#10mountains10months Part 9 ⛰🐾

The last weekend of September we completed Part nine of our #10mountains10months challenge.

For part nine we tackled Glyder Fawr in Snowdonia National Park – it was a very very tough walk!

The walk started in Ogwen Valley which is somewhere Toby and I have walked previously, we have been there a few times to do the Devil’s Kitchen walk.

Parking is tight at the Visitors Centre and there is usually only a limited amount of spaces available, we left at 7:00am and arrived at just before 9:00am and the Car Park was already full! We managed to find a space on the road, but this can be difficult as the cone a large section of the road off – so this is definitely a walk to start early doors!

If you manage to get a space on the Car Park there is a charge of £4.50 for the day. There are facilities at the Visitors Centre, toilets are a welcome treat after a 2 hour drive!

There is also a coffee stall to get hot drinks and cakes after you have been walking!

The walk starts off fairly steady and the walk from the Visitors Centre is fairly straightforward, there is one fork where you veer right and you then carry on until you reach the lake.

The views from the lake are astonishing, it is such a beautiful part of the countryside. Toby always insists of having a paddle no matter how cold it is, he even went in wearing his jumper on this weekend!

The route is beautiful and there are so many places to stop and take in the stunning views.

The walk follows the Devils Kitchen Path for a fair distance around, thankfully one of the sections of the path that is very tough has had some repair work done, as previously when I have visited I have had to scramble into a waterfall and climb over the other side! Which although quite fun, is fairly difficult if there has been rain! Thankfully they have now made a bridge over the waterfall which makes it much easier to negotiate!

Once we got to the more difficult section of the walk (which is still following on the Devil’s Kitchen Walk) you are required to climb a little more and the path becomes very unclear as you pick your way across boulders and rocks.

This is the point that the path for Glyder Fawr leaves the Devil’s Kitchen route, so at this point the route was now unfamiliar to me – it was a shock!

The route was very difficult to negotiate – there was lots of clambering and quite a few sections that required us to use our hands. There were several sections that were just too big of a jump for Toby so we had to climb up and one of us pass Toby up – thankfully his Ruffwear Approach Pack has a helpful handle for such situations so he was easy enough to lift up!

Toby managed to jump and chin a rock and cut the inside of his mouth during this walk so we stopped for a little while to give him a once over and make sure he was happy to carry on – of course being the little mountain goat he is he was raring to get back to climbing and rock hopping!

We were lucky enough to see a couple of mountain goats whilst we were climbing, we named them of course … Alfonso and Romeo, they were having a little domestic unfortunately and we weren’t sure if they were friends or not and Romeo (the bigger of the two) looked to be a bit of a bully!

We managed to speak to a gentleman on this walk who had sadly lost his son to suicide, we had a chat with him about the charities we are supporting and about what we were doing and why, we’ve found this challenge has encouraged other walkers to open up, and it is quite shocking to see just how many people have been affected by suicide or know someone who has been affected by suicide.

This isn’t a walk I would recommend for someone with a dog, unless your dog is very used to climbing and walking in the mountains – some of the sections that needed to be climbed were very difficult and we saw several people struggling with the path and the climb!

This final slog to the summit of Glyder Fawr was also extremely difficult, it was an extremely steep section that was scree, there was so much loose rock that every time you lifted your foot, you were sliding back down! Sophie fell on this section and hurt herself, with her having bad knees already we were getting a little concerned about carrying on up this section as it was getting steeper and the scree was all the way to the top. I was also concerned about Toby’s feet as he was getting his feet stuck in between rocks and was struggling to negotiate the very loose and moving rocks.

We decided to make a judgement call on this one – although this is a challenge we also need to ensure that we all stay safe, the challenge is to raise awareness which we are still able to do without be careless.

We also knew that as the route we were following was a there and back route that we still had quite a lot of difficult sections to get back down before we completed the walk for the day.

Walking back down wasn’t easy at all! The rocks that we had scramble up – we needed to scramble/bum-slide down …. We were very graceful about it of course!

Before we completed the walk and headed back to the car however we made sure we went to the little beach area around the lake so Toby could have a refreshing paddle before heading home!

The views from the beachy area are just stunning (as is the majority of the walk!!)

This was a walk I would not rush to do again in a hurry as it was so difficult – it also isn’t a walk I would do on my own! I will be back to the Ogwen Valley to do the Devil’s Kitchen walk as it is such a stunning area and is a really enjoyable walk – it is somewhere I would love to take Amos too one day, but when he is a little older and a little more established as a mountain goat!

The final walk of the challenge will follow soon!

Once again thank you all so much for the support ❤️

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Day Trips! 🇪🇸🐾

As the bulk of our time on the road trip has been spent in Spain, we have been for some trips out around the local (ish) area!

Sunday was our first full day not travelling so we had a lovely relaxed day, Toby and I walked to the pebble beach that isn’t far from where we are staying, Mum and Dad showed us around the local area, to give us a few local walks for Toby to explore.

We had a climb on the rocks at the beach and spent the afternoon relaxing and unpacking for the stay, we also had to rescue my mum and dad who got stuck in a thunderstorm when they went for an afternoon stroll!

Toby hates thunder so we were trying our best to keep him calm and relaxed and then had a rescue mission to contend with!!

On Monday we had another walk to the pebble beach and a game of frisbee before we then had a human day (Toby was more than happy to have the afternoon off to snooze!!) we went for a mooch around the local shops and visited the Ondara Centre, which is a shopping centre!

After shopping till we dropped we then went back and took Toby on a little visit to the sandy beach, which is a short drive from where we were staying in Els Poblets, Toby was armed with his Ruffwear Float Coat and I was hoping that this holiday would be the first time Toby swam, my theory was he never paddled until I went in with him but I only ever paddled in shallow water (cold English water) so I thought if I went in deeper he would come with, the plan worked, Toby has swum on this holiday, he will happily go in for his frisbee, the float coat has definitely given him extra confidence in the water and has made me feel safer with him swimming in a sea inlet. He will follow me in to the water and is happy having a paddle, play and swim in the inlet, the waves of the actual sea are however far too scary for him!

Tuesday we had a little disaster, which resulted in a trip to the vets for Toby.

Before heading to Spain I had been advised about and had researched any potential diseases or illnesses that I needed to be aware of taking Toby with me.

The most worrying of these for the time of year we were visiting was Leishmania, which is a disease passed through a bite by an infected Sandfly, I spoke to my vets in Cheshire and also spoke to a Spanish veterinary practice in the area we were staying in to find the best way to combat the risk of this disease.

I was advised that Toby should wear a Seresto collar, which he should have on for two weeks prior to the trip and keep on for the duration of the trip, this would provided 85% protection, the vet had advised that the protection with a vaccination was only a few more percent – so I did some further research including reading some studies about the effectiveness of the slow release collar in the prevention of Leishmania, as a gigantic worry wart I was satisfied with the protection that the collar provided following speaking to the Spanish vet and doing my own research, the Spanish vet advised that it should be sufficient and if I was at all concerned when we were in Spain they could give the vaccination to give the extra percent.

The other things I had researched that would help prevent Toby being bitten were:

– ensure the dog is sleeping indoors (he sleeps with me so no problems there)

– avoid walking at between dusk and dawn

– make sure you keep windows and doors closed after dusk.

I followed all the above advice and made sure that Toby was inside before dusk and that his last pee walks were short and sweet!

On Tuesday however I noticed that a window was open, which had been left open by mistake after dusk, as I have said I am a massive worry bucket so I wanted to be sure that Toby was still ok – so booked him in to the vets for a blood test and if that came back as negative for Leishmania he would then be able to have the vaccine also.

The blood tests were not Toby’s favourite and although he was very brave, he was not a happy bunny! The 10 minutes we had to wait for the result was agonising!!

Thankfully it came back that Toby was negative for Leishmania, so he was able to have the vaccination to give him the few extra percent (and to give me a little bit more piece of mind!!)

After our traumatic morning we then headed to Benidorm as originally planned for Tuesday!

We went for a walk along the beach and Toby got to do some skating on the multi coloured path, which earned him some claps and lots of admirers!

We also took Toby to the Old Town and had a walk around the shopping area – we found so many places in Spain that were dog friendly, the majority of restaurants have tables outside and are more than happy for you to have a dog with you – Toby truly was in his element!

The day we went to Benidorm was another really hot day, Toby’s Ruffwear Cooling Jacket has been absolutely vital on this trip as otherwise Toby would not have been able to join in many of the activities or day trips we had planned – with his cool coat, he was more than happy to be out and about in the heat and was able to enjoy all the new places he got to explore without being too warm and over heating.

On Wednesday we went for a day trip to Calpe to do a walk, originally we had hoped to climb Calpe Rock, but after looking in to it they are limiting numbers that are able to go up due to the rocks being slippy and unsafe, the day that we walked in Calpe was also very very hot, so Toby wouldn’t have thanked us for a climb!

We did the Calpe coastal walk instead which is a seven mile walk with gorgeous views of the coast, a very refreshing sea breeze and has a handy bar three quarters of the way round to stop for a drink and a bite to eat!

It was an absolutely gorgeous walk – so many beautiful things to see! There are a few little beaches and coves in the route but a few of them had signs up to say “Perros No” so Toby wasn’t able to explore those!

It was a very warm 29 degrees when we did the coastal walk so once again Toby was very grateful for his cool coat, his Kurgo Bottle and the sea breeze! Toby got used to the heat fairly quickly and I ensured that he had regular drink stops and regular chances to have a rest if he was getting too hot.

Thursday was another relaxing day (not for my parents – they ended the day with a hole in the ceiling courtesy of two plumbers 😂) we had a beach trip with Toby and did some more swimming and then went souvenir shopping and to get plenty of presents for Amos 😍

On Friday we headed to Guadalest for another day trip!

I have been to Guadalest in the past when I have visited Spain and every time I have been it amazes me – it’s so so beautiful!

We had a lovely wander around taking in all the breathtaking views and stopped for a meal and an ice cream in a local bar.

Whilst visiting Guadalest we had another unfortunate incident!

We visited the Torture Museum which was dog friendly and very interesting, I discovered the downside of using the “shaping” training method however!

For those that don’t know shaping is training that lets your dogs work it out for themselves and encourages to use their brains.

Toby had been having a sniff round and a pose every now and then for photos he seemed to be enjoyed his trip back in time!

Once of the rooms had a stock / stockade in, Toby went round the back of it for a sniff (perfectly acceptable) he was still on his lead then he stuck his head through the hole and looked at me as though to say “this would be a great picture mum”

As I went to get my camera out Toby seemed to realise he had put his head in a hole and had a little panic, which resulted in a big panic as he couldn’t get his head back out!!

Me and mum tried our hardest to calm him down, my mum was being sensible talking to him and telling him his head must fit through the hole as it went in … I was trying to keep him calm by stroking him.

He was stuck for what felt like forever, he’s puffed all his fur up and just couldn’t get himself out, we tried lifting the stock but nothing seemed to work, after a little while Billy came up to the room we were in and got my dad to go and get the lady on the front desk, the poor Spanish lady didn’t have a clue what was going on but we all started trying to get him out, after a little while it was as though he realised he’d puffed up and he just pulled his head out!

I checked him over and he was perfectly fine and he just kept looking at me as though to say, well are you going to give me the biscuit or what?!

Needless to say I will continue doing shaping with him, but I will not let him near medieval torture equipment or small holes he can stick his head into!!

We had our final little day trip on Sunday we went to Javea to have a walk around the Arenal and have a meal out.

We stopped in the most beautiful bar overlooking the sea and the beach for a drink, they brought it a bowl of water for Toby as soon as we arrived which was a lovely touch!

The bar had beds and sofas to relax on and was a beautiful peaceful way to spend a few hours in the sunshine!

Toby made himself right at home 😂

Me and mum also went for a little mooch over to the rocks near the sea as to let Toby have a sniff and a climb – again the views and scenery were just beautiful!

Monday was our final day in Spain so we decided to spend the morning at the beach soaking up the sunshine and letting Toby play with his frisbee, paddle and swim!

Then it was heading back for the dreaded packing and loading up the car before we set off the following day!

Toby also had his appointment at the vets to ensure he was treated for worms before he came back into the U.K. and to make sure that all his documentation was correct!

We left for our next stop Zaragoza bright and early on Tuesday morning and arrived early afternoon!

Our hotel was amazing and overlooked the cathedral – which was gorgeous! We had paid for a room with a view and my was it worth it!!

We spent the afternoon wandering around the city and Toby got to do a little more city skating!

The only thing we weren’t fond of about Zaragoza was the hundreds of pigeons that zoomed around at full speed! When you are sitting outside of a restaurant it’s quite nerve wracking when a hoard of Pigeons tries to fly and poop on your dinner!!

On Wednesday we had our final drive in Spain, from Zaragoza to Bilbao to get on the boat home!

I was fairly nervous about the boat trip – I wasn’t sure how well I would manage with the movement as I struggle to not fall down on a bus or train when they are moving and they are usually calmer than the sea …. 🙄

Toby had to be muzzled to embark on the boat, so we had been doing plenty of muzzle training, he doesn’t love it but he knows that good things follow the muzzle so was happy enough with it on.

The boat was the bit I enjoyed the least, I spent the first 16 hours in bed looking very green, thankfully Billy was fine with the sea so Toby had someone who wasn’t walking like they’d downed 20 vodkas to walk him on the exercise deck!

I found Queezibics (human version) a complete life saver and although Toby was coping well also got him some of the dog friendly ones to try! Which he loved! We saved some for Amos to try when we got home too! As they were ginger biscuits for our big ginge!!

Overall we had an amazing trip – it was something we would love to do again, Toby had an absolute blast and loved exploring in three new countries!

In total we drove 2520 miles on our adventure so I think we can officially call Toby an international explorer ❤️

Thanks for reading!! 🇪🇸