Day 92: Machynlleth to Aberystwyth

* Readers: I apologise for the now fortnight backlog in updates. I’m still alive and travelling, but have had little time, electricity, and internet connection. Fortunately there’s been some extraordinary adventures and encounters – some really magical people and experiences. In the meantime, please bear with me.

‘People have stopped going to the blockbusters…’ – Nia, Aber.

I awake in Machnylleth, a sleepy town on the mid-Wales coast with dormant dreams of a green revolution. I’ve slept the night in a lovely house in the town, eating and talking with a group of housemates who I’d like to count as another collection of friends made on this journey. Travelling by the day, one meets so many inspiring and curious characters, and it’s been a delightful treat to gorge each day on anecdotes, ideas and opinions. I believe that every person possesses inside them a small universe, their own unique imaginative internalisation of the world around them. Connecting with people can, at its rare best, feel like an electric connection, charged and powerful, transforming both interlocutors in the flow of ideas. Or, on a less mystical note, just damn interesting. There’s a lot of damn interesting people on these islands. Keep faith in one’s fellow companion. That stranger is a friend not yet made. I’ve held close to that dictum, and so immensely profited from every encounter.

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Day 91: Dolgellau to Machynlleth

‘We’ve got the knowledge here, we’ve got the potential.’ – Joel, Machynlleth.

The desire for solitude…

I’m starting to feel like the lone ranger, my singleness weighing on me. But it’s not a feeling of isolation, or loneliness… Stranger, a hardening of my boundaries, a reluctance and disinterest in intruding on others, a new feeling of difficulty in looking someone in the eye, or asking about them, whilst my mind and its imagination inflates into a pop up universe of its own. It’s like the mind can incorporate external stimuli like sights, stories, experiences before a certain threshold is exceeded. Or maybe it’s fatigue, of a mental kind, or the changing of the seasons I am experiencing and immersed into a daily, hourly degree, more intensive than ever before. The dark is drawing in, and weeks of cold, grey and wet weather has us turning inwards, towards the hearth and the familiar figures and sensations that surround it. Maybe I’m tiring out, as other travellers have done who I’ve read, their last days a grainy and gloomy blur. I hope not. I’m finding such rich secrets already in north Wales, and more is promised.

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