Monday, 15 October 2012

Walk 120

Caernarfon to Bangor 10miles
A really easy day today finishing off my 11 day walk of 234miles. The walk to Bangor is along for the most part the old railway line and in places they have left the old track switchgear in situ which is really nice. The actual path is made up of one long leafy avenue (See Pic) and made a lovely end to a long week of walking.

Walk 119

Nefyn to Caernarfon 26miles

The rain was falling steadily as I started today's walk, so I decided to take the safe option and road walk most of the journey. The paths have been getting gradually worse as I've made my way up this coast and after yesterday's fall I really didn't want to risk disappearing off a cliff edge, the road runs pretty well parallel with the coast most of the way to Dinas Dinlle. The road journey was quite good as there is a cycle path that runs parallel with the main road for a good part of the trip which is very useful as these were very fast roads. Halfway into today's walk decided to walk down to the beach at Aberdesach and have my lunch (see pic) this a lovely little bay and here you can actually walk the coast path for about ½ mile, you then have to walk back inland to carry on along the road.

 2 miles up the road you finally lose the fast road and take a country lane down to Dinas Dinlle, this seemed a very nice seaside village but like a lot places I've visited this week everything was shut for the winter. The road from Dinas Dinlle takes you up to and past Caenarfon airport along to Morfa Lodge following the river for a while until just after Saron you turn left onto the road that takes you along the coast to Caernarfon. As you round the corner just before Caernarfon the magnificent castle comes into view (see pic) one of the best in the whole UK. A word on Caernarfon.....its a dump....really no other way to describe the place, if it wasn't for the castle I don't think anyone would come!!!!

walk 118

Aberdaron to Nefyn 25miles

Yet another sunny day in Wales and I strode purposely to my first climb of many for the day. The ups and downs came thick and fast but the views and bays were just incredible. At Melyn something in the water caught my eye and I stood transfixed for 2mins watching a very large seal languishing in the bay it was great to see. Here's the video...enjoy

So it was onwards passing Dinas Fawr and Dinas Bach on my way to Whistling Sands (see pic) where I picked up a sandwich ,and a good job as well as this is the only place to buy anything for the whole journey today! Just after Whistling Sands you have to head inland to walk along roads for a few miles, I picked up the coast path at Morfa and this took me all the way to Nefyn, not before falling over on my bum for the first time this week but also seeing a few more seals on the way. Great but tiring day!

Walk 117

Pwllheli to Aberdaron 22.5miles

Another sunny day as I left Pwllheli walking along the lovely beach at Traeth Crugan and onto Llanbedrog, here you have to walk through the grounds of a big stately home and up a hill to take you to a fabulous view of Lanbedrog bay and beyond (seepic). The path then winds it way down the other side of the hill to St Tugwels and the village of Abersoch. At Abersoch my map told me I had to head inland but I later found that the path is now open all along the coast to Port Ceiriad. So I picked up the coast path at Trwyn Fulfran and walked down the hill to Porth Neigwl or its other name is Hells Mouth, this is a 4 mile long stretch of beach which is just a pleasure to walk along. Once off the beach you have a really steep road to walk up and boy do people drive down it fast so beware! This took me trough Rhiw and finally onto Aberdaron which again is a very pretty picture postcard village.

Walk 116

Talsarnu to Pwllheli 23miles

The day started with a short walk to a narrow bridge across the river Afon Dwyryd, this is quite a tricky bridge to cross as there is only room for 1 car and not much else so you have to time your crossing and walk quickly! This took me through Minffordd and onto Porthmadog where I took a photo of the narrow gauge railway that runs to the bottom of Snowdon this is a railway I haven't travelled on for 40 years....ahhhh the memories....!
. The path then takes you through Borth-y-Guest and around the headland to Criccieth and yet another great castle! The path then picks up the main road until Afon Wen where it hugs the coast all the way to Pwllheli. It was in Pwllheli that I found the answer to a question which has been puzzling me for sometime, “does anyone in Wales actually speak Welsh” and the answer in Pwllheli was YES EVERYONE!!!! Lol

Walk 115

Barmouth to Talsarnu 15miles

The weather forecast was that today was the best day of the week and they weren't wrong! I walked along the promenade for the first mile past a rather grey pebbled dash covered housing estate, I thought why do councils do that? Why not a nice bright cream to liven the place up, however I later found out due to the fact that I had entered the Snowdonia National Park the people who run this organisation insist that the houses are all that colour and style! Yuch get some taste guys!!!!

The journey to Harlech was along roads so no chance of making a mistake today, this took me through the pretty villages of Llanber, Tal-y-Bont and Llandanwg. At Harlech I bought a sandwich and ate it in the castle grounds, this is one of the great castles in Wales (see Pic) and is just fantastic!
Halfway through my sandwich I spotted a big ginger cat walking along the edge of the (now dry) moat, he soon jumped up onto the wall in front of me and made a beeline for the bench I was sitting on! He obviously loves snuggling up to tourists for food which worked on me easily, but once Id finished my sandwich he was gone onto the next victims....they had corned beef!!!

The rest of the journey to Talsarnu was along a nice quiet road, very uneventful and frankly after yesterday I was thankful.

Walk 114

Borth Estuary and back 6.5miles
Aberdovey to Barmouth 22.75miles
Today was split into 3 parts due to the estuary between Borth and Aberdovey, I had made a decision not to walk along estuaries (where possible) at the start of the journey as I personally do not class them as coastal, some may call it cheating but hey ho they are entitled to their opinions!

Part 1

A 6.45 start in order to walk the 6.5 miles from the B&B to the edge of the Dovey Estuary all I can say is that it was extremely windy and a pretty tedious.

Part 2

Train to Aberdovey via Machynlleth

Part 3

Aberdovey to Barmouth

The walk started well with a nice 5 mile stroll along the beach to Tywyn. Just after walking through the town of Tywyn things started to go downhill........there is a road clearly marked on my map across a river that takes you along the coast to Cefncamberth, however when you arrive at the river there is no longer a bridge! This means a very big 4 mile detour across fields and a marsh where I promptly sunk up to my knees in cold muddy water! So I squelched my way through Bryncrug picking up the main road to Rhostefan it was here I made mistake No 2, I decided to disregard the map and follow the Wales Coast Path signs.........BIG Mistake the theory of these signs is great, but in practice I found myself wandering to all corners of fields with various livestock in residence it was just a complete nightmare! Anyhow I managed to find my way back to the main road and trudged unhappily through Fairbourne but my spirits were lifted as I crossed the bridge from Fairbourne to Barmouth a fantastic wooden railway/footbridge with a 90p toll walkers when you reach the Barmouth side! Barmouth itself was OK except the B&B had no idea I was booked in! Good job they had a room :)

Walk 113

Llanrhystud to Borth 16.5miles

The day started with a monster hill out of Llanrhystud but at least it was bright and sunny! I was soon into the routine of going up and down valleys, however the paths due to the overnight rain were becoming more and more treacherous and this was highlighted by the hill on the way into Aberystwyth, the rain had started an hour beforehand but it was monsoon time when I reached the brow of the hill! I slipped and skidded most of the way down but miraculously not falling over. Once in Aberystwyth I found a pub with a large radiator and dried all my stuff out whilst I had lunch. :) The town seemed very nice and full of students going about there business, it had a great atmosphere I would like to return when its a bit more sunny.

So obviously as I had negotiated a hill into town sure enough there was another big one for me to climb on the other side of the bay! This hill though did have a really nice cliff railway which I nearly beat to the top, now that's sedate :) It was then full steam ahead to Borth via Clarach Bay which itself was very nice and scenic

Walk 112

Penbryn to Llanrhystud 23.75miles 

Another long day beckoned and as the rain battered my bedroom window I thought the worse as it was going to be at least an 8 hour walk, however after breakfast the rain came and went....lucky ole me!! The first part of the walk was downhill to Llangrannog (see pic), and whilst I was taking photos of the village I got chatting to a lady who was renting a cottage and she was not happy, as she described the living room as “slug city” when she got up in the morning! So I walked downhill and the inevitably uphill back onto the path, this again was the theme of the day but I must say the scenery in this part of the world is stunning. I stopped at Craig Caerlian to shelter from a rain shower and got chatting to the shop owner to firstly ask if he was open, but unfortunately he was closing up for ever as after 43 years he had decided too call it a day, as we said our fairwells he gave me a free Twix for the journey, the people in Wales are so nice and friendly!!!

So on I walked, eventually arriving in New Quay just as the sun popped its head out of the clouds!

I hopped onto the beach to walk around the bay (see pic)and again got chatting to a couple who told me about the dolphins in the bay first his this morning, now I must say I'm getting a bit fed up with missing all of the wildlife.....I'm either to early or too late, its like they know I'm coming!!!!. The next part of the walk took in Sheraton where the hills came to an abrupt end. I must say after the last few days I was glad to have a break from the constant up and down, but this however only lasted for 6 miles to be precise! I ambled into Llanrhystud 8.5hrs after starting out, hungry and a little tired.

I have a lot of people ask me”what's the best part of the coast you've walked” and I must say the section from Penberthy to New Quay is going to take some beating!

Walk 111

Poppit Sands to Penbryn 19miles

A 7.30 start today to try and miss the worst of the wet weather which was forecast for the afternoon. The first few miles were along roads through St Dogmels which marks the end of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path and the start of the Ceredigian Coast path. I wandered into Cardigan and promptly got lost due to a new road system put in place for a Supermarket, eventually I gave up looking for the coast path markers and walked up the B4568 out of town in the general right direction, this took me to Gwebert which is opposite where I started my days walking, here you have to turn right along more roads until you reach Mwent on the coast. The going from Mwent to Aberporth is a little bit up and down but nothing too serious. I stopped in Aberporth for lunch which is yet another lovely coastal village(see pic) The rain still hadn't arrived so I ploughed on to my final destination at Penbryn, where ½ mile just before my B&B I came across this fantastic waterfall (see pic), a great end to a dry day!!! oh yes 10mins after arriving at the B&B the heavens that's timing!!!!!

Walk 110

Fishguard to Poppit Sands 26miles

Its very late September and I have 11 days off work to complete the Fishguard to Bangor section of the Wales Coast Path. Today's walk starts from where I left off in July and guess what?......... they've strimmed the paths....hoooray, maybe they are reading my blog!!!?

The day is warm and sunny(unlike July!) and I have a lot of hard miles ahead of me, the 10 miles or so to Newport are supposed to be the easy part of the walk but as I trudged up and down another valley I'm starting to wonder what the rest of the walk is like! Newport (unlike its namesake in south Wales) is lovely, a really nice village feel to it and with a nice beach to boot! (see pic) The hike out of Newport is uphill and 2 miles out of town there is a warning sign that there are no facilities for the next 12.8 miles(unless you want to take big detours inland), but you have to ask yourself why this sign is so far away from Newport? Surely it should be at the bottom of the first hill out of Newport, its just ridiculous being in its present location!!! So I battled on uphill and down-dale all the way to Poppit Sands YHA which is in a very convenient location and one of the best YHAs I've stopped in.....this was mainly due to me being their only customer for the night, so I got a fantastic nights sleep!