Day Forty four and forty five (18-19 Sept) Walk Days 19 and 20
Day 44 Llwyngwril to Tonfanau Sept 18th Walk Day 19
Phone stats: 17107 steps, 7.23 miles, walking time 2hr 56 minutes
Walking into a high wind!
Began the day with some further joy in yarn bombing at Llwyngwril. I got the train to Llwyngwril, touched my knitted cow touching point, and after contemplating some more knitted and crochet wonders, and a further closed church – I headed steeply up hill.
The path “zigzagged” up and down the side of this hill for several miles (which was quite strenuous) and my progress was not improved by the wind (and the path was abit indistinct at times – Ordnance survey map app was a real boon to navigation). This turned into a 2 bull day. The first being the most scary. In the following picture, I have added the line of the path in white and the blue arrow points to the beautiful but large black bull in the paddock! He just looked at me thankfully as I passed but it was much too close to comfort to a standing and very much awake bull! The second bull occurred later on and was surrounded by friends and family (and sitting down thankfully).
As well as the wind, it rained repeatedly (and I was glad I had set off in my waterproofs). Eventually after at least 3 ups and downs, the path led up and over the ridge and down into the valley beyond, which did eventually give a bit of rest bite from the wind. I crossed the main road near Rhosfein, and then started a section which skirted on the sheltered side of one hill and then the exposed side of the second hill. The latter turned out to be quite a challenging path about 1/3 of the way up the hill. It was rough going and overgrown in places. I eventually found a spot out of the wind to have some lunch, and watched the train heading back to Aberdovey from my vantage point.
Yet again I looked to be closer to where I wanted to be than I actually was. The track ran up and into a disused quarry and then I got a bit confused as to how to exit the quarry. I worked it out eventually – by this stage the sun was out which was very welcome. I wound down near to Tonfanau station. I needed to decide whether to proceed or have a lengthy wait for the next train. The route on to Towyn would have involved about two and a half miles of walking, full into the wind across a low marshy area, and I just didn’t feel I could do it in time to reconnect sensibly with the next train (and I was tired from the opposing wind, as I had used a lot of energy to get to this point!). I established a touching point and then I spent 45 minutes at Tonfanau station sitting in the sun and wind, contemplating the meaning of life and watching the world go by….
Day 45 Aberdovey to Tonfanau
Phone stats: 20485 steps, 8.65 miles, walking time 3hr 10 minutes
Even higher wind from Storm Ali!
Decided to walk with the wind at my back so walked the opposite way round to normal (Sea on the left!). This meant driving to Tonfanau – parking the car near the touching point from yesterday and then getting the train back to Aberdovey and setting off from base camp about 10 minutes later (and establishing a starting touching point). As I was about to set off I realised I was going to need to carry a pair of shoes as I hadn’t left any in the car (and I don’t like driving in my hiking boots). oops!
The walk started on the beach and the first mile was about three quarters into the wind which made it very hard going. I tried the shelter of the dunes for a bit but eventually braved the beach, and found it tricky to keep the blowing sand out of my eyes! Eventually as we passed the end of the headland, the direction of travel came more in line with the direction of the wind. It would be fair to say I was significantly wind assisted (and such a contrast to yesterday). I made good progress arriving at Towyn in time for an early lunch (and to miss the worst of the rain). My premise based on o-level geography was the worst of the rain was likely to hit as the clouds and wind hit the hills and it was a narrow passing front, as I was mostly at sea level it wasn’t going to rain for long.
There was a reasonably comical section just before I left the beach to go into the town where I had risen onto a rough promenade. I had an air of Buster Keaton in a wind machine, as I struggled to stay on the path, with my waterproof trousers doing a good impersonations of sails. My walking poles were too light to manage the conditions too.
It was not a good day to explore the delights of Towyn as it turned out to be early closing. I did get in the church for once. Then I realised I had strayed from the path and had to walk back the way I had come through the town – before branching out into the low marshy area behind the beach that I hadn’t fancied full into the wind yesterday.
It was not great as the direction of travel was about 1/3 off the trajectory of the wind, and I couldn’t use my poles as the wind was too strong. The path was indistinct for at least two thirds of this section, so again it was relying on the ordnance survey map app, and it was lumpy, bumpy, damp and squidgy terrain. I was SO glad I had not attempted it into the wind yesterday! I eventually crossed a very splendid pedestrian and cycle bridge and walked up the road to the touching point of yesterday. The car was another 100 yards further on. I was very glad to see it (and to get out off the wind!)
I had hoped that tomorrow I would start to walk from the other side of the Dovey estuary but the weather forecast is dire!!! (I am approximately underneath where Birmingham is written). Looks highly likely that I will be staying in the dry watching the rain at base camp….