Distance: 13.6 miles
Max Altitude: 184 m
Min Altitude: 3 m
Height Gain: 318 m
Height Loss: 311 m
Today was one of those days where it depends entirely on your point of view as to how it went. I could declare that the entire day went wrong. On the other hand, I could choose to believe that I made good progress in spite of the conditions. It’s just a case of perspective.
The confusion happened as soon as I left Aberdaron. I walked out of the village via the road. My map was telling me one thing. The waymarks were telling me something different. I decided to continue via road.
I then saw one waymark telling me to go one way and another telling me to turn right so I remained going straight ahead. At least this way I knew where I was headed on the map.
The only problem was that I seemed to be getting too far away from the coast. So I hung a right just before I got to Rhiw. There were farms and cottages dotted about but also the most wonderful view. Getting ‘lost’ isn’t half bad at times.
I found a waymark and got on my way. It took me through a farmers field and out onto a road again. I walked ahead and saw another waymark across a farm yard on top of a kissing gate. Great! The only problem was the snarling and barking dog guarding the kissing gate. Not so great. There didn’t seem to be anyone around so I wasn’t about to risk it. Dismayed, I decided to turn back up towards the road.
Upwards I slogged. They don’t call it Rhiw for nothing (Welsh for ‘hill’). It felt never ending. But I finally got to the brow and started my descent. Once again, I found myself glad to be on a slightly different route because the view was incredible. The panorama ahead was of Eryri (Snowdonia) and it was stretching right across my horizon.
The waymarks reappeared and all was well. I had only made a slight deviation and was now back on course. I could see Porth Neigwl ahead. On the map the Wales Coast Path made a huge detour to avoid it, which was unfortunate.
The track left the road and started across farmers’ fields. It was quiet. Not a soul about.
More farmers’ fields. I spotted cows. I looked again….bullocks. Oh no. I walked onwards with my head held high and they more or less ignored me. I got to a small brow and realised that I wasn’t just walking across one field of bullocks but about seven or eight fields full of them, and none of the gates between them were shut.
Out of my peripheral vision, I saw two start to follow and close in on me. Within seconds, more had joined them. Suddenly I was almost surrounded, with bullocks to the front, back, left and right of me. I went horizontally towards a fence. In the next field were sheep. Safety. I had to climb over the barbed wire, getting stabbed in the process. Safety though.
I walked parallel to the cattle. But what I didn’t realise was that the gate at the bottom of the field adjoining mine and the cattle’s field was open. In they streamed at speed towards me and horizontally I went again, into yet another field, over barbed wire.
And for a while, this was the situation. By now I was way off course and had no chance to get back to the Wales Coast Path unless I wanted to come face to face with more menacing bovine.
So I waited about 30 minutes, eating some snack, until they got bored of me and went horizontal again until I did manage to find a field without any open gates.
I continued until I found a road and just kept walking. Eventually I saw a Wales Coast Path waymark and felt relief.
I finished my day in Llanengan in camp. Not exactly the most pleasant day’s walking but I had achieved more than 13 miles and 1000 feet of height in spite of it all.