Episode 119 -Approaching 4,000 miles walking round Britain’s Coastline. Thirty* miles this trip on the Wales Coast path from Menai Bridge to Foryd Bay at the start of the Lleyn Peninsular; plus a day out detour to climb Cader Idris with Stanley and chums.


  • *This three day trip involved two days and twenty three miles for me alone  on the Wales Coast Path, plus one day and nominal  seven miles climbing Cader Idris in Snowdonia with Stan, Donald, Richard, Gabriel, Jim, Tom and Flash.
  • According to notices on The Minffordd Path  the distance to the summit is 5.4 miles there and back, plus change in elevation of twice times 788 metres; plus walking the promenade (also Wales Coast Path!) and playing the slots at Aberdovey, so allowing seven miles added to the Grand Total is conservative.
  •  The Grand Total walked now is 3,998 miles in 325 days.
progress-wales-coast-path.jpg

PROGRESS MAP BY COURTESY OF ORDNANCE SURVEY

Donald, Stan, Gabriel, Jim, Richard, Flash and Tom setting off for Cader Idris Summit. I  was generally with them but many paces behind…. 

boys-day-out-cader-idris.jpg
Youngsters conquer Cader Idris

Dear Rosie, Lauren, Stan, Jake, Rowan and Maisie,

Last week I was getting Mill cabin fever cooped up in the bad weather and not walking. The winter layers of blubber were building up around my waist, reinforcing the Christmas base layers already  laid down during the festivities. I was a good (or bad) stone over the limit.

But help was at hand, a trough of fine weather recently penetrated the hitherto unforgiving winter weather and I rapidly prepared to take advantage. At the same time Donald and Stan issued an invitation to join the boys’ party at the top of Cader Idris, not far from my Wales Coast Path route. If you say it quickly 892 metres isn’t even a mile….. and downhill all the way back?

Either side of the intrepid mountaineering expedition I fitted in some Coast Path Walking. Last Friday I travelled to Torrent Hill Camping and Bunkhouse near Dolgellau with all my gear. I hadn’t reserved anything so on arrival I was greeted with the choice of tent pitch or bunkhouse.  My soft layers of blubber screamed bunkhouse, so I left the tent safely stowed in the car, while I deployed the winter duvets, sleeping bag, pillows ,  many changes of clothing, plus the two chilli-bins full of rations and thermos flasks. Unfortunately I had left one bag behind at the Mill, which Nanny had been trying to contact me about. Phone reception is so hit and miss in the valleys, that I only received the many messages several hours later. The missing computer case contained all my sophisticated route planning gizmos, torches, back up batteries felt tips, diary, spare maps, notes, guide books and re-charging equipment. Nothing important! But what was I going to do at night if I couldn’t colour in my maps!

camping

Torrent Hill Camping and Bunkhouse  near Dollgellau – out of season – but still comfortable .  My home for two nights. The office/house is 600 years old.

Day one  – Friday –  I drove  from the campsite to Caernarfon, parked up and began the riverside walk back to  Pont Brittania and Menai Bridge.  From Y Felinheli the O/S map shows the Wales Coast Path following the main road. Fortunately the new route stays alongside the Menai Strait and any battles with traffic were averted.

leaving caernarfon.jpg

Leaving Caernarvon alongside the Menai Strait with Anglesey opposite. And help remembering where I left ZUD, below.

ZUD

The route out of Caernarvon was straightforward and level, probably an old rail track

y felinheli marina

The remainder of he walk to Britannia and Menai Bridges was through woods and walled overgrown gardens – Glan Faenol. Various vantage points of Plas Newydd, were cleverly appointed with oversize wooden seats and various shelters made from nearby trees and branches. Some stone carving depicting local fauna formed the coping stones to the river wall.

stone coping carvings

this one depicts the rare red squirrel – on the mainland..

oversize garden furniture….
…..from which to view Plas Newydd


Glan Faenolnotice telling us all about the walled garden…. and gated below

Britannia Bridge emerges through the woods above: but Menai Bridge is better hidden below..

The first day’s walking was completed in bright sunshine, although there were still the questions of where to board a bus back to Caernarfon, ZUD, food and then the bunkhouse.

Day Two started overcast with a drive to Minffordd at the foot of Cader Idris in Snowdonia, to rendezvous with Donald, Stan, Richard, Gabriel, Jim, Tom and Flash – all present and correct below

Almost seems like a gentle stroll


We stopped for refuelling at Llyn Cau



More refuelling at cloud level
The trig point at the summit now within view
More shelter and sustenance before the flight down!

That’s a long way to the bottom.
Clouds gathering over Lake Tal y llyn

Getting there.

Read all about it in two languages.

We found the cars and the boys still had enough energy to demand a visit to the beach, with paddling in the rough, cold waves followed by fish and chips, and ill advised slot machine investments on the promenade .

Saying our goodbyes, ZUD and headed back to Dollgellau Camp and Donald, Richard, Stan, Jim, Gabriel and Tom headed south, with Flash curled up asleep in the boot. I suspect he wasn’t the only one.

Finally Day Three, Sunday came round with a definite weather deterioration. I packed up all my bedding and clothing and loaded the car in rain. I prepared wet weather gear for a soggy final day walking.

.

Setting off from Caernarfon, I headed South West along the Wales Coast Path in the direction of The Lleyn Peninsular, firstly in light rain, then heavy rain, and for two hours. The rain stopped the sun appeared and after another two hours I was dry enough to return to the car and home.

The pictures are of a wet circular procession – wherever and however far I walked I had to walk back again – it was Sunday and no bus services, and no one likes a soggy hitch hiker. Chances are there are no bus routes anyway.

Walking in the rain – Bontnewydd – Llanfaglan

From now on all walking is reducing the distance home.

Caernarfon Castle and the Afon Seiont

Final Picture – new start point next time out at Llanwnda – Saron near Foryd Bay hopefully the lane will have dried out…

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