The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Monday, 2 June 2014

WCP: Rhyl to Sychnant Pass

Sunday 1 June (0630-1645)

Distance: 26.3 miles

Weather: Mainly sunny. Some hazy cloud later on. Warm.

If anyone had just been driving out of the campsite as I was leaving this morning, I would happily have begged a lift to take me back to the coast, but at 6.30 on a Sunday morning I appeared to be the only person up and about, so off I set on foot.


Lots of beach – and my head and shoulders, just to prove that it was sunny…

Thanks once again to the tides being right, much of the first part of the day was along the beach, saving my feet from the concrete of the promenade. Having learnt from yesterday (which ended with my trousers in such a disgraceful, muddy state that I washed them as soon as we got back to the campsite*) when I found myself straying into the same sort of horrible mud into which I sank yesterday, I stopped, thought and did the sensible thing, backtracking to find another way around. A little sand did, of course, make its way into my shoes, but just a few grains, rather than yesterday’s half-a-beach.

Eventually the sandy beach came to an end so up to the tarmac I scrambled, where I found there to be a huge number of cyclists out enjoying the warm Sunday morning.


The smallest church in the British Isles (at Rhos on Sea), apparently. It seats 6.

After a bit more beach in Colwyn Bay, it was back to the promenade (where I passed some open public toilets!! Those two exclamation marks are thoroughly warranted; open public toilets have not been a feature of this trip, which can be a bit of an issue for a girl walking along beaches in populated areas), not because the beach became impassable on foot, but because I thought Mick may pass by on that section, and I would have been very glad to pick up my earphones which I’d forgotten. He (sensibly) bypassed the road I was on to go straight to Llandudno to bag a parking space, so my audio book remained at the point I left it yesterday until much later in the day.

The coast path doesn’t go over the top of Little Orme, but I did. It’s such an easy walk from the official route to the top, that it would have been rude to omit it. From the top I could see Mick (or more precisely, Colin) and once I’d phoned him and he’d dug out the binoculars, Mick could see me too.


A self-timed photo taken atop Little Orme, with Great Orme behind me

Not long later, I was inside Colin with a cup of tea and enjoying an early lunch. After a good long break, I didn’t set out alone, as Mick joined me on the next section. I have to confess that I omitted a bit of coast here. The coast path doesn’t go over Great Orme, but I did, and in so doing I omitted the walk along the road which runs around the edge of Great Orme Head. Purists may claim that in making decisions like this, I haven’t walked the coast of Wales, but as I won’t be claiming a badge, certificate or other recognition, I didn’t lose any sleep over my decision to see the views from on high, rather than walking a road.


A goat on the way up Great Orme. You may note that it has just one very impressive horn. Surely that amount of weight on one side of his head must give him a dreadful crick in his neck?!

With motorised transport options of cable car, tram and car, there were a lot of people on the top. I suspect that I was the only one who had walked there from Rhyl!


Not the most attractive summit when viewed from the east


Rather more attractive in the other direction

Mick accompanied me down the other side, before taking a road back to his start point, as onwards I continued, through more throngs of people enjoying the seaside on this fine day.


Unfortunately, you can’t see that the woman is engrossed in her mobile phone – just like the youth of today!


Bit of storm damage. Sea wall, roadway and sections of the wall beyond all washed away.

Not being entirely sure how far I was going to want to walk, Mick kindly waited for me again in Conwy, where I likely would have stopped for the day, except that if I want to reach Bangor before we have to head home tomorrow, I needed to get another few miles in today. So, after another good, long break I hauled myself back to my feet and off I set.

There are two route options from Conwy: the coastal route which follows the cycle path which runs adjacent to the A55 dual carriageway; or the inland route which goes via Conwy Mountain. Whilst I didn’t mind the adjacent-to-A-road route the other day, that was only a couple of miles long, whereas this was lots of miles of tarmac, often sandwiched between the dual carriageway and the railway. Thus, I chose the inland route, except I didn’t stay true to it as the inland route doesn’t go over Conwy Mountain and I did. As per Little Orme earlier in the day, it seemed rude to get that close and not go to the top. By this time, the day was very warm, I was very hot and my mind was protesting at me hauling my body up another hill in these conditions. The mental protests were ignored and the effort was thoroughly worth it for the views from the top.


Looking back to Great Orme. All of my route of the day was visible to me from this vantage point – and it looked a jolly long way!

Down was then the direction of travel, all the way to Sychnant, where Mick was duly found, patiently waiting for me.


Colin’s pitch for the night

Another excellent day.

(*Given that this wasn’t a backpacking trip, I really ought to have packed more than one pair of trousers in case of obscene-amounts-of-mud incidents. In fact, a pair of shorts would have been a good idea considering the weather.)

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