Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘ThisIsland2013’ Category

Cloudy, some sun, cool breeze, shower.

Awake early and cook a pasta meal, pack and away past the old fuel pump in the campsite drive.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The path starts with a short sharp uphill opposite the pub and soon turned into a rolling stroll crossing and sometimes using short bits of roads, the high points early on were Cefn Du and Moel Maenefa where i went a little of track and back on course to find the rather long foot bridge over the A55, as i descended into Rhuallt it seemed kind of obvious that when the A55 was built the traffic no longer came through this village and it was really quiet.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The sky had been looking misty at times and just after i crossed Marian Ffrith a sudden shower arrived, good excuse for a rest under a tree and luckily the shower passed leaving me only slightly damp.  Close to Henfryn Hall there was the remains of a water wheel which must have been impressive when working.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As much as tumbled down ruins are picturesque it seems somehow wasteful to see so many old buildings left to rot, as the path approaches the ridge behind Prestatyn the path throws in a couple more steep ascents to get the hiker high giving an extensive view of the coast and wind generators out to sea, it ends with a steep descent into town and a straight walk to the finish point on the sea front,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

i actually stopped part way for a bun full of pork onions and stuffing (it was divine), hungry work this walking business, now all one can do is think back on what is a marvelous trail, bit sad it’s over but of course there is always next time.

Read Full Post »

Cloudy, little sun, warm, cool breeze on tops.
It had rained in the night, awake early, so cup of soup and pack for what looked like a short or long day which i would have to decide have to decide on as i went along and see how progress was going.

Wasn’t to long getting from the Wern Isaf campsite and following the small road below the scree slopes of the escarpment, to my left was the outline ruins on Castell Dinas bran.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The photo is nothing like as good as being there (some much better ones can be found on the internet).

Near Rock farm the path leaves the road and up onto escarpment base, the scene is just fantastic and i was really enjoying the slightly cooler conditions.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Eventually the path descends to worlds end where it rejoins a road with a shallow ford to cross and sharp uphill through woodland (here i started to meet lots of cyclists enjoying the down hill with a big grin). At the top of this climb the path emerges from the woodland and the slope decreases noticeably and i’m out onto moorland, the road work ends with a turn left across the moor where i’m often walking on a board walk over the boggy sections and approaching a large forest around which again many cyclists are enjoying their separate routes. The initial section of forest has been clear felled and looks to have been replanted with hardwood trees. Into the forest and it’s a long long way down. Part way down i notice a slime mold fruiting on an old stump (not to many people recognize these as a peculiar and very interesting life form).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Eventually i emerge at the bottom in the very nice hamlet of Hafod Bilston, Paths across fields take me to the main road crossing and into Pen-Y-Stryd where good fortune prevails in the form of a cafe that is open, they think it is to early for the Sunday roast so i have the mega breakfast. This answers one concern as to whether i would find any source of nourishment on route (no doubt the pub will be open latter). I wander on into Llandegla and the little shop is open so i get another tea and drink plus snacks for afternoon, this now means i have enough water if a wild camp is necessary. The pretty village is also having a scarecrow competition which adds to the already pretty location.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I leave the village passed another nice church and out into farmland, after a while i meet a couple coming the other way who are unfortunately stopping their hike at the village because of blisters. As the miles slip by i’m climbing up into the Clwydian range of mountains and the slopes again get longer and steeper but the views just get bigger and better.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

What can one say about this area, there is miles of it, sure it’s a lot of up and down but for some parts the path skirts the tops and is a nice cruise with the distant sea occasionally being in view. Approaching Jubilee tower the path suddenly gets busy with people walking from a car park to this view point.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As soon as i passed the tower the number of walkers dropped to a low number again. The path does pass many places where it would be nice to return in a car and have time to climb and enjoy like Moel Arthur hill fort, never the less there are more tops on route to cross.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

While up here i could see a field of large tents that was the location of the eisteddfod which finished yesterday but hasn’t yet been dismantled. Eventually the long long descent to Bodfari starts passing many ruined buildings of old farms as the quietude of evening gives a calm and peaceful feel to what is a stunningly beautiful area. I emerge onto the main road and turn left for the campsite where the lady is very nice but glad i didn’t arrive any latter (she had an early start tomorrow). There are wooden chairs at the pitch for campers to use and immediately over the fence from me are a family of Canadian geese gleaning food from the now harvested corn field.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The lady informs me the pub doesn’t do food on Sunday evenings but i fancy a pot of tea, that’s 14 hours walking and i’m thinking a quick drink and then some welcome sleep, well the locals couldn’t of been nicer, i was having a good time chatting when through the door came 3 tired looking people who had started from Prestatyn mid afternoon, could they camp in the pub garden, yes no problem, (isn’t Wales just great) apparently the pub is constructing a bunk house so that’s handy knowledge for future walkers. The people pitched and returned for drinks and snacks so much chatting about what they had to come ensued, an early night it wasn’t but i didn’t care this was the sort of day that makes us want more, and Wales really does score high.

Read Full Post »

Cloudy, hot.
A cup of soup and away fairly early again, straight up through the woodland was an abrupt start to the day but oh was it pretty, even better as i emerged onto the racecourse common.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
the sun broke through as i rested by the stadium ruins a couple of dog walkers appeared and were chatty, well what more could i want.
The next few miles were up and down and it was hot so my speed was a slow average stopping to drink and enjoy views often, in some places the steep descents were to a footbridge over stream before climbing back up the other side.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Approaching chirk mill i could see Chirk castle on the hill across the valley,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

down the valley i went with yet another climb up through woodland then open grass top which gave a closer view of the castle.
Some gentle undulations followed down to the Llangollen canal, not far along i came to a tea shop for excellent ploughmans lunch .
Next i ambled along the canal and over the PontIcysyllte aqueduct and found more tea to enjoy watching the barges go by.
from here its a little canal side then across fields passing through a neat foot tunnel under disused railway,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

short road section and through nice shady forest that was shady so cool and an absolute treat today.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The path undulated then gradually climbing into the open at trevor rocks, where a small road followed the escarpment to castle dinas and i took road down to the campsite.
soon pitched then walked into Llangollen to late for last steam train but not for an all day breakfast, good energy i hope for the climb back up to path which will start tomorrow,  must of been a good day.

Read Full Post »

Hot and cloudy, had rained in the night.
Cup a soup to get started, pack and away, over road bridge and turn onto path alongside the river Severn, after a mile switch to the Montgomery canal for a while and it was beautiful the abundance of water plant home to feeding insects on an already warm morning.


Another mile back to the Severn and a flood embankment with sheep and cattle to wish good morning.
At Rhyd-esgyn what magic is this, table, chairs and honesty box cake supply, a rare opportunity not to be missed.
Soon after this the path turns from the river and crosses a bridge and fields where i saw mushrooms, little owls, spotted wood pecker and some less than friendly farm yard dogs as i headed to Four Crosses where a lady pointed to route direction and informed me no shops here.
The path leaves the village via an underpass and follows small lane back to the Montgomery canal which was lovely all the way to Llanymynech where i found a cafe that did a fine big breakfast and two cups of tea (today was certainly thirst inducing). The canal bridge in the village has welcome to England/Wales on either side and it turns out the village sits right on the boarder with the road being the division so half a village in each country.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Out of the village its up Llanymynech hill where the road goes through a cutting and a Scots pine tree had fallen across the top, o wondered if it would be left as a feature.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Of the road and quite a climb to a disused quarry near the top another haven for wild life, and apparently this is the area where Darwin did some of his geology training before setting off on his now famous journey.  The quarry  was soon followed by the golf course where i had fun chat with some players.
The path was steep downhill from here through woods, a bit of track then fields including maize much taller than me,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

cross a disused railway line and more fields to Porth-y-waen, some road and fields to Nantmawr and i sure was drinking a lot , there was now a steep climb to Moelydd and nearing the top i saw a small sign painted on a piece of slate,  ice cream ahead , i thought it unlikely an ice cream van would be parked waiting for me but much to my surprise  trail-side a property had ices tea or coffee and that mug of tea was heaven and reduced my concerns about my water supply going down oh to quickly.
Back downhill, across a stream and found a shop in Trefonen for water top up, more fields and road section to Tyn-y-coed.
Walking along a track to start the woodland a man outside a house was chatty and i soon mentioned any campsites ahead, turns out this family allow camping in the garden so i’m taking advantage of good fortune once again it turned out to be a rather good day. as often here no signal so post soon.

Read Full Post »

sunshine, cloud, hot.
Cook a pasta meal and then get moving, even at 7 am it was hot .
campsite excellent and right on the path , the downhill start was good but set the scene for the morning which was continuous up and down .

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
scenery better than words and plenty of insects, the heavy dew seemed to have set of some grassland fungus as well. so much to see and i had to stop often for water and rest. I passed a sign for the half way point of Offa’s dyke path so must be about as far from the sea as possible.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
At church town there is a nice church with swallows nest above the door, a bench seat, some pigs to talk to and not much else, this made it rather nice.
Time i reached Mellington hall the sign for snacks walkers welcome was irresistible, not the cheapest cheese and pickle but very nice and a huge pot of tea.
Now it was a day of two halves, the morning had been slow progress, but now i found the Montgomery vale fairly flat and progress across the map improved, It was still pleasant rural walking and passed a hiker coming the other way with collie dog.
So trundle along nicely to Kingswood where the afternoon hill started climbing up to a long stretch of forest, there were a lot of ripe wild raspberries along the path (oh so sweet), this was a shady pleasure finally emerging at the top for a short climb to Beacon ring where a bench seat was perfectly positioned to sit and stare northwards towards the sea which i couldn’t see.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
All downhill now to Buttington, on the way down i passed an ash tree with a splendid arrangement of fungus growing on it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Nice farmland to cross and reach Buttington where i’m camped behind the pub, excellent food for money, and pleased i got this far when it looked doubtful midday. So there we are a good day indeed.

Read Full Post »

Sun with clouds, hot.
3pm arrival at Knighton then walk into town for all day breakfast and tea.
walk out of town past offas dyke center and down along side the river which is perfectly pleasant, this lasts for a while then a footbridge along side the rail bridge takes me over the river and its soon uphill for some time to reach the top where a handy bench allowed pack of and enjoy the view.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The dyke is very evident much of the time as i follow it along the ridge , lots of curves around valley heads sometimes small hardwood areas and once alongside pines which smell so nice.
Passing the trig point at Cwm sanaham hill felt god but was soon followed by a descent and climb again just as a reminder that this is wales.
A wide track is alongside the dyke and so good walking to reach a short road section where i was offered a lift, this sort piece of road got me to spring hill farm campsite.
The farmer is very nice, there are cows in the camping field so i get to camp in his garden, not often a pitch comes with patio table and chairs. fabulous weather and nobody on the trail or camped here.

Read Full Post »

Ai’nt cloud formation fascinating.

This was approaching the top of Snowdon where a definite cool breeze was to be found and i was glad of it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I can only surmise that some of the breeze was going around the mountain so on the down wind side (west) there was less air and the ridge acting like a wing meant the downside (open space) saw the air pressure drop so the water vapor could no longer be held as an invisible gas but condensed into droplets (cloud).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It was remarkable how the two views could be half a minute apart and the scene was constantly changing back and forth. All helps add interest to a day.

The whole 3 day  loop only turned out to be 31.7 miles, but with a lot of up and down, i feel oh so lucky to get dry weather for such a trip.

SnowdonLoop

Image of loop on google map.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »