Posted by: natsevs | April 16, 2010

Borth y Gest to Llandwrog

After a very good night’s sleep and a decent breakfast, I headed off with Hefin (see last post to know who Hefin is) walking with me as far as the next village. From here, I went along the beach towards Black Rock, now on the Llyn coastal path.

At Black Rock, I had to go inland and over the hill coming down towards the railway. The map showed the path going over the railway to avoid marshland on the near side, but the gate was locked with another fine sign attached. After recent wet feet episodes, I decided I would rather jump the gates and be dry. so that’s what I did.

The other side didn’t turn out to be much drier and I then had to cross under the line through a very low bridge to get onto the beach anyway. The beach itself took me into Criccieth. In Criccieth, I had a quick Q&A session with some random kids who actually seemed quite impressed with the walk. They’re not all chain smokers then, thankfully.

At the other end of town, I had to go inland and onto the road, but this did give me the opportunity to get some snacks. Fox’s chocolate fudge crunch biscuits are dangerously tasty. At Llymgwyn, I was able to walk through a farm to the dunes and eventually out onto the beach where I had a lunch stop.

The beach took me up to Pwllheli, which wasn’t the most pleasant place and by this point I was also feeling pretty tired and bored, so was not in the best of moods. This wasn’t helped by the weather going from sunny to serious rain and back every five minutes. I was able to walk along the front until almost at Llanbredog where I was forced back onto the road to Abersoch.

As I neared Abersoch, there was an increasing amount of caravan sites and English people and the town itself was absolutely rammed with Easter Weekend holidaymakers. Going to the shop was a hassle, but the town itself is quite pretty, and as I walked around there was a really bright rainbow right over the mouth of the harbour.

Leaving the town by the beach the rain got a lot heavier and I had to sort my stuff out a bit in some public toilets in Machroes before heading up onto the top of the headland in search of a quieter campsite. In the end, I stopped in Porth Ceiriad and stayed at a campsite there where the guy was pretty nice. The rain held off for a while, just long enough to set up the tent and cook my noodles.

Overnight, I slept pretty badly because the rain had returned and was pretty heavy and loud. It was kind enough to stop for me to pack down everything and set out though. The path disappeared pretty early on then reappeared going in completely the opposite direction to the beach I could clearly see below. In the end I followed a stream down, making my way through a few brambles and over just the one fence. Was down here that the path rejoined me and went along the top of some small cliffs above the beach.

Unfortunately, once past a campsite, they had obviously given up again and the path turned into fields with a barbed wire fence blocking my way every 100m. The tide was in so the beach itself wasn’t walkable either. I was not happy and the weather was yet again horrible as well. The going steadily got worse as more and more of the muddy cliffs had slid down into the sea. I tried to go around the end of fences once or twice but stopped that when the ground beneath me fell away and I had to grab hold of the post to avoid going with it. I didn’t want to end up like the multiple dead sheep along the way that had fallen and got stuck in the mud. One had its lamb there, still alive wandering about, but I was unable to get near to it to bring it back up to the field.

Finally, the road got close and I got over onto it, a little muddy and torn. From there, I had to climb a pretty steep hill, at the bottom of which a guy offered me a lift up. The mood I was in I’m quite impressed with myself for not accepting the offer. The sun was starting to poke through now, so it was sweaty work climbing up. There was bright sunshine as I came down into Aberdaron, a lot of holidaymakers again, but a bit quieter than Abersoch. I was very low on food so nipped to the shop, but it was unfortunately rubbish so I had to get an overpriced sandwich at a cafe instead. I did have a nice chat with a guy called Simon from Liverpool, who was pretty supportive, before I left.

Annoyingly, I saw a Spar around the corner, which could have saved me a few pennies.

I went around the next headland then was on the roads again for a bit where two ladies out walking chatted to me and when I said I was possibly aiming for Morfa, they offered me a place to stay there, which was really nice of them. Getting to Morfa was hard work and took longer than expected along the coast path through a lot of mud, but I still got there at a time where I felt I should walk on to try to get as far as possible, forfeiting the offer of accommodation. As it turned out, I continued to make slow progress and didn’t actually get much further, but felt like it would be a little too cheeky to ring and ask them to pick me up. Instead I set up my tent on the cliff top at around 7.15pm completing a very long day. It was pretty cold when the sun had gone in but it was a nice flat spot so I was quite happy. How foolish.

It was foolish because although flat, the spot was not sheltered at all. I regretted this when at about half 11 the wind started pummelling the side of the tent and didn’t stop all night. I was genuinely worried the tent would break and had very little sleep yet again. All I had for breakfast at 8am was one hot cross bun. The wind was freezing but I was packed up and moving by 9am, desperate to hit a town and food as soon as possible.

The path was again very muddy and quite up and down, but I ploughed on slowly. After a few dips onto beaches I hit the golf course at Morfa Nefyn then round the thin headland and onto quite a pretty beach. I walked along this below the cliffs until I came to a road inland. The road went parallel to the coast and eventually at a crossroads there was a shop where I stocked up on lots of food. They had limited edition Dark Mars bars for only 25p. I hadn’t seen them for a while so was quite excited, I haven’t seen them since either though which makes me a little sceptical.

I then carried on along the road to Nefyn which is not as nice at all, but is twinned with Puerto Madryn, Argentina where I had a lovely hot christmas in 2008. Unfortunately, they haven’t shared ice cream because that really would have made my day. There was a fair bit of road walking from there until coming off to go over the hills towards Trefor.

There was a lot of climbing round this part, but the route between the two peaks above Trefor at an old quarry site came out to some brilliant views across the whole peninsula and over to Anglesey. The road I was going to be taking to Llandwrog looked very long and daunting. Getting down to Trefor was painful for my knees and the descent seemed to take forever. Once down, I headed for and onto the road, which my mum had informed me was 8.3 miles. There was pavement for most of the way at least but my legs were pretty achey so I had quite a few rests as I went. Even so. I covered it surprisingly quickly, in around two and a half hours.

I was staying with Ceri and her family in Llandwrog so I gave her a ring when I arrived, unfortunately I didn’t know where the house was and Ceri had left her phone at home whilst she was at work. I ended up going to the pub to wait, it wasn’t long until I got a call then Neil came out to pick me up and drive me to their house. I was treated to roast pork for tea which was really good, most people know how much I love a roast potato.

Ceri by the way works at the RSPB Glaslyn Osprey Project, so if you live nearby go and check them out. They’ve just layed their eggs this week.

http://www.rspb.org.uk/datewithnature/sites/glaslyn/index.asp

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