246 City Dulas to Moelfre

From the back of The Pilot Boat pub the coastal path sets off across fields. Below me, on my left, is the marshy inlet of Traeth Dulas where I walked yesterday. Sadly a murky fug obscures the views and I can’t get a good photograph.

01 view down to Traeth Dulas, Ruth's coastal walk, Anglesey

The path climbs steadily over the fields until I reach a marshy plateau where a flock of sheep are feeding. Strange to find so much water on the highest point in the area.

02 swamp at the top of the hill, Ruth's coastal walk

These lambs are old enough to stray away from their mother, and bold enough to come close. I love the two-tone colouring of Welsh sheep, and this pair look as though someone has sown brown patches on their knees.

03 welsh lambs, Ruth hiking the Isle of Anglesey coast path

The path leads down off the high ground and joins a track, were I meet a group of elderly male walkers coming towards me. Two old boys struggle in the rear and I can’t resist a photograph. One is carrying an umbrella, Nicholas Crane style.

04 fellow hikers, near Traeth yr Ora, Isle of Anglesey Coast Path

I’m pleased to reach the coast again, and set up the camera for a self-portrait. Behind me is a spit of land and, because I’m feeling full of energy today, I walk around to the far point and back again.

05 Ruth Livingstone on the Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path

On the way back I spot a short track leading down to the beach. PRIVATE signs always annoy me. This one I take as an invitation. Not a public right of way? OK. But it doesn’t say keep out, does it?

06 private signs, Ruth's trek in Anglesey

The beach consists of soft sand below a crumbling sandstone cliff, and is only slightly less-than-perfect because the lower part is coated in seaweed. The slope shelves more steeply than other beaches I’ve come across recently, and I suspect this would make a good swimming spot.

07 Traeth Yr Ora, Ruth's coastal walk, Anglesey

At the far end of the beach – which is served by a public footpath – a young family is sitting on the sand.

I climb back up the slope and rejoin the path. It follows the coast around another little beach.

08 Traeth Lligwy, Ruth's coastal walk around Angelsy, Wales

I haven’t gone far when  I notice a dull ache in the back of my left calf. Did I feel a twinge there yesterday? Maybe I did. But it doesn’t feel bad enough to be anything serious. Onwards.

And then, over the course of a minute or two, the pain gets dramatically worse. So bad, in fact, it makes me shout out. I stop and roll up my trouser leg to look at my calf, convinced it must be swollen and inflamed. My leg looks fine. And, now that I’ve stopped, the pain disappears completely.

I rest for a while, taking photographs of the shore below me. The rocks are a reddish colour and remind me of south Devon, while the sea contains some vivid green slime. On the slopes above are pink-purple fox gloves among darker green grass. I love the medley of different colours and textures.

09 coloured rocks and sea Lligwy Bay, Ruth's coastal walk, Angelsey

As soon as I set off walking again the pain returns. I must have pulled a muscle. ‘It’s only pain,’ I tell myself, and try to force my muscles to walk without limping, but that’s impossible. Thank goodness I have a walking pole with me.

I stop again and take a couple of paracetamol tablets. Other walkers have appeared and I am aware that I look ridiculous: in full walking kit but hobbling like an old lady.

Onwards. The pain is horrible. I struggle to make a pace of 1 mph, at most. (Funnily enough, I find the embarrassment of walking with a pronounced limp almost worse than the pain. Stupid pride, but I can’t help it.)

I reach Lligwy Bay and a car park.

10 Traeth Lligwy Beach, Ruth hiking in Anglesey

Sitting down to ease the pain, I realise there is no way I’m going to be able to get as far as Red Wharf Bay today, as planned. I pull out my map. The nearest bus I can catch is at Moelfre, only a couple of miles away. Only a couple of miles? Yes, but at this rate it might take me a couple of hours to get there.

I struggle to walk down to the beach – and discover going downhill is much worse than walking on the flat. Still, I manage to enjoy the pretty beach, which has a little river flowing across it.

11 Nant-y-Perfedd, Ruth's coastal Walk, Anglesey

I cross the river by the footbridge and walk to the end of the beach along a bank of sand dunes – grateful that the soft sand disguises my pronounced limp. By now it’s taking an intense effort of will to keep moving.

Crossing over another car park I find, luckily, that the next section of path is empty of people, and nobody can see my pathetic progress as a I hobble and stumble along.

12 ruth hiking to Moelfre, Ruth's coastal walk

I get used to the pain, or perhaps the paracetamol starts kicking in. I manage to speed up a little. Maybe I’m doing 1.5 mph now?

Ahead I approach the outskirts of Moelfre. A couple of women come towards me on the path and try to engage me in a conversation about a popular TV programme. Do I know the name of the presenter? Because they’ve forgotten it. I’m afraid I’m rather short with them. My total attention is needed for walking.

The path climbs up a rocky slope and I discover going up is much easier than going down.

13 approaching Moelfre, Ruth hiking in Anglesey

Looking back, I see an unusual monument sitting on top of a promontory. I wonder what it is, but can’t summon the willpower to go and take a look. It’s not just the pain. Walking with a limp is surprisingly tiring.

14 memorial to The Royal Charter, Ruth Livingstone

I round the tip of the headland and pass close to the island of Ynys Moelfre. Actually, I hear the island before I see it, because it’s covered in sea birds – gulls and cormorants – and the noise is tremendous.

15 Ynys Moelfre, Ruth's coastal walk, Anglesey

Onwards. I hobble around the point and past a lifeboat station.

16 lifeboat station, Moelfre, Ruth hiking in Anglesey

The path becomes a promenade and is quite crowded. I climb some steps and take a look at a couple of sculptures.

17a statue, Moelfre, Ruth Livingstone17b memorial sculpture, Ruth Livingstone, Moelfre

There is a magnificent statue of a seaman, hanging onto his wheel.

And a couple of very dramatic metal pillars with fantastic scenes in 3D relief on their curved inner surfaces.

This one depicts a ship being hurled by ferocious waves. It really is a great piece of art. It’s an amazing achievement to capture such frenetic movement and fluidity in a piece of solid metal.

An information plaque tells me the sculptures, along with the monument I saw earlier, are memorials to a terrible shipwreck that took place just off the coast here in 1859, when a ship called The Royal Charter was lost at sea, along with over 400 lives. You can read the details on Wikipedia.

I limp onwards. The sky is dull now and so my overall impression of Moelfre is one of greyness. Grey metal. Grey shingle. Grey houses.


18 Moelfre, Ruth walking in Anglesey

It’s only a short hobble to the bus stop.

What a frustrating day! Having started out full of energy and feeling 100% fit, I’ve ended up in pain and forced to cut my walk short. Just under 6 miles in 4 hours. And now I’m worrying about tomorrow.

Miles walked today = 6 miles
Wales Coast Path so far = 960.5 miles
Total distance around the coast: 2,467.5 miles


About Ruth Livingstone

Walker, writer, photographer, blogger, doctor, woman, etc.
This entry was posted in 16 Anglesey and North Wales and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to 246 City Dulas to Moelfre

  1. Rita Bower says:

    Sorry to hear of the sudden onset of pain in your calf. I hope it disappeared by the following day. Well done for walking as far as you did….though guess you didn’t have too much choice!

  2. tonyhunt2016 says:

    So what is your diagnosis? I thought when I first read about the pain that it might have been a pull of the calf muscle from walking steeply up that forbidden path (!), but it’s then odd that it hurt more going downhill than up. I suppose we all get twinges (or in this case worse) while out walking; most go off, but I always wish I had an accompanying doctor to confirm whether I should push on or rest 🙂

    • Hi Tony. I think the downhill pain was an illusion, because I was walking downhill on soft sand, which made it more difficult to protect the muscles. And the better-uphill part was also an illusion, due to using wooden steps which helped protect the muscles from stretching. In fact, by the next day, the situation was reversed!

  3. Anabel Marsh says:

    Awaiting the next post anxiously…..

  4. mrszee333 says:

    Awaiting next post anxiously too … I am very much enjoying following you around Wales and keep checking how far you have to go – already I know I’m going to be disappointed when you have finished.

  5. Gemma says:

    Hope you get better real quick, these fantastic blogs keep me going when I cannot be on the trail myself…maybe a good night’s rest will do the trick!

  6. it’s a shame the weather was so dull and grey when you reached Moelfre, it’s quite a pretty little place when it’s sunny.
    A couple of weeks ago I walked from the car park at Lligwy beach to Traeth Dulas and back and I also found the gate marked ‘private’ leading down to the beach – and just like you I ignored the sign and went down there. I got a gorgeous photo of the end of the beach – the end behind you on your photo – but I thought the other end didn’t look quite as nice.

    • How wonderful to learn we both ignored the same ‘Private’ sign on that beach! Yes, you’re right, the other end of the beach was much nicer but sadly the light was in my eyes and the view was obscured by the fuggy atmosphere, and I couldn’t get a decent photo.

  7. Marie Keates says:

    Oh dear. Injuries are the Bain of my life right now. Commando has injured the tending in his ankle. He’s a very bad patient. Hopfully yours was short lived and properly looked after.

  8. theresagreen says:

    Ouch! It is a pity you didn’t see Moelfre in a better light, as someone already said it is not a bad little place. In light of previous observations about the state of local industry etc. I thought you might like to know lifeboat station at Moelfre is quite new and cost a mere £10 million!

  9. I’m sorry to read that you experienced crippling and recurring pain on this walk, Ruth. Is it something you’d experienced on a walk at any time? I’m pleased you weren’t too far from a bus stop. I never consider the possibility of something like that happening deep in the countryside, somewhere.

    • Hi Olly, and this was the first time I’ve had an injury while our walking. Blisters, yes, and sore feet, and occasional back ache, but never something that made me feel I couldn’t carry on. I was lucky to be reasonably close to a bus stop and I do wonder what I would have done in a more remote area.

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