I catch the bus into Aberffraw and start my walk along the river bank, heading towards the coast. The tide is high.
As I approach the beach at the mouth of the estuary, I’m greeted by the familiar sight of Yr Eifl on the far horizon. I’m pretty sure today will be last time I get such a good view of its triple peaks.
I climb up onto the headland at the mouth of the river and take a photo looking back towards Aberffraw. It really is a beautiful place.
From here the path follows the coastline, running flat and easy beside the shore.
The sea is clear, with blue-green water, and the rocks are indented by numerous sandy coves. It really does remind me of Cornwall, but with everything on a miniature scale: lower cliffs and smaller bays.
And there is a surprise around the corner. I reach a little bay – Porth Cwyfan – and here is a little chapel perched on an island. It’s not marked as a church on my map, but the island appears to be called Cribinau.
As I walk around the bay, I see that Cribinau is a tidal island, with the causeway just visible as a line of partially submerged rocks. It’s a shame the tide is high, because I would have liked to visit it.
The other thing I discover while walking around this wonderful bay is…
I never get very close to them, because they remain out in the deep water, but I do manage to get a couple of blurry shots with my camera.
Unfortunately, at this point the coastal path does its usual trick and abandons the coast. I’m back to road walking. Again.
Although the road looks quiet – more a lane than a road – I can hear the roar of traffic close by. And, so, I expect to encounter cars at any moment, and am surprised when I don’t meet any.
Takes me a while to work out that the roar is coming from a nearby motor racing circuit. High banks keep the track hidden from view. In fact, it’s this circuit that keeps walkers away from the shore. Pity.
Once I’ve walked beyond the racing course, I pick up a permissive footpath that leads along the side of a field and back towards the coast. (Thank you, Bodorgan Estate, for allowing walker’s through your land.)
I can no longer see the coastline of the Llyn Peninsula across the sea, and the familiar outline of Yr Eifl has disappeared. Instead, there is Holy Island ahead across a wide bay and the unmistakable hump of Holyhead Mountain, otherwise known in Welsh as Mynydd Twr.
Actually, Holyhead Mountain isn’t really tall enough to be classed as a proper mountain, although it is the highest peak on Anglesey and it does look dramatic, dominating the skyline.
From here onwards the path hugs the coast, and I walk along the top of low cliffs, around jagged rocks and narrow coves. The sky is clouding over, and the sea has lost its deep-blue hue, but it’s still beautiful.
I approach a lovely little sheltered beach (Porth Terfyn, I think). Just beyond is the wider beach of Porth Trecastell.
There is road access and a car park at Porth Trecastell and, for the first time today, I begin to meet other people. There are a couple of men in brightly coloured kayaks. But are they really kayaks? The men’s legs aren’t enclosed and their paddles only have one blade.
A group of seals, whose heads I’ve been watching bobbing about in the middle of the bay, swim towards the shore and – suddenly – turn out to be a group of divers with tanks on their backs.
On the other side of Porth Trecastell is a headland with an ancient chambered cairn that is famous because in contains some unique, decorated stones. A sign explains how you can arrange a guided visit and go inside the cairn. I decide to do that this afternoon, and set off to walk around the headland…
… only to discover the entrance to the cairn on the far side – and realise it’s shut for renovations. Shame.
Onwards. I can see a long stretch of beach ahead, and know I’m approaching Rhosneigr. The path is well-trodden and its easy walking.
When I reach the beach, it looks perfect – a series of coves with bright sands and gentle waves – although the photo below is slightly misleading, because there are plenty of people about.
A family have gathered for a picnic, with a rug spread out on the sands. Suddenly, a black Labrador runs past me and heads straight for the food, licking the plates and snuffling through the plastic bags. The family glare at me – and I suddenly realise they think it’s my dog!
I’m relieved when the real owners appear and shout at the dog to stop eating and come back. I wait for them to pull the dog away and then I hang back to allow them to walk well ahead of me. It’s NOT my dog.
I love this beach, ringed by dunes and with its mix of soft sands and hard rocks. But the sunshine of the morning disappears as the wind picks up. The sky turns dark one minute, and bright the next. Waves foam and splash against the rocky outcrops.
I walk onwards, and Rhosneigr grows closer.
At one point the beach is interrupted by a stream, but this is easily crossed via a footbridge. Dark clouds are massing overhead. There is definitely a rainstorm coming.
I walk around the outskirts of Rhosneigr. It’s a pretty village, with brightly painted houses and narrow streets and, for the first time since I arrived in Anglesey, I feel I’m in a proper tourist resort.
The downside of a tourist resort is the crowds. The upside is there are plenty of places to eat. I stop at a place called The Surf Café and order coffee along with a scone, strawberries and cream. Then I order a large piece of cake. Yes, after several days of illness, I really have got my appetite back.
After my meal (should I call it late lunch or afternoon tea?) I head back to the beach. Now I’m walking up the western side of Rhosneigr. Ahead is a curving bay of dunes. The tide is well out now and the sands gleam with water-patterned ridges.
The beach is interrupted by a wide stream and I’m not sure how to get across it. My plan was to walk onwards to Valley and catch the train back to Rhosneigr, but the sky has turned dark again, the wind is blowing hard, and I’m feeling tired after my long walk yesterday. The wide stream provides a convenient excuse to stop.
I retrace my steps and head into Rhosneigr to find my car.
Miles walked today = 9 miles
Wales Coast Path so far = 872 miles
Total distance around the coast: 2,379 miles