ISSN : 2266-6060

Guide

walesguide

Friday Guest: Julie Fen-Chong

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both. (Robert Frost)
What surprised and charmed me most in Arthur’s kingdom is not only welsh language and the consequent local names “Betws-y-coed” (pronounce bet us y cod) “Dolgellau” (dolgeslau), but also the way British people write their walking guides: « Go over the stile and then half RIGHT across a field to a gap in a wall, about 50 yards ahead. Continue through this gap and go half LEFT to reach another gap in the wall 100 yards ahead”»

No roadsign, no cairn at each crossroads to point you the right path, no white and yellow sign in case you got lost as the fog or the night suddenly comes… In these guides, there are just some hints on the different walls you’ll have to cross, the farms’ courtyards you’ll walk through silently to avoid disturbing the cattle. And even when you start wondering if the guide is right, because the directions seem uncertain, it finally proves to be, prompting us to believe in what we see and to confide in the persistence of these man-made constructions in order to find our path.