64. Brynsiencyn – Bangor
Distance: 13.6 miles
Max Altitude: 58 m
Min Altitude: 2 m
Height Gain: 310 m
Height Loss: 286 m
A refreshing night’s sleep coupled with a hearty breakfast at The Outbuildings set me up for the day ahead.
It was a nice way to do breakfast too. Instead of the usual business of everyone being on separate tables, all the guests sat together around a large kitchen table instead. So over food we all chatted.
The lady next to me recognised me. “Were you going up Holyhead Mountain the other day?”
Indeed it was me. I had encountered Jacqueline, from Ayrshire, half way up. I was on the ascent, huffing and puffing while she was descending to Ynys Arw (North Stack). What an incredible coincidence that we’d be eating breakfast together just a few days later.
I got dropped off back at Foel Farm Park and started walking. It was mid-morning and I needed to upload the blog, so in I went to the Sea Zoo cafe to do so. I may have had a scone too.
And then I was properly on my way. The name of this boat greeted me. An omen? Or a fact? Something to accept and overcome, probably.
And from then on, for a few hours anyway, it was a relatively quiet walk with few distractions. The only thing that wasn’t quiet was the wind, which was beyond blustery and was buffeting me off balance.
It was like Ynys Môn was winding down and preparing to deliver me back to the mainland, but not wanting to let me go, at the same time.
The Wales Coast Path took me across field and through farmland. At one point, I wished I had that trusty flamethrower/ machete combo that I’d invented back on the Offa’s Dyke Path. I didn’t though and got stung by nettles instead.
Soon I ended up back on the shores of the Menai since high tide had passed. I walked for what felt like ages with this underfoot.
There were very few things of interest. I could barely keep my phone still to take photos because of the winds.
Finally, the Britannia Bridge came into sight.
Walking on further I came to the bizarre Nelson monument on the shore. I didn’t stop to examine further and soon it was behind me.
Once again, I was led inland and through the grounds of a church. The high winds made the graveyard resemble something out of The Omen. I didn’t hang about.
And then, I passed under the Britannia Bridge. The space beneath bridges is always creepy and this one was no exception.
I could have stayed for hours photographing the structure and capturing all the little details but the winds on the Menai were still giving me trouble.
Still a bit creeped out from the graveyard and the bridge, I practically flew through a dark forest that followed. Relief when I saw the Menai Bridge through a gap in the hedge. The end was nearing.
The events that followed were an extraordinary coincidence. And I’d love to know the odds. Long story short, In Menai Bridge, I bumped into the woman who is responsible for the Wales Coast Path’s social media accounts. Eve and I have been communicating digitally on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram for weeks, but of course, under the guise of the WCP. Suddenly, she was in front of me completely by accident. A human face! And a lovely one at that too. What were the chances of that happening???
We talked for ages. She even got me a cup of tea and then offered me a lift to Bangor. How kind.
And then a further coincidence. As Eve and I were getting into her car, another pulled up beside us. It was Jacqueline from breakfast (and Holyhead Mountain). Again, the chances of that?
With my mind boggling I was dropped off in Bangor by Eve. We said our goodbyes and I was so happy to have met her.
I had a BnB at The Garden booked. I didn’t think the local council would take kindly to me camping in the middle of a traffic island. That’s where I ate that evening too. It was a healthy meal which I badly needed after weeks of sugar and junk. The waitresses there were incredibly kind and quizzed me on my journey. They even hugged and high fives me as I departed to bed.
I was sorry to say goodbye to dear Ynys Môn. I had grown to love the island. Already, I cannot wait to return. But first I have the small matter of another 500 miles to travel.
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