Tuesday 29 April (0710-1555)
Distance: 20 miles (Tot: 79.25)
I’ve been spoilt for the last two days with almost uninterrupted rugged coastline. Today didn’t start off on the same spectacular footing. Indeed, it was a day of three parts and it wasn’t until the third part that I got back to the really good surroundings.
The first part of the day was perfectly pleasant, but gone were the rugged cliffs with steep ups and downs. Instead I had entered a much flatter area, which included an inland detour through some farmland to cross the Afon Alaw via a bridge that has saved what had previously been a nasty walk along an A-road. The river was quite picturesque, and the farmland inoffensive (although it did feature great stretches of long, wet grass which soaked my legs and feet).
Part 1 ended with a cup of tea and a very early first lunch. Mick needed somewhere to park up for the bulk of the day and, handily, the obvious place (just over the causeway to Holyhead) was directly on my route. So, at quarter past ten I sat down to first lunch and a cup of tea, taking with me, when I left, a second lunch for later.
Soon afterwards, I got to the outskirts of the town of Holyhead and I can’t claim to have enjoyed my passage through to the other side, what with an alleyway-esque path that made me a little uncomfortable, a road detour via the town centre (caused by my failure to find my way to the pedestrian bridge I wanted to take), and a group of drunks who looked worrying like they were going to try to engage with me as I passed by the church. Added to that, the local council seems to have decided that public toilets are not required in the town, and thus all were locked up, which only served to increase my discomfort!
The summit of Holyhead Mountain doesn’t lie on the coast path, but it is so close that it would have been rude not to have nipped up there on such a nice day. It appears a giant compared with the low level of the rest of the island, but only stands 220m high and thus was no great effort. Here I am, happy to be on the top (and listening to a rather good audio-book, hence the earphones).
People were out in force at South Stack, which is the site of one of my two memories of my last visit to Anglesey in 1987. On that occasion, my father and I stood on the headland there, leaning at 45 degrees into the wind, and still being blown backwards. It was rather calmer today, with barely a breeze.
Smiling away at the loveliness of my surroundings, it was only a mile or so further on that I spotted Mick, parked up in a field with an uninterrupted view back over Holyhead Mountain and South Stack.
As for today’s weather: I watched both the regional and national forecasts on BBC Breakfast this morning, both of which told me quite clearly that it was going to rain over Anglesey this afternoon. At 11am about 3 clouds bubbled up out of no-where. By noon they had gone. They were the only clouds seen all day, and as I type this the sun is still shining from wall to wall. I fear I’m not going to be quite so lucky with the weather tomorrow…