George Borrow and the Lost Road.
Here are some cropped comments on the route by the man himself:
Leaving Machynlleth, I ascended a steep hill which rises to the south of it. From the top of this hill there is a fine view of the town, the river, and the whole valley of the Dyfi.
The road at first was exceedingly good, though up and down, and making frequent turnings.
Lofty hills were on either side, clothed most luxuriantly with trees of various kinds, but principally oaks.
However, I went on for a considerable way, the road neither deteriorating nor the scenery decreasing in beauty.
"Am I in the road to the Pont y Gwr Drwg?"
"I was told that the road thither was a very bad one," said I, "but this is quite the contrary."
"This road does not go much farther, sir," said he; "it was made to accommodate grand folks who live about here."
"And now can you tell me the way to the bridge?" "You must follow this road some way farther, and then bear away to the right along yon hill" - and he pointed to a distant mountain. I thanked him, and proceeded on my way. I passed through a deep dingle, and shortly afterwards came to the termination of the road; I bore away to the right, making for the distant mountain. My course lay now over very broken ground where there was no path, at least that I could perceive.
Some way farther on I saw a house on my left, a little way down the side of a deep dingle which was partly overhung with trees, and at the bottom of which a brook murmured. Descending a steep path, I knocked at the door.
I proceeded in the direction indicated, winding round the side of the hill, the same mountain which the old man had pointed out to me some time before. At length, on making a turn I saw a very lofty mountain in the far distance to the south-west, a hill right before me to the south, and, on my left, a meadow overhung by the southern hill, in the middle of which stood a house.
A high precipitous bank lying between it and me. I went forward and ascended the side of the hill before me, and presently came to a path running east and west. I followed it a little way towards the east. I was now just above the house.
"What is the name of this house?" said I "Waen y Bwlch."
Thereupon I proceeded along the path in the direction of the east.
My good person, can you tell me the name of this place?" "Esgyrn Hirion, sir," said he. "Esgyrn Hirion," said I to myself; "Esgyrn means 'bones,' and Hirion means 'long.' I am doubtless at the place which the old ostler called Long Bones. [Surely he must be confusing this with esgair, as in Esgair Hir - Long Ridge?]
He then proceeded towards a row of buildings, which were, in fact, those objects which I had guessed to be houses in the distance.
Where do you come from?" "From Machynlleth," I replied. "From Machynlleth!" said he. "Well, I only wonder you ever got here, but it would be madness to go farther alone."
We would never suffer you to leave this place without a guide, and as much for our own sake as yours; for the directors of the Company would never forgive us if they heard we had suffered a gentleman to leave these premises without a guide, more especially if he were lost, as it is a hundred to one you would be if you went by yourself."
"Pray," said I, "what Company is this, the directors of which are so solicitous about the safety of strangers?" "The Potosi Mining Company," said he, "the richest in all Wales."
"Is Potosi an old Welsh word?" said he. "No," said I; "it is the name of a mine in the Deheubarth of America." "Is it a lead mine?" "No!" said I, "it is a silver mine." "Then why do they call our mine, which is a lead mine, by the name of a silver mine?" "Because they wish to give people to understand," said I, "that it is very rich - as rich in lead as Potosi in silver. Potosi is, or was, the richest silver mine in the world, and from it has come at least one half of the silver which we use in the shape of money and other things."