Posted by: natsevs | April 19, 2010

Llandwrog to Holyhead

When I woke in Llandwrog, the weather outside did not look nice at all. Gwen, Ceri’s mum, had sausages and croissants and all sorts on the go when I came downstairs, so I had a very good breakfast. I then spent longer than I should have watching the birds and Freddie (the ferret) playing outside and generally letting myself get too comfortable. By 11, I had managed to get ready and started with a considerably lighter daypack on my back. Ceri’s parents had offered to bring my bag out to me where I finished.

The walk was firstly towards the coast at Dinas Dinlle, then along the beach in some serious wind. After walking along the edge of an airfield to cross a little river I took roads  around the coast to Canaerthen. To get into Canaerthen, I crossed a footbridge right by the castle then went through the shops, stopping for a few supplies.

It’s a place worth visiting, not least because it has a Morrisons on the way out. So despite having already bought snacks, I gave into temptation and went in to buy some double chocolate cookies.

A cycle path took me along the coast to Y Felinheli and then I hit the roads all the way to the Menai Bridge. Going over the bridge onto Anglesey it was very sunny, but also very very windy. This was to be how it was for the rest of the day.

Out of Menai Bridge the first coast path sign I took went the wrong way, but the second was the right one. The path wound right next to the shoreline, passed the statue of Nelson then came up onto a road. There weren’t any signs here so I just went back down to the beach, which began to be lost to the sea after a while. I was forced to climb up the bank and work my way through the woods above until I hit a path.

This path turned out to be part of the Plas Newydd estate and was possibly somewhere I shouldn’t have been. I tried to walk straight through quickly, but was blocked by a private road and a fence. I decided to go over the fence and headed towards a church in the distance, which I figured must be supplied by a road. On this road, I rejoined the coast path thankfully and my life was a little easier again.

Navigationally anyway. The wind was still straight in my face and really strong. After passing the sea zoo, I headed inland in anticipation of a river and to meet Ceri and her dad to collect my bag. Once we’d finally found each other, I swapped my bags back over and was then picked up by my mate Tom who hosted me for the whole time I was on Anglesey. Or more accurately, his parents did.

I struggled to get out of bed again the next morning, but Tom kindly had some bacon and egg on the go when I did make it down. The weather did not look good. I was dropped off back where I’d stopped and carried on along the road through Dwyran. The coast path then took me along the dunes to Newborough forest, which seemed to take me ages to get round. There would be sudden increases in the amount of people around within about half a mile radius of car parks that popped up.

As I left the forest, it began to rain, accompanied as usual by the wind. I figured it wouldn’t last so didn’t rush to put on my waterproof trousers. It did last. All day. I was back on the road now up to and through Herman and then out into fields with loads of cows in. I don’t trust cows, especially with calves, and these ones all had calves. I kept a wide berth and other than a fair bit of mooing they left me alone too.

I went a little wrong but jumped a fence onto the road which would take me to the dunes of Aberffraw. By the time I got there,  I was soaked and freezing enough to take comfort in hiding behind a wall from the wind and rain. I made slow progress along the coast path with my soaking trousers until I eventually stopped to change. I hid from the rain and from view as well as I could and changed into my shorts with my waterproofs over the top whilst the contents of my bag got soaked. I was a little warmer after that and carried on my way.

A race track forced me inland temporarily, but I was soon in Rhosneigr via the coast and definitely ready to give up for the day. As I waited on a bench drpping with water, a local woman asked if I was enjoying the weather. I wondered if she was being ironic. Later, we went to the pub to watch the football and have a much needed beer once I had dried off.

Wednesday looked to be a far more promising day. After another cooked breakfast we headed to Rhosneigr. Tom joined me for the day’s walking now the sun seemed to have arrived. We walked along the beach until a river blocked our way, we considered crossing it but it was looking a little too deep. Tom was sure, wrongly, that the bridge was at the top of the beach. Instead it was up and back on ourselves so in the end we gave in and went for the wading option. Tom went first, watched by some confused onlookers, then I followed. It was seriously cold and not that fun.

We carried on along the beach for a while before putting our boots back on. We were right by the airfield, home to Prince William, there now and there were loads of military planes flying about making a lot of noise. When we hit the inland sea separating Holy Island from the rest of Anglesey, Tom was determined to cross it. He made it about a quarter of the way before giving in to reason. So we headed up along the edge of it hoping there might be an easier point to cross at, failing which we would take the bridge.

It was very flat so you could see how it would be easy to get into difficulty when the tide comes in. We looked at quite a few points before eventually just going for it. Tom went first and found a route where the water didn’t go too far above his knees. Then it was my turn, it was freezing again but not quite as bad once properly in. On the other side there wasn’t really anywhere to go but stay by the water. At least if we got stuck I’d be able to hit Wils for some healthy sponsorship.

We didn’t put our boots straight back on again which was a slight mistake as we were soon walking through some serious sludge. After the sludge was rocks, spikey rocks. Once our boots were back on it was much easier underfoot. We hit a bay and climbed down the rocks to get over to the other side where we crossed some private land to eventually reach Silver Bay. From here, we could follow the coast for the rest of the day.

At Trearddur Bay, we stopped for an ice cream, I got the much under-rated nobbly bobbly. There were lots of holidaymakers around. Further on, we hit South Stack where you can apparently see puffins but unfortuntely I didn’t spot any. From there we headed up Holyhead Mountain via North Stack. At North Stack, there was another mast which I obviously felt the need to climb. There weren’t any foot holds until around 6/7 foot up but managed it. It was pretty high and wobbly. The views from the mountain were quite awesome. It was then a short descent to the breakwater where we were picked up.

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