It has become a tradition over the last few years of the craft retreat in Ngala Nor’dzin and Ngala ’ö-Dzin’s sangha to end the week long craft retreat with an expedition to visit a place of special significance to the lineage, or a place that is exceptionally beautiful or challenging. After a week of hard work on the craft retreat we were happy to set up our tents at the campsite at the foot of Cadair Idris. This campsite is friendly and welcoming, remembering us from last year, and happy to allow us to light a campfire. After our evening meal we practised the Drinking Song of Kyabjé Dudjom Rinpoche together and then sat around the fire, taking the opportunity of practising with the moving element of fire.
The following morning we set out on our expedition after having a substantial breakfast at an hotel close to the wonderful Tal-y-llyn lake, from where we could see the mountain range we were about to cross rising majestically above the lake. We enjoyed being served our breakfast, and after a week full of work we were not especially in a hurry to set out, as we had been advised that our walk might take us around four or five hours. We left several cars at the car park on this side of Cadair Idris and drove in the remaining cars to the car park at the other side of the mountain, near Dolgellau. As the sun started to become quite strong we stopped in Dolgellau to buy hats for those of us who had not thought this might be necessary in the Welsh climate.
It was late morning by the time we finally started out on our expedition in a cheerful spirits. It took us all some time to find a measured step. We were all tired after the week’s exertions, and were unprepared for the fierceness of the heat of the sun. Gradually we settled into an even pace and were well in our stride by the time we had reached the first lake. The beautiful landscape and the vibrant play of the elements offered us numerous chances to practice.