30th and 31st May 2018
Over these two days we have walked between Prestatyn and Colwyn Bay, 8 miles the first day (to Abergele) and 7 miles today. It couldn’t be more different to last year’s expedition on the South West Coastal Path – this is so flat and ‘promenade’ and this week we have splendid coastal views to admire. The sea is incredibly tranquil – soothing little waves lapping. Today particularly the sun has been shining down so there were plenty of families on the sands enjoying their half-term leisure. Yesterday’s walk was slightly bleaker – today it felt so much prettier, in fact it was one of those ‘good to be alive days.’ We love Colwyn Bay – beautiful seaside resort.
So largely it passed with incident … except that is for the hat! Steve has a very favourite hat – his leather cowboy hat which he bought on a wine-tasting trip to Argentina. I clearly remember the day he strolled back into Heathrow wearing it – it made him look even taller!! And since then it’s travelled the world with him, including our recent ‘gap year’ travels to South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Sometimes when it looks like rain he chooses to wear it while walking, yesterday was one of those days. Now our logistics for the day involved getting a train from Abergele to Prestatyn and, unfortunately, Steve managed to leave said hat in the luggage rack. He was so annoyed with himself and just really sad …. he loved that hat. ☹️ He found a phone number for ‘lost luggage’ who informed him that they were unable to contact the trains or stations along the way – they would log the enquiry and let him know in 10-14 days if anything turned up. Throughout the walk he kept trying to put it out of his mind because there seemed little hope.
After our 8 miles and a picnic lunch we returned to the car which we’d parked at the station. Seeing the trains again, Steve decided to take the search of his hat into his own hands! The train we had caught only had two carriages so that was the first thing to spot. After an hour of waiting along came a two-carriage train. So, it was just a case of how to get on the train and have a look!?
Now, for those of you who haven’t heard the story, Steve has a bit of history in terms of getting stuck on trains!! He once helped Alice carry her suitcase onto a train when she was going back to University in Manchester …. and the doors closed. Poor Alice had to sit there in excruciating embarrassment while Steve ran from carriage to carriage frantically pushing the buttons … but no doors opened and the train set off. And so pursued lots of complications – he had parked in a 20 minute bay, he had no glasses, no money, slippers on … and obviously no ticket!! And he didn’t want to go to Manchester! We were in the midst of making back-up plans over the phone, involving me, Tom and Emma, when the ticket collector came along – Steve explained his plight. She fetched her Manager and they kindly made an unscheduled stop at Nuneaton. The funniest part of it all though was that, as Steve got off, someone tried to get on the train and the guard stopped him, saying “we don’t stop here.” Steve jumped off trying to look as inconspicuous as he could and walked away avoiding eye contact with the disgruntled traveller!!!
Luckily yesterday in Abergele, the guard stepped out of the train and Steve asked him if he could look for his hat. The guard wasn’t particularly Mr.Happy – telling Steve he’d have to be quick as they were already running 15 minutes late. Steve jumped on and raced through the carriage …. and appeared at the door with a beaming smile … and his beloved hat.
So the hat had travelled all the way to Manchester airport, via Chester, Runcorn etc. and return, but had found its way back to Steve. Such a happy ending. ❤️