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, 22 September 2014

WCP: Llanbedrog to Rhiw

Monday 22 Sept 2014
Distance: 17.7 miles, plus 3.2 back again
Ascent: 3000'
Weather: glorious

There was an even more noticeable nip in the air this morning, but I bravely put my shorts on regardless, and shivered my way for the first 20 minutes of the day, until I stopped and dug right to the bottom of my bag to find my gloves. Having done that, I immediately began a sustained uphill, which would have warmed me up nicely, even without the gloves.

In retrospect, I can guess that the signpost that I didn't understand as I left the beach, meant "continue along the beach for some steps leading up to the statue". Not knowing that, or indeed that the statue was on my route, I dutifully followed the WCP markers around 3 sides of a rectangle.

Beyond the statue, which stands at an excellent viewpoint, I was on moorland, resplendent with the yellow of the gorse and the purple of the heather.

Back down at sea level, a goodly walk along a beach had me in need of a snack and as I stood, banana in hand, I saw a buoy bobbing in the water. Banana gone and the skin stowed, I looked up again to see the buoy gone and a woman emerging from the waves just ahead of me. That surprised me!

The almost-full circle around Abersoch I would have omitted if I'd known in advance how it lacked merit, but soon enough I was back on the beach with Mick walking towards me. Ten minutes later I was being served tea and croissants.

The next section was walking perfection, as it undulated high above the sea. One of those undulations in particular (on what appears to be a very new piece of path, replacing a previous inland route) was ridiculously steep, but mercifully short.

Mick met me again just before I started descending to Porth Neigwl, which was to mark the end of my day...

...The only thing was, it wasn't yet 1pm and the day was so fine that it seemed a shame to laze around the afternoon. We, therefore, did something that may appear, at a glance, to be a bit odd: we walked the next 3.2 miles of the route, and then turned around and walked back again.

There were a number of reasons behind the decision to do that, one of which was that the tide was right to walk the beach this afternoon, whereas in the morning it would have been a 5-mile inland walk on the official path. Plus, it gave Mick the chance to have a proper walk without having to drive anywhere and saved him from having to drive the little lanes all the way to Rhiw only to drive back again. Tomorrow, Mick will get up with me bright and early to drive me to the point to which we walked this afternoon.

I've snuck a peek at the map for tomorrow and seems that it's going to be rather strenuous - which hopefully also means it will be spectacular. I suspected that this peninsula would provide good walking, and I've not been disappointed so far.

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  1. I'm back home now and can follow you in more detail. I thought well about that part of the coast. I too set off from Llanbedrog, but only got as far as Llanengan. I envy you your support system. Would that I could have had similar over the last nineteen days. Even booking ahead is a faff, and walking to the unknown is stressful.

  2. I am enjoying the benefits of being supported by a man in a van. With the Caravan Club book of sites, electronic mapping and mobile internet, I don't even do any (okay, some, but not much) prior planning for these jaunts, instead spending some time each evening coming up with a plan for the following day.