Episode 125- Alternative pictures by Justina taken on the walk from Pwllheli to Llanbedr. Supplement to Episode 124

 

 

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

On the last walk from Pwllheli via Criccieth, Porthmadog to Harlech and finishing at Llanbedr, I was joined by Mark and, in particular, by Justina with her camera. This is her  take on The Walk….

 

colouring in time…

2623CED9-EF72-4467-8D49-8B616C7A1F71Restarting at Pwllheli after a planning session

 

 

Pwllheli lifeboat station – and the chart naming the hills on the horizon which can clearly be seen in the backgrounds..using a half decent camera

 

 

And a stranded shark

 

 

 

Near Pen ychain trig point

End of day one at Criccieth below

 

 

Mutiny  – Time for ice cream while Bobl walks on to RNLI Criccieth and the rendezvous at Dylan’s and day’s finish.

Day two

Restarting at Dylan’s in Criccieth through Porthmadog, Lunch,  Portmeirion, Pont Briwet and finish at Railway halt at Llandecwyn

 

 

 

 

 

Day three

Justina is last man standing to accompany me on my final day from the pylons at Pont Briwet as far as we can walk

 

 

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Harlech Castle above

We arrived in Harlech for lunch rendezvous with Marilyn and a final stroll to the beach through Royal St David’s golf club and farewell to Justina who had her transport back to Porthmadog waiting.

I trudged on alongside the railway line seeing how many stations I could collect.

Starting with the Harlech cliff to Llanfair which did for me – and no station! I got to

Llandanwg followed by Pensarn, then had nothing left by Talwryn-Bach near Llanbedr. After 50 miles in four days, Nanny and Nobby miraculously appeared and I was whisked off home….

Episode 124 – Four day, 50 mile walk, along the Wales Coast Path with Nanny, Mark and Justina. Nant y big to Llanbedr Railway Station on the Porthmadog to Barmouth line. 4,166 miles walking around England and Wales. Under 200 miles to go in Wales…. COYS! oops – sorry!

Photo of The Walk – Wales Coast Path after Boston Lodge Halt Ffestiniog Railway

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Painting of the Walk – The Wales Coast Path nearby Boston Lodge heading for Portmeirion , by Artist in Residence (Porthmadog), Mark Buckingham  4BFD92B9-7779-48C4-8D0E-F162A81241D0.jpeg

See more of Mark’s work- click on the link

http://www.markbuck.co.uk

 

PROGRESS The crimson worm maps..

….but first introducing our photography and painting guests;

 

At Glastraeth, Justina and bipod facing Portmeirion……08F2B51C-E1BD-4BD2-A585-8EDE7C6965C3

0AB22EE2-485F-4C05-BD1E-4EC37F9A733B….while Mark and tripod paint the town red at….- Portmeirion  – photos taken simultaneously on either side of  Afon  Dwyryd on the final day. Spooky!

 

And now – Extract of progress map below- by courtesy of Ordnance Survey, showing my route on the Wales Coast Path. Walking 50 miles this trip, with Mark Justina and Nanny all contributing PBs.

I have now completed the Llyn Peninsular and temporarily fetched up just South of Porthmadog in the north and remain stranded slightly short of St David’s in the south. That effectively leaves the whole of Cardigan Bay to finish plus a bit. More accurately 192.25 miles!

Before the end of July!

All welcome to join in either 192 miles or 0.25 miles or see you in Aberystwyth? Mark and Justina did and survived – they Jjust about made their Mmark…

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DIVERSION

Just in case you didn’t notice, Spurs wiped the floor with Ajax last night and as a result will be appearing in the European Cup Final (to give it its old name) against Liverpool, on June 1st in Spain. All walking traffic will be diverted via Madrid or maybe White Hart Lane (tgiion) at this time.COYS!

 

 

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

Well done on your hatrick Lucas; your mock report Rosie, your solo Lauren, your rugby tour Stan, your swing ball Jake, your show Rowan and your 5th birthday Maisie!

It’s all go!

Nanny and Bobl drove Nobby to the Lleyn Peninsular last week and resumed walking the Wales Coast Path from Nant y big heading for Abersoch. The weather was perfect for walking. Our immediate target was to meet up with Mark and Justina, who wanted to join in this stretch of the Walk around Porthmadog, where we were all billeted at Sue and Ian’s for the duration. This time Nanny and Bobl not only had the superior accommodation but relative company and endless gossip and catching up with family….

In between I managed to  add 50 miles to the WCP walking tally over four days . Surprising, considering we stopped at every coffee shop and ice cream outlet plus less formal refreshment breaks supplied by Nanny and Nobby at regular intervals

When we were walking, keeping  to the Wales Coast Path took us through the following photos…..

Day one Friday Nanny drops Bobl at Nant y big on the Wales Coast Path.EF7367D4-F5DB-434D-844D-B092E5598AA7.jpeg

 

 

In the round or all square.What’s the point? Trywyn  yr Wylfa!B8FCBCCD-B19C-456B-94E3-E26358E24858

The St Tudwalds Islands8D27BB58-3ED4-414A-A9FC-B48DE516D956

 

 

D13C35EB-D06D-40D9-9DED-9AB792C0D7B6Above – the old lifeboat house near Machroes privately owned but still eligible for the collection.

 

C8931947-43E6-4AED-A8F6-3CCFD58B44E0Borth Fawr

 

 

The newer lifeboat station at Abersoch

 

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The sands at the Warren, Abersoch.

 

 

Below – looking down, and back, from, and at, the Tin Man overlooking Llanbedrog

 

 

Here he is!

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I was under instruction not to walk the shoreline with the danger of erosion and being cut off by the tide. But the cliff top wasn’t exactly a stroll in the park either!

 

 

Late afternoon approaching Pwllheli city limits, I became aware I had company in the shape of a very dark cloud. Time to call it quits – here Endeth day one – off to have fish and chips in Pwllheli and then greet M&J in Porthmadog.

Day two Saturday – met and gret Mark and Justina. Mark is local knowledge monitor and Justina photo monitor. Nanny is in charge of Nobby and food. I’m just going along for the ride and the weather which has been well behaved so far. My photos finish this blog . I’m afraid the disparity in quality between mine and  Justina’s is all too obvious so will award her a separate blog Episode 125

To continue; new arrivals Mark and Justina starting off from Pwllheli beach looks like we photoshopped that sky.B095AAF7-053A-411E-AB77-8DD79E6A7FE1.jpeg

 

A slight deviation from the WCP to take in Pwllheli RNLI Lifeboat Station in the marina, but it was closed.

 

 

The photo editor is playing up!

I had been berating the surrounding Snowdonia mountain profiles constantly on the horizons for not having labels. The aspects and orientations are constantly changing and I always lose track.

Now this chart below should help especially as we had a clear day25420B7D-A0C9-4BED-99EF-18CDA2359EFF

 

Now all we needed was s comfortable seat and coffee and ice cream which we found plentifully in this newly landed space craft with idyllic views of Snowdonia

 

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Several miles along the beach and in and out of the sand dunes round the point at Pen-y-chain to our rendezvous at Afon Wen and back again walking the roads to Llanydtumdwy where we found Afon Dwyfor and the beach again

Eventually the city dwellers got tired and demanded a lift to the nearest coffee ice cream outlet at Criccieth. It was past the castle and at Dylan’s that a rebellion occurred and the day’s walk was over. I just sneaked in another lifeboat station at Criccieth

 

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Day two finish was celebrated at Spooners in the Harbour  Station Porthmadog alongside the Ffestiniog Railway

 

Day three started at Dylan’s and headed past Criccieth Castle looking for Porthmadog

 

 

 

We walked along Black Rock Sands with a rendezvous in Borth y Gest and sneaked a lunch at the Harbour Station after which I was the last Walker standing heading along the not so picturesque A497 passing  Portmeirion And Minffordd . Just prior to this MArk gave me directions to the scene of his latest painting creation nearby Boston Lodge Hall. As soon as I arrived I recognised the site and include my own photo for comparison.D958CC5C-C42D-4461-8ECE-1182D2330B07

I visited the back entrance to Portmeirion and after trouble finding the right road out, I followed the railway to Penrhyndeudraeth and finally for day three stopping at Llandetwyn STation.

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Day four was more of the same. I suppose I was feeling a tad weary as I followed the meandering level route alongside the road, railway and marshland to Morfa Harlech and Harlech and one final torturous climb from the beach to Llanfair.

By the time I got to the station at Talwryn-Bach I was done for.

 

The steps to Llanfair are hidden well in that bank on the left below. After four days of walking nearly 50 miles it’s not fair making me climb that!

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I can see my final photos for the last day/s are getting scrambled and problems with editing are not helping. I think it’s fatigue and I won’t have the energy to put it right till….. don’t know when?

Anyway the next blog will feature Justina’s take on the walk from Pwllheli to    Harlech.

Anyway this was definitely the final railway station below, maybe next time I’ll get the train to here to resume the tour?

A3304E97-262E-4A2F-95D1-C862DF4E66E5.jpeg  The final station before going home – Talwryn-bach Llanbedr

Episode 123 – Change of scenery on the Wales Coast Path to South Pembrokeshire. Walking 35 miles from St Ishmael via St Ann’s Head, Martin’s Haven, Little Haven, Broad Haven, Mill Haven and Nolton Haven to Newgale. The new grand total of 4,116 miles on my route round England and Wales, not counting one last sad visit to Christa in Berlin.

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The Havens  – best picture?

 

RNLI at LittleHaven – add to RNLI collection. Closed when I visited!A01B3C37-29DB-442C-8990-85E945563679

 

 

Twice I got escorted by pony trekkers  on this trip – maybe I should get a Norse?

Sorry about the panic – my unfinished blog contains errors and omissions and now we’re rushing off again – where we won’t be walking any coastline… instead we’re stuck in the heart of Europe on the original Exit Brexit day. Berlin has very little scope for coast walking. A very sad few days as Nanny and I attended Christa’s funeral.

She was coming to visit in the spring.    A very lovely lady. We’ll miss the phone calls.

It all took the edge of this last Wales Coast Path trip – quick summary – All in two different pictures – below – the finish at Newgale Sands which extend for several kilometres and where I pick up the trail next time out- just to whet your appetite – bring yer togs! C’mon in the water’s  FREEZING!

 

 

View from the top and view from the bottom of Newgale Sands

 

… and the middle – sort of…..

 

 

St Ann’s

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

Nanny, Bobl and Nobby took off this last weekend to stay in Haverfordwest whilst walking the Wales Coast Path in South Pembrokeshire for three glorious April days – a fourth day was abandoned when our luck ran out and we awoke early  in the morning to a misty, damp atmosphere that portended worse to come. We cashed in our chips at 35 miles for the first three days. An excellent return at this time of year. Grand total mileage round England and Wales is now 4,116 in 335 days. And then we took off unexpectedly to Christa’s funeral in Berlin. So unexpected. So sad.

Meanwhile – back on the Wales Coast Path…

Aside – we don’t get much opportunity to complain but two incidents warranted our amused moan to relevant authorities. The normally excellent Premier Inn at ?, unfortunately lodged their noisiest occupants in adjoining rooms to ours. I eventually dropped off but Marilyn tells me they kept going most of the night!

Another chips story emanated from the adjacent eatery whose curious name , The Lost Coin, suggests they were losing money. When asked if my meal was ok, I happened to mention that my scampi and chips was a bit light in the chip department to which I received the reply “Everyone says that?”

Ordering another side of chips was suggested without it being clear who coughed up. So nothing happened except that we established they had set portions of chips! At least my waist line remains sylph like.

Anyone analysing my walking progress will note the decline in daily distances- I put this down to too many chips, returning from hibernation, slippery tracks, frequent steep climbs and very irregular winding paths and age! Simple!

Progress Map below by courtesy of Ordnance Survey showing my overall route around England and Wales, including Hadrian’s Wall and Offa’s Dyke. The circumnavigation of England is complete, with about 250 miles left to finish the Wales Coast Path  – mainly Cardigan Bay.

i have reached Newgale approaching St David’s on the southern Wales Coast Path and nearly finished the Llyn Peninsular on the northern Wales Coast Path arriving at Porth Ceriad aka Nant y Big

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So sorry about clipping off the coastline in East Anglia and North Scotland – I’m trying new blog techniques – it should get better! don’t worry it’s not erosion.

 

The following pictures  in chronological order of my walk, don’t do justice to the scenery but here goes all the same….watch out for eroding cliff edges and perfect blue skies in April.
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Saturday 6th April, 2019 – start point on the Wales Coast Path – from where I left off near St Ishmael in January earlier this year. The pictures follow in sequence as I meander up and down in and around all the nooks and crannies that make up The Wales Coast Path from St Ishmael via Dale, St Ann’s Head, Westdale Bay  Marloes Sands, Martin’s Haven, Nab Head, Borough Head, all  The Havens in St Brides Bay, finishing at Newgale Sands and home.
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Watch house Bay
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Fortunately low tide exposed this walkway near Pickleridge otherwise a high tide detour was in order

Approaching St Ann’s Head the rugged cliffs occasionally make room for beautiful secluded (inaccessible) sandy beaches….

 

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Watwick Bay
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Holiday lets and lighthouse at St Ann’s Head

 

Getting weary towards the first day’s end- slow going from the St Ann’s Head to Dale. I seemed to be walking much further than recorded.

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Finish day one Nobby is the other end of this muddy track a mile away in Dale . Fortunately Nanny found a quarry lane to get nearer to pick me up. My legs had just packed up!

 

 

Day two or Sunday was the same pleasant weather of sunshine and light wind. Early supplies of sunblock were in order. The pictures above show progress from Dale to Martin’s Haven with Nanny in the last photo coming  to greet me for lunch.  After a suitable break I made it to Mill haven before retiring with twelve more miles completed

 

The third day was again magnificent for walking and i continued through the Havens and the eroding cliff top walk until the vast expanse of Newgale Sands demanded I negotiate the cliff face and drop down to the rocky shores below to walk the shoreline

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This morass of former colliery workings was the otiginal cliff path down to Newgale Sands. Only one way down now – sliding on yer bottom – below are the views of Newgale Sands  from the top and the bottom

 

 

Nanny was waiting with Nobby at the end after another twelve miles today. What will tomorrow bring?

It brought rain and a decision to halt the walk and return home with a total 35 miles this trip in three walking days 

Episode 122 -Walking another 24 miles of the Wales Coast Path on the Llyn Peninsular from Mount Pleasant to Porth Ceriad in brilliant March Sunshine

Map by courtesy of Ordnance Survey with my completed walking route superimposed in crimson. To date I have now walked 4,081 miles round the coast of England and Wales, including Hadrian’s Wall and Offa’s Dyke boundaries.
Also by courtesy of Ordnance Survey highlighting (black pin) my recent movement along the sheltered underbelly of the Llyn Peninsular, with St Tudwalds Islands coming into view, north of Cardigan Bay. More specifically I will start off again next visit to North Wales Coast Path, from Nant y Big, landside; or Porth Ceriad , sea side.
In reality Nant y Big is probably a bit previous. There is a planned trip next to the white pin currently becalmed at St Ismael near Haverfordwest
The gap between black and white pins (approximately Abersoch to St Ismael or Cardigan Bay plus St Brides Bay) is about 270 miles. To be completed by the end of July. 2019 ?
That’s nine adventures at 30 miles per trip.
Come on in.
The water’s getting warmer.



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

Last weekend Nanny and I took a good look at the weather forecast and believed the impending high temperatures expected imminently for The Llyn Peninsular. Totally unplanned, we jumped into Car no 66* and arrived at Mount Pleasant to find clear blue skies and unseasonably high temperatures, which lasted for the whole of our two day visit. Even the prevailing wind was with us. Only the up inclines were against us , but for every up there was a down.

The plan was to complete The North Wales Coast Path from Bryn Mawr near Cyndyn Isaf to the top of Mynydd Mawr with classic views over Bardsey Island. Then follow the coast path for two days or until we got to overlook the St Tudwalds Islands, some 24 miles in total. Nanny joined in and made the walk complete

The tracks were damp but only slightly muddy; although I did forgo an inspection of National Trust’s Plas y Rhiw because of the state of my footwear. Nanny carried on her visit while I went in search of the mobile coast path last seen sliding down the hillside towards the Porth Neigwl or Hell’s Mouth,

I eschewed ( good word but forsook would be better) the inland route of the Wales Coast Path because it was through farmland, and I already had had a contretemp with a field full of dairy cattle. Instead I scrambled down the collapsing cliff face just after high tide and followed the expanding beach, as the tide receded, to Mynydd Cilan at the other end of Hell’s Mouth. This was pure coastwalking – no way out except at the end, and maybe the sand did seem a little soft in places and the crumbly cliffs very unstable above me. Dodging the washed up jelly fish was another necessary past time.

I had arranged a rendezvous with Nanny and Car No 66 at Ysgbor Hen.- Correct Pronunciation courtesy of a very pleasant Welsh Lady who mistook me for Richard (?) in need of an Airb&b . Obviously all Coast Path Walkers look the same. Anyway she assured me my rendezvous with Nanny and Car no 66* was perfectly possible at Ysgbor Hen because that’s where she lived.

What she didn’t mention -or perhaps even know – was that the Wales Coast Path had decided to part company with the map and go nowhere near the lane to Ysgbor Hen, instead follow its own devices along the cliff edge. All new post and wire fencing and appropriate waymarkers convinced me they’d changed the route, which is all very well but I was now well beyond the rendezvous heading for the cliff edge at Trwyn yr Wylfa. A few frantic phone calls to halt me heading off into the sunset, and a bit of trespassing and fence climbing returned me to the previous route of the Wales Coast Path .

No contest for the next stage of the journey.

Home.

*You deserve an explanation about Car No 66*. Remember back up cars Vera and Vicky and now ZUD? Well we feel you are all much too old to be naming things anymore – except pets, teddy bears and Bobl. So when our car downsizing programme crashed, and we became in need of another second vehicle, as ZUD was accumulating mileage frantically, we happened on Car No 66*.

Never any doubt!

1966 was a glorious year in many ways, and it all fitted. Even down to the ugliness – difficult to say which of the two is the most gruesome, ZUD or Car No 66* AKA Nobby.

It’s obvious!

Of course you wouldn’t remember Nobby Stiles, bereft of teeth, dancing with the WORLD CUP IN 1966 but you’ll immediately recognise and understand why we chose this car… look at the number plate!

So here’s the trip in photos – but remember Eric Morcambe……he knew all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order. That’s my walk! Nanny always manages to find me – so far?

Must be very tempting…..

Day one Sunday Start – Mount Pleasant cairn overlooking north, the Bryn Mawr rendezvous where I left off last time out – Nanny is down there somewhere with Nobby aka Car no 66.


Porth Llanllawen National Trust


Atop Mynydd Mawr looking north – ish




Starting the trek from Mynydd Mawr to Aberdaron with Bardsey Island bathed in sunshine


Activity at Porth Meudwy


Aberdaron Bay getting towards the end of day one


Sunset over Aberdaron/Rhiw. Getting to the end of Sunday walking. Good night.




Monday Day two.

Sunrise day two Monday – we were joined by the sun all day.
This was the Wales Coast Path filled with dairy cattle. I hopped the fence heading for the path from the farm behind, but didn’t like the attention of the protective mothers. so for a while I walked the gorse bank to the left until I could make a run for it! I met the farmeress at the end of my ordeal who was quite amused by my tactics and was certain they wouldn’t harm me – as I said to her – I don’t know that! At least she put me back on the right trail.


The walk so far had been along reasonably strong cliff tops or farmland inland since leaving Aberdaron. I was searching for a safe way down to the beach – but I eventually found an unsafe way after visiting Plas Y Rhiw. I denied myself entry to this 17th century house rescued by the Keating sisters because of the muddy state of my boots. But Nanny started to tour the property while I further muddied my boots clambering down the shifting cliff.

Cliff footpath to the beach closed through landslips….
View from 44 metres below…. it wasn’t that closed!

High tide was at 11-00am – even 90 minutes later there was not enough sand exposed further along, to walk without getting too close to the crumbling cliff face

Walking Hell’s Mouth beach was a delicate balance; too near the face risked being sconned by falling debris; too far away you got wet! It is a very weak structure


Porth Neigwl or Hell’s Mouth looking west.

Mynydd Cilan still going up…

Mynydd Cilan West side – yes a bit iffy!

Don’t forget to see where I’ve been – in two days I’ve walked all that except Bardsey Island – top left
Final view of Porth Ceiriad before turning inland for my rendezvous; an end to a wonderful two days walking in perfect weather – start here next time out on the northern Wales Coast Path
Final steps on the Wales Coast Path – I deviated off the all new post and wire corridor separating quality up market but strangely quiet, development from downward spiralling cliff faces; pays yer money and takes yer choice; i’d taken the bypass and missed my rendezvous…….


After inspecting a few more lanes around Llanengan – Cilan I found Nobby and Nanny and got my lift home. Twenty four miles this trip and all in the right direction.!

PICTURE OF THE WALK.

Atop Mynydd Mawr looking north

OR MAYBE THIS ONE?

Mynydd Mawr with Bardsey Island bathed in sunshine


Episode 121 -Walking the Wales Coast Path Llyn Peninsular, 32 miles from Trefor to Mount Pleasant and within sight of Mynydd Mawr. Grand total around Britain’s coastline, 4,048 miles in 329 walking days

Picture by courtesy of Ordnance Survey showing my progress in scarlet, walking round Wales to date. The northern black marker shows I’ve nearly reached the end of the Llyn Peninsular and the white marker in the south represents St Ishmael by Milford Sound where I’ve stalled for a little while recuperating!


***Initial Draft – come back later to see the typos corrected and maybe a few extras**

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

Nanny, Bobl and ZUD set off from home last Sunday intending to mount an assault on The Llyn Peninsular. Instead it nearly blew us away, although there were many fine periods and dodging the rain and hail squalls became an art form. We knew gales were forecast and quite expected to spend a lot of time drinking tea waiting to walk in the excellently appointed bunkhouse courtesy of Sue and Ian. Yet again we have new standards to which we must aspire for accommodation. Have to say that – we want to return to finish off Llyn in luxury.

Waiting for the weather to change….. view from aloft


No we did not complete as much as hoped , but quite frankly the 32 miles, mostly in the right direction, was a bonus. We must return, and hopefully next time, I’ll have recovered from the severe buffeting by the wind, and the gales will have gone elsewhere.

The intended route was straightforward; return to Trefor and follow the Wales Coast Path as far as possible, without being distracted by the superb scenery and trying to stay upright on the slippery, muddy surface with the odd knee deep puddle, with regular ascents and descents.

The pictures tell the rest of the story; look on;

What gales? Waiting to leave Trefor.


Leaving Trefor – still no gales….


Over the saddle at Yr Eifl a steep climb and steep descent heading for centre right.


Porth y nant – starting to cut up rough
looking back at Porth y nant from Pystyll

Nefyn ahead and the weather- probably time to stop after nine miles into the wind!

ZUD waiting on the Wales Coast Path – in the rain at the end of day one.
Next Day – Porth Nefyn
More Porth Nefyn…. look at that sky – what gales?
Morfa Nefyn looking to the RNLI Station The truth is I couldn’t get the camera out in the gales – so most of the pictures were taken in the calm.


Nefyn Golf Club
The Wales Coast Path goes in every direction


Heading for Nefyn RNLI Station

Nefyn RNLI Station

Carreg Ddu from the Coastwatch Tower.

Coastwatch Tower….


Ian and Kathy are volunteer Coastwatchers near Nefyn Golf Course – I took shelter from the gales here for a chat and a rest.
Seals sheltering too on the Nefyn Edern Coast
Rendezvous at Porth Colmon with Zud and Nanny
Leaving rendezvous at Porth Colmon – unexplained why the Wales Coast Path moved inland and became poorly signed posted. I was also nearing the end of my batteries and looking for a suitable finish; as I could see the slope ahead and upward toward Mount Pleasant. I could also see a few miles out to sea squalls and cloudbursts heading my way in an otherwise clear blue sky
Looking for a finish – getting wet and going upwards

no finish at Whistling Sands and still climbing…

I eventually realised I was on collision course with a nasty black squall which had detached itself from the bad weather out to sea. I left the Wales Coast PathI headed inland but so did the nasty weather. Nanny could see me heading for a field full of cattle; and I could only see another field full of pregnant sheep and yet another full off recently born lambs . I don’t know how but I just made the shelter of the car soaked only on the prevailing wind side.

No more pictures – too wet and windy – the camera/phone was soaked but after sheltering for a while I took to the lanes again until I got to the foothills of Bryn Mawr and stopped! Home Zud



Episode 120 – Passed milestone 4,000 in 327 days with a 27 mile walk on The Wales Coast Path from Foryd Bay to Trefor in unseasonal sunshine.

Progress Map above by Courtesy of Ordnance Survey, showing my latest North Wales Coast Path walk reaching Trefor in the shelter of Gyrn Ddu (522) and Yr Eifl (564). The South Wales Coast Path Walk remains static by St Ishmael at Milford Haven.

Progress round Britain Map above, also by courtesy of Ordnance Survey. Sorry about the strange weather, but we have been experiencing some unseasonal temperatures lately. Summer has come early….


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

We have entered the birthday season with Lauren’s twelfth and Stan’s eighth just passed, and awaiting Jake’s seventh shortly. Happy Birthdays all three. Suitable celebrations were and will be had. Then Rowan, Maisie and Rosie follow at monthly intervals. Grown ups don’t count. I stopped at fifty.

Normally I would be settling down, almost hibernating and not thinking of walking so much in the winter, but suddenly the weather changed with threats of 18/19 degrees temperatures. On hearing this I rapidly mobilised and headed for Caernarfon looking for an unseasonally open campsite.

Until the artic ahead of me deposited its toilet block all over the road…

…….. at Llanbrynmair. I was blocked for nearly an hour but eventually got going through the motions and was relieved to pass.

Helped by Nanny, I eventually contacted Parsal Farm Campsite which opened for me near Trefor, very conveniently placed for the North Wales Coast Path.

The Proprietor, Arthur Jones was very welcoming and helpful and I soon had the tent pitched before midday and stuffed with duvets ready for low night time temperatures following the forecast day time heat wave.

The tent pitched at Parsal Farm; proprietor Arthur Jones – only one occupant -me! It’s only 11-00am – almost a full day’s walking ahead – in a February heatwave!


I had two full days to extend the walk southwestwards along the LLEYN Peninsular, what could go wrong!?

Leaving Parsal Camp – early morning start
Sunshine at Saron Foryd Bay – I’m heading for the Caernarfon Airport
Also looking….This enormous four engine military transport aircraft came down and had a good look at the airport and me and then rapidly took off. Either the size of the runway – tiny – or me – had put the frighteners on it. Howabout that for a February sky?

Not exactly Heathrow is it?

Afron Gwyrfal drains into Foryd Bay – the flat marshes contrast dramatically with the surrounding peaks.
I think you have got the picture! I was glad not to be climbing any of those!
RAF Museum….
…………at Caernarfon Airport




It did rain for two hours at Dinas Dinlle and with no shelter in sight I got a soaking, but it cleared up and I dried out and returned to a damp tent for the night.

The WCP route between Dinnas Dinlle and Trefor is unrelenting well trafficked A499, although looking to the horizon there is always the constantly changing profile of the many peaks to take your mind off the speeding vehicles .

A499 -NUFF SAID

A499 – WHAT MORE CAN YOU SAY

My final assault this trip was to commence the scaling of Yr Eifl, I managed the foothills and circumnavigated Trefor but the real impact heading for Nefyn is yet to come. Fortunately I don’t have to climb the full 564 metres as The Llyn Coast Path bypasses the summit, but it’s still pretty steep.

The final pictures show my tour of Trefor

Trefor Harbour above and below
Trefor Pier
Yr Eifl Quarry
The end of the line this trip, where the Wales Coast Path departs from Trefor and my starting point next time out. The bridge supports the track for the Granite’s journey from quarry to harbour fortunately no longer in use

Twenty seven miles walked this time in two days. Grand Total 4,024 miles. I have added up the remaining distances to complete the Wales Coast Path and it totals 310 miles. We all know this is a minimum since nothing is allowed for getting lost, circuitous walks and getting to and from places without transport. The mileages I tally up include all those things, so don’t take my figures as any meaningful distance round Britain’s coastline.

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.

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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…

Episode 118 – Continuing my Round Britain Coastline Walk; Resuming from Pembroke Dock Railway Station across the Cleddau Bridge to Neyland, Milford Haven and finishing at St Ishmael, a total of 36 miles in three days. 3,968 miles so far completed…..

 

PROGRESS SO FAR – Map by Courtesy of Ordnance Survey

progress on the wales coast path

Last time out I visited south west Wales at Milford Haven and its environs. The crimson worms above show  I’ve  now arrived at St Ishmael and heading for the westernmost Welsh coastline at St David’s next visit. Maybe then the 3968 miles accumulated so far will trip over the 4,000 milestone? 

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

I’ve been so lucky again. Last Friday,  I hesitantly returned to Pembroke to resume my trailblazing on the Wales Coast Path after  earlier consulting Countryfile’s  weather forecast . It had showed colder temperatures turning to snow near home, but only intermittent rain in South Wales where I was bound. In acknowledgement of the vagueness of weather forecasting , basically not trusting it, I forsook my tent and booked into Neeston Bunkhouse near Herbrandston   for two nights with an option on the third night. Events dictated that the option was never taken up.

I resumed my walk with a circular trek from Pembroke Docks  across the Cleddau Bridge to Neyland and return.Within an hour of starting crossing the Cleddau Bridge  I got soaked. You can’t get any wetter high up on that bridge, battered by wind and rain coming off Milford Haven.  I got further soakings down on ‘dry’ land  and as daylight ran out I need no more excuses to give up for the day and go and dry out in the bunkhouse, hoping for better tomorrow. Even so I completed a circular walk of 10 miles that day and took the new frontier into Neyland.

It was now dusk; I was tired and wet. I repaired to Herbrandston to check in at the very friendly Upper Neeston Bunkhouse. Without further ado – this bunkhouse must be up there with the best of all accommodation I’ve sampled on this adventure – everything I needed and very friendly , knowledgeable family run venture. And horses too!   I hope to return here on the next leg .

BELOW, The Cleddau Bridge from Neyland, and the Marina and Promenade at Neyland with views over Milford Haven

 

And boy! How much better tomorrow was.. Sun and warm weather all day Saturday. And I made hay. Not rapidly though. Under foot the wet track was treacherous and slow going and I slipped many times.  Once I face planted into a wild rose. No ewes this time. Yesterday dry clothing was at a premium. Today dry footware was now in short supply. By the last day , Sunday, (no country buses) I was down to wearing my gumboots. Excellent for the deeper puddles.  All other walking boots had succumbed and drowned. Fortunately I carry old spare deckshoes for comfort when the wellies’ day is done.

Mustn’t  make the bunkhouse muddy.

Don’t bring mud in – criminal – whether It is  intent,  bunkhouse or hotel room.

The loose deck shoes allow the feet to swell unrestrained to a comfortable size after  pounding the path and being tightly incarcerated all day. While on the subject of footwear,( my shoe/boot bag is my second biggest item of kit – dry clothes being the largest) – the only other foot protection are  jandals/flipflops . If I have a foot fetish it is only about being barefooted  when I’m forced to shower. Don’t take that the wrong way – I’m forced to shower when I can’t have a bath. Visitors to the Mill often comment on the number of baths….  I’d bring a bath with me walking if I could – I recall Grandad Cam  (hold tight we’re in regression) had amongst other  WWII  souvenirs, a collapsible Officers canvas bath. Even if it still survives, I can’t  bring  that ‘cos the kitchen sink takes up too much room .

I digress.

{Ps note to siblings S, J, & J. Did I just make up that Cam bath or did it really exist along with Army issue strap bags, camp bed, water flask and Hodden Grey Kilt? Or am I being a bit random? Even more random; whatever happened to the  tartan kilt that Nanny Tab built?

On Saturday, I flagged down the bus outside the bunkhouse to take me to Milford Haven, leaving Zud to a day off.

upper neeston bunkhouse

 

Earlier arrival at the bunkhouse and there’s ZUD resting in the corner.

 

so good it appears twice!

 

Bit exposed above, on the Cleddau Bridge with no shelter anywhere, but The Irish Ferries find shelter alongside in Milford Haven.

BELOW Neyland Marina sheltering pleasure craft and boating service industry; Neyland was favoured by Brunel and he is considered a founder of area.  Despite all the major industry and shipping terminals  the wider area is comparatively unharmed by normally intrusive and polluting activities. Most views have harbour and industrial paraphernalia in the background but the farming, leisure and tourism carry on regardless. It could be so much worse. 

I have been to Port Talbot.

 

 

Circular Walk/ bus assisted/ DayTwo/ Neyland Marina to Milford Haven, Hubberstone, Hakin,  Sandy Haven Pill Stepping Stones (submerged),  Herbranston and Upper Neeston.

Buses still running early on Saturday morning, which was a relief. I returned to Neyland and followed the Coast path back to Upper Neeston Bunkhouses

bus approaching

 

Merging of industry alongside the Haven from Milford to Neyland

 

Arrived at Herbrandstone – no go – the tide’s arrived and covered the stepping stones. I’ll have to cross the Sandy Haven Pill (right) further inland at Clay Bridge . The bunkhouse is on the way – so call it a day after 14 miles and finish tomorrow.

Day Three – no buses – so fully self sufficient circular tour to St Ishmael and back before heading home

Whether by design or accident I found myself following well trafficked roads paths or lanes and many motorists treat walkers with indifference. Some parts were downright dangerous for the Coast Path to also be the main road. Other paths were being reconstructed to segregate vehicles and pedestrians. Particularly  vulnerable was the alternative route taken by The Wales Coast Path when  the tide covered the short cut across the stepping stones.

 

 

Sandy Farm where the Wales Coast Path gets confused and  entangled with public footpaths. I had to ask for help to find the  stepping stones river crossing. Once found I left ZUD nearby while I walked as for as I could and back again. sandy bay farm

Sandyhaven Pill  – the ‘stepping stones’ at last revealed with the outgoing tide. When I approached from the other side yesterday  they were hidden beneath the surface and I couldn’t cross. Today, I walked across and linked up . Even though I had just walked all the way round via the next bridging point at Clay Bridge

stepping stones

Soon back on the Coast Path again at Great Castle Head – Great ancient fort site and modernish radar station  WWII ?

gr castle head

 

Lindsway Bay – the final beach this trip – now looking for the footpath out of herelyndsay bay

The end of the line this trip, for the Wales Coastal Path before turning inland to St Ishmael on a public footpath. Then a lane lead back to Zud via Skerry Back Cottage making a day tour of twelve mile and 36 miles for the three days

 

THIS IS THE START LINE NEXT TIME OUT

And now for Home. Which is getting nearer with every walk..

Spare Photo Gallery

 

 

 

 

Episode 116 – So far recorded 3,932 miles in my bid to walk round Mainland Britain. Walking 26 miles on the Wales Coast Path from Freshwater West, via Angle to Pembroke Dock Railway Station.

I apologise to my reader for the slight hiatus whilst publishing this Episode. Operator Error? This is now the complete edition of Episode 116 and Episode 117 has been withdrawn.

Progress Map by courtesy of Ordnance Survey

image_568413743415843

Where the Celtic Sea meets the Bristol Channel, this latest walk extends the Crimson Worm  in South  West Wales as far as Pembroke Dockyard  Railway Station. I performed this walk over one full day and two half days, in an initial Day Half scouting mission around Pembroke docks and two further curious circuits to take in all the Wales Coast Path coastline. The final car journey/lift/rescue did not count as it was not on the Coast Path and was my reward for shepherding.

 

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

Last week I took a gamble on the weather and spent Wednesday and Thursday  nights camping  at Newton Farm Campsite, near Angle Bay, Pembrokeshire, thanks to Proprietor Roland Lewis. Although closed for winter, He opened up his site for me to use as basecamp while I did a 26 mile circuit of the local coastline, making the grand total 3,932 miles in 320 days actual walking, since I started this hairbrain venture roundabout November 2013.

 

 

 

 

Serendipity reigns ok! Yet again, like the campsite, I was also lucky with the weather,  the night time temperatures  came close but never got below zero! Neither did it rain and the wind seemed to be with me which ever direction I walked.

Start of the main circuit from Freshwater West.

 

zud in the middle of nowhere 4

I left Zud parked in the middle of nowhere – above – middle distance, slightly left!

.

Angle Lifeboat Station below looking out over Milford Haven with Paul on duty

 

 

 

 

 

Unusual events included  damaging a hand rescuing a weary sheep stuck in brambles and I had a personal conducted tour of Angle Lifeboat Station courtesy of Lifeboatman Mechanic Paul.  Thank you for letting me inspect your Taymar Class Lifeboat including going on board and into the cockpit. These boats are fantastic, and you can say the same about the crews, mostly volunteers, but some full time like Paul. I will always sing your praise and patronise your gift shops, but hope I will never need your brave services.

Even on the final day when I was completing a circuitous route back to the campsite things fell into place despite a potentially daunting  walk back to ZUD, left guarding Pembroke Castle . I had completed the Wales Coast Path walking task and was  now running on empty ready to go home. Some six miles separated me from my transport.  I hopefully stuck out a thumb  and within minutes an older couple stopped and gave me a lift all the way back to the car.  I was too tired to think about a photo and can only thank them through this medium. Perhaps it was pay back for rescuing the sheep. Or more serendipity?

 

The sheep episode began with my parting the woolly beasts as The Wales Coast Path took me through the middle of a huge flock. They seemed reluctant to disperse as they normally flee from human contact. I then heard an isolated bleating and came across a sheep well embedded in gorse, thorns and brambles. My nearness caused it to panic and instead of backing out it just enmeshed itself further. I’d left my ferrule tipped sticks behind,  having a day off.  I don’t carry secateurs which would have similarly solved the problem at a stroke; nor a knife for legal reasons. Instead I found two stones and proceeded to hack my way through the various brambles , the sheep thought I meant harm and struggled ; or grew too weary and kept falling on me. All making the task longer and harder. It wasn’t the lightest nor the most fragrant.

Eventually, when we both pulled in the same direction, the sheep freed itself and still with half the brambles intact headed off to rejoin  its watchful flockmates.

 

rest-and-be-thankful-copy.jpg

 

The main walk began in the sand dunes at Freshwater West, where I finished last time out. There were several miles of strenuous walking climbing up and down and very muddy underfoot. Reaching Angle Bay I saw a few people – certainly more than I’d passed all day. The walk turned into Milford Haven and countryside changed to industrial mode with the used and disused Power Stations and the fuel tankers lined up alongside the oil jetties, and ferries to and  from Ireland . That day I was there I never noticed the reported oil spillage.

The Wales Coast Path then disappears into more urban surroundings either side of the Pembroke River, where I presume most of the power industry and dockyard  employees live.

I was now looking for a suitable Rendezvous point to complete my walk and chose The Pembroke Docks Railway Station. And bus interchange. Leaving all my options open for resuming next time out. Just here? Or there?

 

Photo Gallerybird waymarker

 

 

 

 

POST SCRIPTUM

As I headed away from Pembroke going home to normal housing and proper communications I was rapidly dumped into commonplace reality of world politics. What had happened in my absence? Had Brexit boiled over?  Had Trump finally Trumped? Had Putin put the bootin? Had Spurs scored seven goals?

There coming towards me probably heading for Castlemartin ranges were convoy after convoy of tanks on tank transporters. I lost count. I was now leaving with regret.

I would love to have hung around and watch the Military training these tanks  to fetch and carry, and sit up and beg. I wondered if I would have been so keen to disobey the red flags marking the danger zones, now knowing what awesome firepower was descending on the area. The Tank Range at Castle Martin is a huge flagged off area of the Pembrokeshire Coast devoid of civilians, where the tanks can play war games to their hearts’ content. It’s all a bit bleeding obvious so I don’t think I’m giving away state secrets and hopefully won’t get my collar felt?

Like all the best photos this one never got taken, I always thought the next convoy would be the last and not worth stopping – so no record of my explosive hallucination!

I do wonder occasionally if , sooner or later, the Authorities are going to catch up with me, because my familiar scruffy walking figure must keep popping up around Britain’s coastline on all manner of video security devices. I must be a unique source/sauce of security knowledge being able to point out all the weaknesses in Britain’s coastal defences. Still makes a change from visiting Salisbury Cathedral, that Mecca for all Russian Tourists….

 

My bucket list has acquired a new number one. In rare occurrences of TV Watching at home I have come across a programme title forgotten – possibly “Hunted”, where fugitives flee the authorities, aiming to lie low until they are given a Coastal departure point after a few weeks, which if they make it uncaptured, they win. The authorities seem to have a full range of up to date recognition devices and social media at their disposal. I admit I have been subconsciously planning my technique in the hope I might get chosen……… this is as about as likely as being asked to play for England at football – I always used to take my kit to England matches just in case they were one short…….