew we’d have to speak to him before turning around. We drove up and cautiously (worried about the guard dogs) lowered the windows. To our relief this guy was a solid gent, and after we’d apologised as profusely as we could for disturbing his Sunday afternoon he advised us that we’d need to park quite far from the lake and walk to it.

I’m not sure what tipped him off but he asked if we were divers and we explained that we were looking to dive new sites. From what he told us it sounded like Llyn Llywelyn was barely much more than a muddy puddle, and that we’d looking at a long walk with kit to get to it. He even moved some stuff around so we could just about turn around in the yard and suggested some other lakes near by that would give better dives. Not many people would take kindly to strangers driving onto their property but thankfully I think this guy appreciated that we were just two fools looking for some water.

Half admitting defeat, me and Dave decided to dive Llyn Dinas which I hadn’t dived before but Dave had. Not particularly interesting by the sound of it but the light was fading and we wanted a second dive.

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Llyn Dinas from the shore
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Following Dave this dive

Though Llyn Dinas has a few decent parking spots it is fairly shallow at around 7m and is one of the most boring lakes I’ve dived so far – and I say that have dived a fair few featureless lakes. In fact I spent most of the dive looking at photos on the camera that I’d take on the previous dive in Cloddfa’r-coed Quarry.

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Sparkling water
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Sunset down the valley

Even though the dive it’s self wasn’t particularly interesting the view of the sun setting over the hills was stunning and it seemed as though every other car that drove past stopped to get a picture across the lake. As is often the case, not the most interesting dive, but stunning surroundings and a fun day out exploring.

~ Cal

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