78. Pwllheli to Porthmadog

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Approaching Criccieth with the castle prominent

This was to be my last section on the Lleyn Peninsular and looking back I quite enjoyed it. I thought I may have had transport problems, but in the end the area was served by a good, reliable and affordable bus network. The country had been hit with numerous storms over Christmas and some areas of North Wales had been affected by them, leading to some road closures at times. I saw a small weather window, which I intended to use to complete my last walk on the Lleyn.

I drove very early to Porthmadog and parked in a free-car park about 250m from the bus stop. I caught the 07:50 bus No.3 to Pwllheli.

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Looking towards Moel y Gest (in the distance)

The first three miles or so are along a footpath alongside the main road back to Pwllheli. Evidence  of floods could still be seen in the surrounding fields. I was soon walking down a lane to a holiday camp and which passed over the rail tracks at a small rail stop called Abererch; which brought me back onto the beach. I managed to collect a number of beautifully coloured clam shells from the beach.

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Looking back towards Criccieth from Graig Ddu

As I was about to to leave the beach for more road walking I was  caught by a couple of short sharp and cold rain showers. The path reverted back to the main road again, this was to get over the Afon Dwyfor. The path headed back towards the coast shortly after crossing the bridge over the Dwyfor and close to the village of Llanystumdwy (where Lloyd George spent his early years). The walk into Criccieth was dominated for quite a way by the dramatically situated Cricceth Castle, which the WCP passes just below. It is free to gain admission to the castle, but the ruins did not appeal to me.

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Black Rock Sands with the Rhinogs in the distance

I passed out of Criccieth and shortly had to contend with flooded paths which required a short section of climbing over fences to get around. I climbed up a green lane that wound its way over Graig Ddu. From this high vantage point I could see the impact of the stormy weather over the Morfa Bychan area with numerous areas flooded. I descended down onto Black Rock Sands. Cars are allowed onto this beach , which is very flat and extensive.  I was just about able to make out the Rhinogs across Tremadoc Bay. I finally came off the beach by the golf course to join the path in its final approach to Porthmadog via the hamlet of Borth-y-Gesto the beach

I made very good time to cover the 18miles in 5.5hrs.

Distance today = 18 miles
Total distance =   1183 miles

 

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77. Abersoch to Pwllheli

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Boats at Abersoch

This was a  short pre-Christmas Sunday ramble with my daughter Nicola over 9 miles between Abersoch and Pwllheli. It was quite a late start for us (well by my standards). We drove to and parked in Pwllheli in a free car park (well actually all the parking was free over the Christmas period). We then caught the 10:00 #18 bus to Abersoch at £1.80 each.

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Gormley-esque type statue on Mynydd Tir-y-cwmwd

The weather was delightful, warm , sunny, dry and windy (with the wind with us).  We walked mainly on the beach, except for two small headlands, the first contained some very steep steps down to the beach (which where not on the official WCP). we called these steps “The Steps of Doom” as they were very steep and covered in leaves. The handrail was very useful.

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The Steps of Doom

The walk took 2hrs 55mins to cover the 9 miles. Closeby the bus and train station is The Pen y Cob, a nice Wetherspoons where we had Sunday lunch, with a couple of pints of Doom Bar. Nice!

 

 

Distance today = 9 miles
Total distance =   1165 miles

76. Abersoch to Aberdaron

This was going to be a long and tough day. When I examined the public transport situation I saw I needed to use Pwllheli as a place to link the two villages together. I therefore drove to Aberdaron and parked up in the National Trust car park. Aberdaron is almost at the tip of the Lleyn peninsular and sits in a very rural location. It was still dark as I waited to catch the #17 to Pwllheli at a cost of £2.60, then hopped on the #18 to Abersoch (only 15mins).

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Crepuscular rays over St. Tudwal’s West

The forecast was not good, high winds were expected, which would be coming almost head-on for most of the day. When I got off the bus at Abersoch, the weather was ok, a fine sunny but chilly morning. The recent heavy rain had flooded part of the golf course at Abersoch, as I noted when I walked 0ver the course. The views out to sea were dominated by the twin islands of St. Tudwal’s Island East  and West, about a mile offshore. St Tudwal’s West is the island which contains the lighthouse.

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Looking down into Porth Niegwl or Hell’s Mouth

By the time I had arrived at Porth Neigwl or Hell’s Mouth, the high winds and rain squalls had arrived. This was the second time I had been to Porth Niegwl, back in 1975, as a Geology undergraduate at Liverpool University. Then, we were studying the geological engineering problems of the boulder clays that made up the coastal cliffs at Porth Niegwl.

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Looking towards Bardsey Island and Aberdaron from Mynydd Penarfynydd

I did not stay long on the beach as an inland detour across muddy and flooded fields was imposed on me. To make matters worse, poor signage made battling through the rain squalls quite unpleasant. A return to a bit of road walking was most welcome as I rounded the National Trust building at Plas yn Rhiw. The height gained on this section ultimately lead to a great vantage point, the summit of Mynydd Penarfynydd at a height of 177m.

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Arriving at Aberdaron

It was possible to see Bardsey Island as well as my objective Aberdaron. The final 3 to 4 miles into Aberdaron was poorly signposted. I actually stayed on a path which hugged the coast until about a mile from Aberdaron, when I then cut in land and joined the road. It was quite a relief to get out of the wind and a change of clothes when I arrived back at the car.

I managed 20 miles in 6.5hrs

Distance today = 20 miles
Total distance =   1156 miles