A few years back I had walked the Llyn Coast Path up in North West Wales. In early June I had walked all the way along the coast of this lovely peninsula from Caernarfon to Portmadog in scorching sunshine day after day. Blue skies, sandy beaches, deep green fields and flowers of all colours had matched my first red then chocolate brown tan quite nicely.
Now almost 5 years later I returned to this Welsh outpost only to find it exactly the same. Blue skies, deep green fields… yeah and all the rest.
Then as now I was walking around in tank top and shorts all day trying not to get too burnt (and somewhat failing… Just like back then, haha)
So what brings me back to this place? Recce for a tour I’m guiding in autumn. The four days over Easter would be my first stint of getting as much done as possible. So I had booked a B&B in Criccieth and also took Rich along who was recovering from a bad episode of back pain, but adamant that walking and a change of scenery would be just what he needed for his recovery.
Left Bristol eeeeearly Friday morning. 5:30am to beat the bank holiday traffic. Got to Beddgelert before the crowds around 10:30am.
We love this little village despite it being such a tourist magnet. And why not? Nice old stone buildings, cafés and pubs, a pretty epic ice cream parlour and all of that completely surrounded by towering hills and mountains.
We were the first to virtually bang on the door of the ice cream parlour to get our fix right when they opened the door.
Changed from shirt to tank top and from trousers to shorts before headed off onto our walk. It was just so warm already. Hard to believe that it was 10 degrees only about a week ago.
Rich wobbled along at first but was able to shake off his stiffness more and more and joined me on the whole walk in the end. Awesome!
Along the river at first all the way to Llyn Dinas with the big shape of Moel Hebog hulking behind us and slender Yr Aran on our left, with Snowdon peeking over his shoulder. Big names, but we were headed in the opposite direction.
Heading steeply up we aimed for the rocky path that lead us all along the southern hills of the valley with brilliant views South to Cnicht and the Moelwyns (hello again), East and North to Moel Hebog and its subsidiaries, the infamous Nantlle ridge well as mentioned Snowdon and Yr Aran.
Lunch with quite a view on the slopes of Mynydd Sygun, then down to Nantmor with some nice mining relics on the way. I found an old mining shaft or two and took a few steps in, but ankle deep water kept me from venturing further. Boo.
Full circle back to Beddgelert on a quite adventurous path along the Afon Glaslyn.
What a wonderful day!!! We couldn’t quite believe it. Great walk, stunning views. We stettled for a lime & soda outside a pub, too sun bleached and tired to go for beers (plus, there was some more driving to do).
Headed over to Criccieth and our B&B right by the seafront. Very warm welcome by the new owner who had basically just opened. We were quite literally the first guests.
Had well deserved showers and then some food and drinks in town, but were too knackered to stay out late. Half 9 was as long as we could keep our eyes open. Rock ‘n Roll, right?
Rich was still spark out when I left at 6am for a run-recce. A half day walk for my group, which I thought I’d simply run before breakfast and then add a full day’s walk after.
Drove 25mins to the foot of Yr Eifl on the North coast of Llyn. As I got out of the car, I found 4 other trail runners just getting ready. Apparently I wasn’t the only early bird around. Quick chat and off we went into different directions.
Tre’r Ceiri was first on my 6k circular route. Nice easy path with a mix of rocks and grass. Up and up I went getting my heart rate up and a proper sweat on… 7 in the morning. It was WARM!
Took me quite some time to find the right path down and over to intimidating Yr Eifl. With 584m not necessarily a small hill. The ascent was pretty steep, but short as I hurried up. Epic views from the top as the rising sun dipped the Snowdonian peaks into a hazy yellow. That’s why you get up early!
Again had to find the right way down, but once I had it, I was flying down to a gravel path and back to the car from there.
Breakfast with Rich back at the B&B after a tough but brilliant run. Then drove 40mins West to Porth Neigwl, the South East end of the beach they call Hell’s Mouth.
We were a bit late, but got lucky with a spot to park the car not too far away and started our 13.5k coastal walk to Abersoch at 11:30.
Once more blue skies, sparkling sea and sunsheee-ine galore. There were lots of boats and jetskis in the water, can’t blame them on such a fine day.
All along the coast we went into bustling Abersoch with one expensive car after another slowly rolling down the high street which was lined with massive and freshly painted houses first, then with pubs, cafés and shops. It was heaving! Not a single chair anywhere without an arse on it, hahaha. It felt a bit like the Salcombe of North Wales.
We had the mandatory ice cream, which was amazing of course, and then took the Coast Path Walkers bus back to the car park we had started our walk from. Pretty convenient! Whilst we learned from our driver about the rivalry between Abersoch and Aberdaron, he also picked up a group of 10 from a pub along the way which started singing the most uninspired and depressing version of Boulevard of Broken Dreams ever known to mankind. Luckily we got off just a couple of minutes later.
Rich was catching flies the second I started driving back, bless him. For once I enjoyed the drive in the sun despite the obligatory slow moving car I seem to always get stuck behind. 30 on a straight wide road with national speed limit… What’s wrong with some people?
Chilled back at the B&B, snoozing a bit and finally had time to write this blog. Then off to a promising Asian fusion restaurant. Good times!