Day 223 Mile 223: Starting the Clock. The Mesoamerican Long Count calendar is a non-repeating base-20 calendar used by several pre-Columbian cultures, most notably the Maya. The Long Count calendar identifies a day by counting the number of days passed since a mythical creation date that corresponds to August 11, 3114 BC.
To the left there is a reproduction of a Mayan carving with hieroglypic writing showing the creation date of 13 baktuns, 0 katuns, 0 tuns, 0 uinals, 0 kins, 4 Ahau 8 Cumku – August 11, exactly 5131 years ago today!
The village I live in is thousands of miles from South America but it is quite renowned for its stonework and also having a massive clock which dominates the mountainside. So to commemorate today’s chronological carousal I decided to take myself up the mountain to visit the aforementioned monolithic timepiece.
The clock in the quarry was given to the Penmaenmawr Granite Company in the 1930s by The Euclid Company from America, which was the company which provided the digger machinery for the quarry. It no doubt proved invaluable for workers in the village in terms of not being late but these days it is also really handy if you are on the beach and need to know when to get back for tea!
The front of clock itself is almost impossible to get up close to, being built on a steep slope in the quarry covered in dense foliage and brambles. However here is a photo from further back courtesy of The Glebe Blog and following that, one from derelictplaces.co.uk who obviously managed to get up close, either on a day when the brambles had died down, or at the very least not wearing running clothes.
I did manage to get around the back of it though to see if there was a non-painful way to the front but was thwarted! This shot does give you some idea of the scale though as the building is roughly the size of the clock face, and the gates are approximately 6 feet tall.
The run back down was amazing. Primarily because it was all down hill, but also due to going directly through part of the working quarry as it started up for the day. It is fascinating to become aware of something you live so near to but are so far removed from.
Running down the concrete roads with their marble-like patches of spilled gravel, I was met with the deep rumbling of massive machinery, geared down to be slow, but strong enough to literally chew up and excrete a mountain if required. In places the dust stung in the eyes and left a vague hint of an acrid smell, like iron filings but from a long way off. As the huge lorries with their load of stone went past it was genuinely nice to get a wave and a thumbs up, quite reassuring when you feel rather small, insignificant and easily squashable in such an environment!
It was wonderful to get to explore somewhere I have not been before, and to go and find a monument to the passage of time which I see everyday, but until now have never actually visited. Thanks must also go to the workers at the quarry who let me do this. There aren’t any official footpaths up there (its a working quarry so potentially fatal if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time) and thus access is on a permissive basis at best. So, many thanks lads 🙂
I’m running a mile each day everyday for 2017. If you feel you can sponsor me please do, as all the money raised will go to the Cleft Lip & Palate Association (CLAPA) who provide services all across the UK to support people affected by it.
Distance: 1645.8 meters recorded
(1 mile = 1609.34 m.)
Thanks as ever for all the support!