Friday, 17 May 2013

Memories of Midsummer Madness

Foreword: A potted history of the very first walk as remembered by Ed Dalton.

I am a founder member of the Cefni Walking Club on Anglesey (1989). The above walk was brought to my attention by Peter Hewlett of Aberdaron in 2005. Peter was trying to establish a long distance walking route along the Lleyn Peninsula Coastline.

His idea bore fruit one early morning on Saturday the 25th of June, when around a dozen walkers assembled at the Beuno Hotel in Clynnog Fawr to try to walk 40 miles to Aberdaron.
A beautiful sunrise over the Snowdonia peaks augured well for the day. A long lane climb led to the public footpath over the moorland plateau which lies between the peaks of Bwlch Mawr, Gyrn Ddu and Gyrn Coch. Quite a remote area! It was still morning by the time we arrived at Llanaelhaearn village although a slight misty drizzle had started. Our spirits were raised by refreshments from the “back up” vehicle. Great!

The next section took us around the base of Tre’r Ceiri Iron Age Hut Encampment, and also by-passed Yr Eifl’s peaks to eventually reach the national learning centre of Nant Gwrtheyrn on Porth y Nant Bay (situated in a lovely spot overlooking the beach).

Onward again, after a short rest period, now heading along the pebbly shoreline. A disused quarry climb out led to the headland and across several fields to arrive at the large village called Nefyn. The group needed a hot meal which Peter had arranged in the local cafe.

Peter’s route now went via the headland paths from Morfa Nefyn and the beautiful Porth Dinllaen Bay to cross the local golf course (there is a public right of way!) The way was now like a “roller-coaster” ride... down into a cove then a scramble up to the headland, again and again. Scenery was exceptional and the occasional seal seen. Weather still damp but bearable.

A short diversion was taken, where the cliff path had land-slipped, then on again.

The villages of Tudweiliog and Llangwnnadl were inland from the coast by-passed by the path. However, as time was moving on, after crossing Porth Towyn and Penllech beaches it was obvious that the full planned route was not possible. All the walkers including myself were tired and one person was limping.

An “executive decision” was made to road walk the remaining distance to Aberdaron!
Once past Porth Colmon, the route leaves the coast to go inland for a lane walk before dropping down onto Porth Oer beach (also known as Whistling Sands). The last stretch would have taken in a few more headlands and a couple of coves to finally climb Anelog hill and then drop down into Aberdaron. Therefore, once the lane section was reached, we all relaxed and now with the sun shining, strolled the last few miles to Peter’s home in the evening light. A long day in the outdoors.

A good rest with excellent refreshments was a fitting end to a very memorable inaugural walk. The back-up vehicles took us safely back to the start.

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