one of the perks of teaching here in the uk is the frequency of the holidays. so in the feb half-term break, my friend emma + i took a trip to snowdonia, wales. it was not the trip we expected – storm dennis had other plans! but it meant we could read plenty and watch movies while the hail pelted the windows of our stone cottage. we also did head to portmeirion in the middle of the storm, where savage winds mercilessly left my umbrella for dead, and we ended up soaked through. thankfully for day two the weather briefly cleared, meaning we could actually get outside and do some exploring through snowdonia. right from the get-go, the scenery was incredible: beautiful colours, misty mountains, waterfalls cascading from unexpected corners and even some brave canoers preparing to enter the icy rapids. a good dose of fresh, farm air and picturesque scenery was incredibly refreshing after so long away from nz. while the weather thwarted our plans to hike mt snowdon, we managed a small section of the pyg track where we came upon a breath-taking (quite literally – the wind was intense) valley, reminscent of many south island spots.