The Compostual Existentialist

Wordpress flavour with added crunchy bits


The Walk (Part 3) –Wales Coastal Path 2013

After having carefully planned my working week to coincide with a visit to the North West to make it easier to travel to Wales, I set off from Liverpool on Thursday morning bound for Pistyll near Caernarfon to begin the third phase of the walk around the coast of Wales.

At this pace, I suspect I will have completed the walk some time in my late 80s. Probably on a mobility shopper.

Regular readers will recall that last year we ended our walk at Porth Towyn having set off from Porth Oer. Because we were starting further up the coast, it made sense to change our usual campsite to a new….untested one.

This year’s campsite was at the amusingly named Penisarlon Camping Farm near Pistyll.

The camp site was very clean and peaceful with fantastic views across towards Nefyn (our goal for the Friday) to the South west and towards Nant Gwrtheyrn  to the North East with St George’s Channel to the north.

Looking towards Nefyn

Penisarlon Farm looking towards Nefyn

Looking towards Nant Gwrtheyrn

Looking towards Nant Gwrtheyrn

However as we had arrived earlier than expected we decided that, though too late to start our walk properly, we could start a bit of next year’s planned walk.

This took us towards Nant Gwrtheyrn, though we did not reach there until later in the weekend. Instead we were treated to a lovely bog blocking our path, sheep, second homes and a quaint little church, St Buenos.

Lit by candles in the winter

St Buenos Church near Pistyll

On the Friday, we awoke to a lovely rainbow across the bay. Little or no rain during the night but plenty of snoring from me.

Up above the sea and houses

Up above the sea and houses Rainbow flying high!

This year we began where we left off and made our way across the once more sunny cliffs and dips leading towards Porth Dinllaen.  Glorious views. Glorious weather.

Nick at the start

Nick at the start

Four hours of walking later we crossed Nefyn Golf course and reached Porth Dinllaen.

During the previous night we had espied a strange structure out in the bay. It looked like a drilling platform and part of me was concerned that the greedy oil people had set their eyes on a protected area of outstanding natural beauty.

Platform

Is it an oil rig? Is it a fracking point? No! It’s a slipway submarine construction diving platform

Fortunately, this was not the case. The platform was actually for the construction of a new RNLI Lifeboat launch slipway. So it wasn’t too bad.

enjoy a pint

Coch! It says Coch!!

The construction site had an interesting staircase winding its way down the cliff side allowing access to the official coastal path bringing us out at the lovely Ty Coch Inn where we ended our second day’s walk with a delicious and rewarding pint before heading back to the campsite.

After a rather sleepless night for Nick (my snoring again!) who ended up sleeping in his car, it was agreed that completing the short trail up to the campsite would be sufficient for this years walk.

Before that we needed sustenance in the form of a hearty breakfast. On the inbound trip, I espied a brown sign directing the visitor to a place called Nant Gwrtheyrn which had a cafe.

Nant Gwrtheyrn is an old village built for quarry workers in the 1800s. If you were to follow the link above you will be able to read the history.  The landscape there is a bizarre mix of post industrial archaeology and nature. There’s a church there, a cafe and a collection of stone cottages available for rent by holiday makers.

Nant Gwrtheyren

The start next year

IMG_0294

IMG_0293

However, the cafe didn’t open for breakfast so we scuttled back to Nefyn and the continuation of our walk.

The short trail continuation took us from where we left off the day before and along a winding cliff top pathway. Again, plenty of luxury cliff top homes for the wealthy and privileged. Glorious views.

It’s places like this that make you realise that no matter how hard the average Jo works, they will never attain a picturesque view (like that in the panoramic picture below) without luck, windfall or skulduggery.

IMG_0300

The path turned in land and took us through the village where we had earlier eaten our hearty breakfast before heading up a very steep looking hill.

Eventually the path turned into something resembling Borneo. Overgrown gorse bushes, brambles and scratchy things took their toll on our bare shins, bitey creepies made a meal on our blood, and burny heaty hot sun scorched our flesh from on high. Yet, after three hours of walking, we reached the campsite and the starting point for our continuing adventure next year.

——

Welsh Coastal Path – 2012

Welsh Coastal Path – 2011

Advertisements


1 Comment

Holiday 2012–Part 1: A Walk in the Rain

Rain. It comes and washes away the summer dreams like a proper spoil sport.

My calculations that the time between Wimbledon and the Olympics yet before the school holidays would be a gloriously sunny time were completely out. Beyond out.

And so it came to pass that on Saturday 14th July I loaded up the car for the next leg of my annual Welsh Costal Walk with Nick. With the car laden I began the four hour journey to the north west of Wales via Betws-y-Coed.

Omens and foresight should have shown me that the weekend was to be a tricky one. When I was about an hour into my journey to my first port of call, a text arrived from my colleague to announce he was running late and would be setting off shortly. Fine, I thought, this will give me a chance to mooch about the camping shops in Betws-y-Coed and therein maybe purchase some gas canisters for the camping stove.

On my arrival the rains began. Fair enough, I thought, this is Betws-y-Coed which is renown for rain as the clouds empty their load onto the Snowdonian foot hills so a bit of precipitation is bound to occur in these here parts.

Two hours, a very expensive bacon sandwich (£4.50 for two bits of soggy bacon between cheap slices of bread) and a cup of tea (£1.50 for an egg cup with a splash of milky brown liquid) and several Radio 4 programmes later, Nick arrived and negotiations began for further travel to Porthmadoc where we could buy provisions for the break and some beer. Before following Mr Sat Nav’s directions to Aberdaron and the campsite.

A few days before departure I had placed a reservation as usual at Mynnedd Mawr Campsite only to be told “Just turn up”. So we did. And managed to get one of the last good spots for the tent. The majority of the campsite seemed to be taken up by two very large 10 men trailer tents pitched slap bang in the middle of the site. The thoughtful owners (two Jewish couples in their late fifties/early sixties) had blocked out the lovely view so I didn’t have to look at it. That was very kind of them.

523909_391448184254980_1169956727_nThe following day, glorious sunshine blessed our walk which commenced from the end of the last walk (Porth Oer) up the coast toward Porth Tywyn. A good 15 miles of coastal path. The weeks of torrential rain over the previous weeks had made the going quite boggy and our initial steps seemed thwarted but following a brief detour along the beach we were back on the trail in no time.

 

Glorious views were beheld. Glorious weather too.

IMAG0196

Looking North

IMAG0197

Nick enjoying a well earned break

IMAG0199

There are many mysterious places along that stretch of coast. For example these stairs cut into the hill side and seemingly inaccessible static caravans.

182147_391448594254939_1357196178_n

539625_391447594255039_1733951640_n

Or you would be trudging along and have to follow the path through a field of cows…

It’s such a lovely piece of coast line. But the weather there can be unpredictable. By 3pm the clouds were already gathering and the wind had picked up. On our return to the tent it was decided that it was too cold to sit outside drinking beer and that we should retire to the interior of the tent, therein to play dominoes.

I was winning, 10 rounds up, the wind brought with it rain and clouds to further darken the skies. By morning the tent had nearly taken off had it not been laden with the previous evening and early morning rain. The outlook seemed bleak. Further bad weather due.

Rain stopped play. We decamped and returned to our respective homes.

 

Coming soon – Holiday 2012: Part 2 Devon and Cornwall.


A Lovely day out in Langsett

>

It was such a lovely day today I thought I’d nip out for a walk in the delightful countryside that South Yorkshire has to offer. My destination of choice was the delightful Langsett Reservoir near Barnsley/Sheffield.

 

Langset near Barnsley in South Yorkshire
Langset near Barnsley in South Yorkshire

 

The sun was out, the sky was blue. I didn’t have a care and I wasn’t blue. It wasn’t raining. Raining in my heart.

 

Langsett Reservoir is owned by Yorkshire water and there are many permissive paths. But me not being someone to stick to the boring old main track decided to follow my nose and take a well trod side path to see where it went. And I’m bloody glad that I did.

 

Tree!

After crossing a very busy road I was soon walking through a lovely peaceful forest. Not a soul about. Lots of little birdies and squirrels foraging about. Nature can be so inspiring sometimes.

 

Part of me had decided that I had to do this today because I have gotten a bit fat lately. This is partly down to having a lot of stress from finishing this bloody Media degree of mine.

 

Another part of me wanted to take photographs because out side the hustle and bustle of urban life, the countryside is the only place left that I feel like I am not intruding or being strange when I brandish my camera.

 

 

Waterfall

There was a stream running through the forest. I couldn’t see it because it was hidden under lots of undergrowth but I could hear it. As I rounded a corner I could see a bridge. I crossed this and discovered a lovely peaceful little glade where I could sit for a while and reflect on my future.

 

 

Following the stream

After a while some walkers approached from the other direction. We exchanged greetings (why is it that in the countryside people always say “hello” but in cities the same people would just ignore you?) and they told me that they were enjoying their walk especially as they had not seen anyone else all day.

 

 

More trees! The path split once more. A higher one that crossed the top of a cliff face and a lower one that only went a short distance toward a wall. I took the higher one which led me through another bit of forest and onto a landscape that could have placed me in any of the wooly wild locations in England.

 

 

 

Scree!Nothing but trees, rolling hills, sheep and scree. Not a soul around. Perfect for reflection and soul searching.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Broken walls

Stepping over a dead sheep I realised that I was miles away from anywhere. Worse, I had very little battery left in my mobile phone. Fortunately I had thought to check the map before I left just to give me a rough idea of which direction I should head to return to my car. I had been walking by this time, for over an hour.

 

 

IMAG0057[1]The sun was beating my face and the path depressingly headed up a very steep hill. Beneath me I could see a river winding its way from the peak district bound for the sea.

At the top of the hill I could see a farm house. I was reluctant to pass through the field of bunny rabbits as it kind of looked like private property. Closer inspection revealed that this was a completely abandoned farm holding. With cattle sheds, sheep dips and live stock holdings. Nobody lived there now except for the many many startled rabbits. Even so, I walked through gingerly for fear of waking a dead farmer zombie or being accosted by some inbred family of mutants bent on making me their father. But in reality I was many miles away from Grimethorpe so this was unlikely to happen.

 

IMAG0058[1]

Once through the farm I headed up the path which in turn headed up the most demonic gradient I’ve seen outside of Scotland. The winding path lead me to a lone standing stone. The view from around there was amazing. I could see the windmills out near Penistone. I could see the hills and forests for miles. I truely was in the middle of nowhere. But what worried me most was the fact that I did not have much battery left in my phone and in the distance, angry black clouds floated in the sky like water filled bin bags.

 

Wind turbines against the black clouds of doom

 

IMAG0060[1] I’d just taken this picture of a vividly green tree when the unthinkable happened. My battery died. Miles from anywhere, no phone. No people. “Stuff it!” I thought and I carried on walking.

 

I wasn’t too worried as I was so chilled out and calm. I also knew that following the path would take me straight back to my car. It took me a good hour further to walk there.

 

I sat in my car just in time for PM on Radio 4. The roar of civilisation zooming past me in trucks, cars and on motorcycles. Nothing to bring you back to earth than Norbert Dentrassangle hurtling past noisly at 60mph.

 

A good day. 🙂