Distance: 4.21 miles
Max Altitude: 29 m
Min Altitude: 6 m
Height Gain: 77 m
Height Loss: 85 m
There had been rain overnight so my first task was to dry to dry Clark Tent off as best I could. It hadn’t been a particularly great night’s sleep. Ok, it had been awful, truth be told. I had a quick coffee before packing up. Rain had turned into a muggy day, and I was clammy already.
Fortunately, the White Lodge, where I was camping, was right on the side of the Wales Coast Path. Thanks to them for my discounted pitch and thank you to the tireless Terry for arranging it.
The path directed me through farmland and tracks, away from the coast. Then it hit the side of the Afon Braint, where the only means of crossing were these stepping stones.
A bit nerve-racking at high tide!
But I made it to the other side without plunging in!
After the previous night’s rain, the boggy marshland was even more sodden underfoot.
It occurred to me that I must be close to my 500th mile of walking. I checked and I had indeed just gone past that milestone, probably when I was crossing the stepping stones. So I stopped at the edge of a field to contemplate my journey. 500 miles on foot….when you say it like that…(!) I felt chuffed at that moment, and a tad overwhelmed.
I continued. And that, reader, is when I learnt that on a journey like this, you have to take the rough with the smooth. What I hadn’t realised in my moment of self-congratulation was that I was in a boggy field saturated with silage. As soon as I put my right foot down it got stuck in the grot and I was up to my legs in the foul gloop. I pulled my foot out only for my shoe to be left behind.
Meanwhile, there was my sock, dripping in cow effluent. Lovely.
I pulled my shoe out of the muck with a loud “schlock!” and hopped back to the kissing gate on the edge of the field, where I attempted to do a clean up job. But really, without hot water and soap, there’s only so much you can do. All I can say is that my travel towel took a hammering (and turned a deep brown colour), while I thanked science for the invention of hand sanitiser.
I won’t tell you how I got to the other side of the field eventually. All I will say is that the US Navy SEALS would be impressed.
Still inland, I walked through more farmland and even through people’s front yards before being led through country lanes. And very nice lanes they were too.
And then the view of the day as I rounded back towards the coastline. The Menai Straits with Caernarfon directly opposite.
With my feet still wet and my socks still saturated in cow diarrhoea I decided to call it a day when I got to Foel Farm Park. I had promised myself a half day after all.
It turned out that the tireless Terry had organised a room for the night for me at the wonderful Outbuildings in Gaerwen.
And so that is how I ended my evening. I was able to bathe and rid myself of dung, as well as relax and have a decent meal.
It had truly been a day of ups and downs.