I park near the bus stop in Trefor. One of Yr Eifl’s peaks looms above the village and from this vantage point it is obvious how quarrying has resculpted the landscape.
I find the bottom of the green lane that comes down from the hill, and resume my walk along the Wales Coast Path. The first thing I notice is a weird little bridge crossing over the road. And then I remember reading about a narrow-gauge railway that once carried quarried stones down to Trefor’s pier. Is this the remains of it?
I walk under the bridge along the road, which soon narrows into a track, and then into a grassy path. Around a little gully between two low hills and, suddenly, I’m walking by the sea again.
The surface of the water is glassy and calm. Looking back towards the west I can just make out the low-lying coast of Nefyn, Morfa and the isthmus of Porth Dinllaen. I feel the usual tug of sadness, knowing I will soon leave those familiar landmarks behind. I also notice the ominous gathering of dark clouds. It’s already raining over there and the wind is blowing the clouds this way.
I’m surprised to find this area of land belongs to the National Trust, as it is not marked as such on my map. Rather confusingly, it’s also called Morfa, which I later learn is the Welsh word for a moor, and also for a fen or a marsh – which all seems highly appropriate given that much of the landscape I’ve walked across seems to consist of boggy marshland.
Looking to the northeast, I can see across Caernarfon Bay to snow-capped mountains. Is that Mount Snowdon? I think it might be.
Meanwhile, closer to the coast, one of the rocky islands is home to a group of seagulls and cormorants. I realise I haven’t seen many of those distinctive black birds in Wales, although I remember the south coast of England was covered in them.
Onwards, and Trefor’s dilapidated pier comes into sight. Behind are the peaks of Gyrn Ddu (meaning, I think, Great Black) and Gryn Goch (meaning, I think, Great Red).
Down near the pier I meet a local man who is walking his dog. He confirms that the bridge carried the narrow-gauge railway over the road. It was used to bring rocks down from the Yr Eifl quarries to the pier, where the stones were loaded onto ships.
While I throw sticks for the dog, the man tells me about the history of Trefor, and how it was once a bustling place, full of quarry workers. Sadly, as the quarries began to close the town faded away. He tells me the village store closed down a few weeks ago and the only remaining shop, the post office, is shut at the moment because the lady who runs it has gone away on holiday.
After this interesting, but depressing, conversation, my dog-walking friend continues on his way.
I walk past the end of the pier (a jetty would be a better word for it) and around a rather half-hearted harbour area, where a few small boats are moored.
I’ve just completed a circuit around Trefor and now I walk back up the road and return to my car. Just in time. Dark clouds have been drifting over the peaks of Yr Eifl and rain is soon hammering down on my windscreen.
I was expecting this. The BBC forecast predicted an hour or so of rain around lunchtime. So I shelter in my car and eat my lunch. Suddenly my mobile phone rings. I answer it hesitantly, thinking it will be the normal nuisance call about PPI I’ve never taken out, or a recent non-existent car accident I haven’t had.
In fact it’s daughter number two calling from New York. She has just got engaged to her boyfriend. Great news!
After the storm has passed, I leave the car and resume my walk. Sadly, I know the next few miles will be road-walking: about eight miles in total. Sigh. I walk along the road out of Trefor, heading towards the hills of Gyrn Ddu and Gyrn Goch.
At the top of the road I meet the busy A499 and turn left towards Caernarfon.
Sometimes I walk along a separate walk/cycle track. Sometimes I deviate off along minor roads. The first diversion is down to Terfyn which consists of a small collection of houses strung out along a lane. (The main coastal path sticks to the main road, but I can’t resist the detour – and it’s totally in keeping with my Rule Number Two)
At times the sky gets stormy and at one point I get pelted by hail stones. In the distance, on one of the rare occasions when I can actually see the sea, I get a view of beaches ahead. And Anglesey.
At a village called Clynnog-fawr I come across Beano’s Well. Beano? The comic? No. St Beuno’s well. He has several named after him, but this particular one was supposed to cure sick children of epilepsy and other illnesses.
I peer inside. The water is shallow and reasonably clean, but covered with weeds. I wouldn’t like to be dipped in it myself.
Onwards, following the road, and I get tantalising glimpses of the sea across acres of farmland. I do wonder if it is possible to follow the coastline along this section, maybe at low tide, if you don’t mind trespassing across fields, or scrambling over rocks and through boggy coastal areas. But I don’t try to find out.
Road walking is boring and boring walking is tiring walking. It should be easy, but it never is.
I walk along short sections where lanes run parallel to the road, and alongside a high wall which marks the boundary of some grand estate.
Back on the main A499 I’m surprised to come across a sign for Caernarfon Airport. Never heard of it. The official Wales Coast Path heads down this road.
But this is the end of my walk for today. Just beyond the turnoff to the airport is a bus stop and I plan to catch the bus back to Trefor from here. I’m early – having made fast progress along the boring road – and there’s a 20 minute wait for the next bus.
It’s a shame they don’t provide a seat in the bus shelter. I could have done with resting my legs.
The bus is only a few minutes late, and the journey back to my car is uneventful.
You can learn more about St Beuno’s well on the Mysterious Britain site
Miles walked today = 10 miles (8 miles along the road)
Wales Coast Path so far = 791.5 miles
Total distance around the coast: 2,398.5 miles