Day twenty three and twenty four (28-29 August) Walk Days 8 and 9
Day 23 Walk day 8 Llandudno to Conwy flyover (round the great orme)
Phone stats: 23621 steps, 9.98 miles, walking time 3hr 34 minutes
To do the great orme today or not to do it that was the first question of the day. The wind had dropped and the sun was out. I decided to go for it. I parked on the west shore of Llandudno, and found a fantastic Cheshire cat. This resort was where the real life Alice (inspiration for Alice in wonderland etc had a holiday home!) and after a few minutes got a bus back to where I had finished yesterday. I touched the touching post and started for the day.
It was a lovely walk – and much less challenging than the little orme had been – with a well surfaced path and all ascent gradual. Great views, lots of interesting birds, sheep, goats and a number of seals all noted. I made it to the ‘Rest and be thankful’ café in time for morning coffee and at the view point just before there enjoyed the final views looking back to Rhyl and then looking forward to the new terrain ahead – Lots of majestic hills folding the landscape, with a narrow low level coastal strip. The wind got up a bit on the west side of the Orme, but I was descending gently by then. After all that I had cleared the Orme and was back at the car by 12:45pm. I decided to carry on after a brief comfort stop, drink and change of socks (an excellent tip from Moyra!). The next part of the walk was up the Conwy estuary through dunes, then around a posh housing development and then up to the flyover just beyond the bridge in Conwy. I would have stopped sooner, had I not been the wrong side of the railway line! I could see buses and bus stops but couldn’t get to them! I found a touching point near the bus stop on the flyover!
Day 24 Walk day 9 Conwy flyover to Llanfairfechan
Phone stats: 21964 steps, 9.28 miles, walking time 3hr 23 minutes
Parked the car near a bus stop in Bangor, (about 3 miles from base camp) and got the bus back to Conwy flyover. Sadly there was another ghost bus on the app – so had another 15 minutes to wait for a real bus! I arrived at Conwy flyover in persistent drizzle – touched the touching point and was on the road by 10:10. All went well to begin with – and after 40 minutes had a nice coffee in the Conwy keys marina. It was dry when I left the bar.
Then I got rather confused about the path, and opted as it turned out foolishly to follow the OS map on my phone – which indicated the path going down the side of the A55 (see image below). Had I recoursed to the walk book at this point, I would have realised the coast path has been diverted to nearer the shore. I did about a mile and a half on the pavement next to the dual carriageway (and it was very unpleasant not to mention scary!). Finally, where the other proper route joined the pavement I was on – it was all abit more protected with at least a crash barrier between me and the A55. For devotees of the A55 this was on the way into the Penmaenbach tunnel. As I proceeded on the route for the cycleway/ coast path was much better protected, and took you to the right of the dual carriageway. The book is dated 2014 and the map 2015 – so I am surprised the route is wrong on the map for the coast path!! I promise I will not do that again and will be more careful about the correct route and check both things in future…
Anyway I was a bit winded after all that, and I carried on along the coast path/cycle path between the trainline and the A55 (all rather noisy!!) Eventually I wound my way over the trainline and into Penmaenmawr and had lunch in a very welcome café and calmed down a bit. By this stage I was about 2/3rds of the distance of today’s walk, but the second tunnel was up ahead. I was extremely careful to follow the route. The engineering of the route was impressive and was completed in 2009 (my civil engineer brother Peter would have a field day!) Effectively it ran between the 2 carriage ways and up above (with one carriageway in a tunnel). It is hard to describe. There was a point where you could cross one of the carriageways on foot to get nearer the sea (which I found hard to believe was allowed and after my earlier experience I absolutely didn’t do it!) The view from the raised coast path/cycle path was great both looking back to the great orme of yesterday and over to Anglesey and by this point it was sunny and warm!
It didn’t take long to reach Llanfairfechan, and I soon hopped back on a bus to Bangor, using the bus stop as the touching post to end the walk.