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]

Thursday, 25 September 2014

WCP: Nant Gwrtheyrn to Caernarfon


Thursday 25 September 2014 (0715-1430)

Distance: 20.2 miles

Ascent: 1200’

Weather: Grey with low cloud and very mizzly spells

Number of other people seen out walking: One dog-walker at Dinas Dinlle.

The photo above shows the view I had from my seat in Colin last night (Mick popped up that hill yesterday afternoon, whilst waiting for me to emerge from the coast). From Mick’s seat, the view included the sea and Anglesey. It was an excellent place to spend the night, particularly as we were about twenty paces from the Coast Path.

There is no photo from today because being grey, misty and mizzly, it wasn’t a day for photos.

The top of the hill above was shrouded in cloud as I passed between it and the pimple to its left and the cloud only came down lower as the morning progressed. By then, I was much lower too, as the path descends steeply once through the pass, past a herd of wild goats* and towards Trefor.

I could have just walked a kilometre across Trefor, but I did the right and proper thing and enjoyed the WCP route as it hugs the coast around three sides of the village. It was the last bit of nice walking I was going to have for a while…

Beyond Trefor, it was road walking almost exclusively for the rest of the day and I did have to question why I’m being so purist about walking the whole way from Chepstow to Chester. The sensible thing to do would have been to have said “Well that was a good walk” and to have got into Colin for a lift home as soon as I hit the car park to the north side of Trefor. But that’s not what I did; instead I took to the tarmac and kept to the route of the official WCP, which for the next 5 or 6 miles runs alongside the A499. It could have been worse; the A499 has been improved in recent years and for a good chunk of the distance the WCP runs along the old road (a little distance away from the new road) which has been turned into a footpath/cycleway. When it runs adjacent to the road it’s quite unpleasant, with speeding cars and lots of overtaking, so I did the only sensible thing and walked really fast, pausing only as I passed through Clynnog Fawr for a cup of coffee and cake. It would have been rude not to, as Mick was sitting there waiting for me!

I should have had a look around the church in the village, as it was remarkably grand for such a small place, but unfortunately I didn’t. Instead I strode on to take to a lane (which turned out to be busy and thus no more pleasant than the main road, as it’s narrow and has no pavement) towards Dinas Dinlle.

Finally, after a pause for lunch at Morfa Dinlle, a short section of sea defence replaced the tarmac, and a while after that I took the path I had plotted, rather than continuing on the official route along two lanes. I’ve no idea why that path isn’t the official route; perhaps it’s always deep in slippery mud, like it was today, and thus considered unsuitable.

I had intended taking to another footpath to end my day, again instead of following some more lanes. A peek over the stile at the start of the path showed freshly ploughed fields stretching out in front of me and suddenly the tarmac held greater appeal. It wasn’t all bad though, as the lane soon re-joined the coast and finally the mizzle which had been persisting on and off all day seemed to have passed by completely (it now transpires it was a temporary pause; it’s coming down again now, as I type). I could even see across to Anglesey (which isn’t far away at all, but visibility hadn’t been great) and make out where I walked earlier in the year.

Mick joined me for the final mile or so of the day and we’re now sitting about a mile south of Caernarfon, giving me just over 10 miles to walk tomorrow. 

(* I can’t guarantee that the herd of wild goats are always in that location. I also can’t guarantee that they’re wild, but they look the same as the wild ones in the Rhinnogs, not like the ones I’ve seen on farms.)

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