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]

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

WCP: Llanrhystud to Furnace


Wednesday 17 September 2014 (0725-1700)

Distance: 23.3 miles; Ascent: 4500’

Weather: Glorious, but with a bit of a breeze


It was another lumpy one today (except for the flat bits…), which had a definite feel of Welsh hillside. I suppose it was Welsh hillside, it just happened that these hills abutted the sea. Up, along, down and back up I went, in yet more wonderful surroundings, with no climb being more than 400 feet.

Once again, solitude prevailed for the early part of the morning. The lack of a trodden path in places, combined with the apparent age of the cobwebs on some of the kissing gates, suggested that not many people venture onto the bit of path heading out of Llanrhystud, although it is well trodden again in the approach to Aberystwyth, which is where (again, just a few minutes before 10am), I met my first other walker.

A couple of miles later, I was disproportionately pleased to be standing on Constitution Hill. I lived in Aberystwyth for three years in the 1990s and, rather negligently, failed in all that time to go up the little pimple which is Constitution Hill. It’s not even a hill that demands effort, as a train runs to the top. Hopefully, it goes without saying that I didn’t choose the train today, but huffed and puffed my way up instead.

Beyond Aber the path was comparatively heaving. I must have seen ten other people! Another three were first heard and then seen to be having a whale of a time in the sea just before Borth. By then, Mick was with me and upon reaching Borth (15.5 miles into my day), I declared it lunch time and a good long break was had.

Just north of Borth lies the river Dyfi, which (unfortunately, for me) doesn’t boast a bridge particularly near the sea, and thus (in the absence of having a canoe in my back pocket), a large inland diversion is required. In fact, I will only just get back to the sea proper at the end of tomorrow.

The inland diversion starts with absolute ease, as it crosses dead flat marshes. There a dredger was dredging a drainage ditch. One of the dredged items was a bloated cow. Oh, the smell as I passed by!

Off the marsh and back into the land of lumpy, Mick joined me again and together we wandered down to our night-stop at Furnace. On paper it was a long day, but todays lumps were far gentler than those of two days ago so my feet weren’t dragging at the end of the day and I can probably muster the energy to trek all the way over to the distant shower on this campsite!


(Today’s photo is Aberystwyth promenade, which no longer shows any evidence of last winter’s destructive storms. The lump at the end of the prom is Constitution Hill.)


  1. Just had another idea. Mick should get some flares to send up at pr-arranged times when you have no phone signal to communicate.

  2. Mick says "Flares? I haven't had any flares since the seventies!". ;-)

    What I should do is to make sure I know the whereabouts of the campsite before I set off!

  3. What? You never went up Consty when you lived in Aber? Shocking! I hope that you at least kicked the bar. I love going back there (I was at Uni there in the mid-1970s). Revisiting always brings strange emotions. It is full of ghosts as well as very happy memories. The room I slept in for my first year is now Coral's Bookmakers! Presumably you were in Aber Mountaineering Club too?

    1. Kicking the bar - now there's a phrase that had completely fallen out of my head. I can't say that I ever remember engaging in that tradition. In fact, I only recall going to the far end of the prom once in my whole time there.

      I'm also sorry to confess that I wasn't in the Mountaineering Club. After being brought up walking up hills, University heralded the start of a number of years when I completely abandonned walking as a pasttime. Hopefully, I've since made up for all that lost time!