I hurry to catch the late afternoon bus to Llanfachraeth. It’s one of the few buses on an erratic service that will get me anywhere close to my starting point. The bus driver asks if I’ve enjoyed my walk and seems surprised when I explain I’ve been waiting for the rain to stop and I’m only just setting out!
The first part of the route is familiar as I retrace my steps from yesterday. I reach the bridge and am pleased to be back on the coastal path again.
But I don’t cross the bridge because, today, I’m staying on this side of the estuary. Instead, I follow the coast path along a rain-sodden path…
… and through fields of dripping crops. At least the rape flowers are cheerful, even if the day remains stubbornly gloomy.
I walk along a raised bank, with sea marshes on one side and land marshes on the other…
… until I eventually regain the shore.
I turn and walk northwards. The beach I’m walking along is nameless on my map. With the tide out, the shore consists of a broad expanse of mud. Across the water is Holyhead and the now-familiar sight of the tall aluminium-works chimney.
The whole area feels remote, with the nearest village some miles away, but I’m never far from human habitation as there are numerous houses dotted about the landscape. This would be a nice place to live, overlooking the nameless beach.
I cross over the headland and come down towards another beach. Porth Penrhyn-Mawr.
At the far end is a collection of houses and static holiday homes. From here I follow a narrow road running inland and parallel to the shore…
… towards another collection of static holiday homes, along with a campsite of caravans and tents.
The next beach is called Porth Tywyn-mawr according to my map. But local signs suggest a different name: Sandy Bay. And that’s a much better name for it, because the bay consists of a wonderful, long expanse of sand.
This end (near the holiday park) is relatively crowded. The other end is virtually deserted.
I walk along the top of the beach and watch tractors towing boats down to the water. You would need to know the safe places to launch because there are plenty of rocks about. Meanwhile, out in the bay, a speed boat bumps across the waves.
Beyond Sandy Bay is another headland and another beach. Porth Trefadog. I stop and sit on a rock for a drink and a snack, and watch a group of young people playing football.
At the end of Porth Trefadog I climb up yet another low headland. The sun is making a brave attempt to light up the landscape and I take a photograph looking back along the beach.
Onwards. I walk along a narrow path. A fence on one side, gorse bushes on the other.
The next bay is also nameless but I see something rather unusual. Resting on the next headland, pulled up well above the high tide mark, is the rusting hull of a sizeable ship. Is it a wreck that washed ashore here? Or was it deliberately brought here to break up? There appears to be a small scrap yard nearby, so I suspect the latter.
Over the headland and I’m on a wild shoreline, following a narrow path. This cove is Porth Defaid. Followed by Porth Fudr.
The next bay is Porth Trwyn. By now it’s nearly 7pm and the evening sunlight breaks through and lights up the houses that line the low cliffs.
But the sunshine has arrived too late. I’ve come to the end of the coastal section of my walk today, and it’s time to turn inland to find my car which is parked in a village called Llanfaethlu on the main road.
I follow a mother and her little daughter and we walk away from the beach and up the gravel track.
The mother and child turn off into a small complex of holiday homes but I continue along the track, now a tarmac road. On and on. For more than a mile. It seems to be relentlessly uphill most of the way. And this is not the coast path, of course, just the route back to my car. So it’s the frustrating type of walking I call ‘wasted walking’.
When I get close to the village, I pass a small church perched on the hill. On a clear day there would be wonderful views from here. What a pity the light is too dull for decent photography.
Llanfaethlu has a single shop and no pub. I reach the main road and find the bus stop where my car is parked. It’s always a relief to see it again.
If I found my transport logistics difficult today, tomorrow will be even worse because tomorrow is a Sunday and there will be no buses running at all. Luckily, I have a cunning plan… but that will have to wait until the morning.
Miles walked today = 7.5 miles
Wales Coast Path so far = 922 miles
Total distance around the coast: 2,429 miles