What a load of bullocks … and sheep!

Thursday 30th June 2022

Day 10 – we briefly talked about taking a day off as Steve has walked for 10 consecutive days (I’ve had two off) … but Steve voted to crack on. We got up to catch the earlier bus to Tudweilliog – you really have to grab the buses while you can – and after yesterday’s tough day, we had high hopes for this walk being a lot more moderate. It was a half mile walk from the bus stop to the coastal path and most of that was tramping through very long grass, lazy farmer not looking after the footpaths! But the coastal path start was just near a camp site and there was a very smart shop and cafe there, so we indulged in cappuccinos to set us on our way.

And it was blissful walking – flat paths across low lying cliffs, occasional dips but well catered for with little bridges and boardwalks. We passed so many fields of bullocks which got us talking about farming – Steve reminiscing from his early years. We also walked amongst many sheep grazing on the cliffs – goodness knows what impression they have of humans, as they tend to scatter as you get near – except a few ‘cool’ ones today who chose to sit still and stare.

Grazing bullocks

And such a fabulous day for wildlife – we saw plenty of dolphins and gatherings of seals too, bobbing their heads up to say hello. We saw terns, cormorants and two new birds for us – chuffs and guillemots – we became quite the twitchers. So lucky with the weather too – black clouds kept threatening but we avoided any showers and most of the time walked in sunshine.

Seals (no zoom lens)!
Guillemot – (no zoom lens)!

As the walk progressed, there seemed to be an increasing amount of ups and downs but still not on the scale of yesterday’s ‘mountains.’ I was just thinking for my blog that I would call it a ‘doddle’ when I fell down backwards onto my bottom as I came down a slope – that wasn’t such a ‘doddle!’

There was an easy enough section alongside a golf course and just after that the path took us down onto the beach at Morfa Nefyn – such a pretty little place. The OS app indicated that we could walk all the way to Nefyn along the beach – our favourite. Plenty of walkers along this stretch, lots with dogs. And the sea looked so calm and inviting.

Looking down onto Morfa Nefyn

On and on we walked along the beach – the sand turned to shingle and then pebbles and then we were faced by a large stretch of rocks – rocks that required you to climb with steadiness! Steve held my hand and guided me over as my initial attempt to go solo resulted in another fall backwards – my elbow breaking the fall this time – more bruising!! So relieved to finish that section, we walked on but, lo and behold, discovered we had missed a turn off so back over the rugged rocks we had to go! If you ever walk this section, be aware of some sneaky steps on your right – if you start rock climbing you’ve gone too far! And said steps led to more steps – another steep climb, just what we needed. We finally wend our way back into Nefyn where our oh so lovely accommodation is.

A quick turn around back home and we headed by car to Nefyn Beach where I enjoyed the most amazing swim, having been tempted all day by the magnificently calm, blue sea. And what a way to relax weary limbs after 10 and a half miles!

Our lovely Nefyn Beach

From Trev to Nev …. stunning views but tough walking!

Wednesday 29th June 2022

Day 9 … walking from Trefor to Nefyn

And then there were two …. this morning we said our farewells to David as he headed back to the city of Milton Keynes. Steve and I got away from our accommodation in Amlwch at 9ish and drove to our new home for the next three days in Nefyn. David has been giving us some good guidance in Welsh matters while we’ve been together and one thing we’ve learnt is that if a word has one ‘f’ then that letter is pronounced as ‘v.’ So Steve as shortened Nefyn to ‘Nev.’

It was too early to check into our new accommodation so we parked up and planned our bus route to Trefor (now affectionately known as ‘Trev’). This involved two bus rides – one to Pwllheli and then another to Trefor. When Steve was paying for the bus tickets, asking for two singles to Pwllheli, the bus driver jokingly asked him to say it properly! We’d been practising at the bus stop, putting our tongue behind our teeth, just like David taught us!!

On reaching the village of Trefor we found the coastal path signs and headed out … uphill.

The Irish Sea in the background

We’d been informed that there was a rather large hill at the beginning of this walk but nothing could have prepared us for the whopper of an ascent we were about to embark on – it was steep and never ending. It was almost a mile and a half of torturous uphill and it took us 45 minutes – hell. We were accompanied by goats with particularly long pointed horns – as they lingered near us I kept my walking pole handy and was willing to use it if necessary. To be honest, it was the least of my problems, getting to the top of this unforgiving hill was the major issue. It was such a relief to reach the brow – we felt on top of the world – and the views were spectacular.

Someone had mentioned that there would just be the one hill so we relished in the steady descent and even the steep gradient pathway that ran through the forest at Nant Gwrtheyrn – calf muscles and knees taking the strain.

It was perfect walking weather today – no rain, not too hot and not too cold. Lots of giant ferns lined the path and in some parts where it was overgrown it became quite a tripping hazard. Had to really watch our feet today, tricky underfoot in places.

And sadly there were more hills – not quite the ‘mountain’ we faced at the beginning but high enough and plenty enough to make it a really tough day overall. All day we were rewarded with ‘out of this world’ views so there’s always a positive.

It was almost 8 and a half miles and an elevation gain of 2,000 feet, taking us 4 hours to reach Nefyn. Checked into our new accommodation which is marvellous – going to enjoy 3 nights here.

Today’s funny story:

We worked out our airbnb accommodation from the picture and the online information explained that there was a key safe behind the house. Having retrieved the key there was another door just to the right so we decided to gain access at the back. The key felt a bit stiff but we discovered the door was open anyway so we unloaded all our luggage from the car and piled our gear in. I said to Steve how beautiful it was but strange that there were loads of personal items around like photos and what looked like a very expensive display of antique china. We were just about to settle ourselves in when we came to realise that we were in the owner’s place and that our airbnb accommodation was at the front!! We quickly unloaded all our bags (and there’s loads of it as we’re away for a month) and re-deposit it in the right place. Hope they didn’t notice!!!

We’re going on a red squirrel hunt … we’re not scared… !

Tuesday 28th June 2022

Day 8 – our last walk with David. (for now)!!

Anglesey is a stronghold for red squirrels – the UK’s only native species, so we’ve been desperately looking out for them while we’re here. Saturday’s parkrun announcement had suggested we look out for them but there were none to be found, hiding from the runners I guess. Today our coastal path route took us through Newborough Forest – a vast area of sand dunes planted mainly with impressively tall Corsican pines, so high hopes for finding the elusive red squirrels today.

We parked the car at Malltreath and waited in what was the coldest, wettest and definitely windiest weather so far this week for a bus to take us to Newborough. Whilst waiting at the bus stop we nearly talked ourselves out of starting – it was bitter! Steve got chatting to some LWC drey men delivering to the nearby pub – beer and football talk naturally … they mentioned that some of the roads were closed due to fallen trees. And we were about to walk 8 miles through a forest!

Bus journey completed, we headed into the forest.

These boots are made for walking

Although it rained most of the way and at certain unsheltered parts we were battered in strong winds, it was actually quite a pleasant walk – mostly flat. The beach runs alongside the forest and even when the trees obscure the coastal views the sounds of the waves ring through in the background.

Lots of interesting information boards as you walk round – this area had once been a large Medieval agricultural community but around 1330 a severe storm had left it buried beneath sand.

But, would you believe it not a red squirrel anywhere! In fact, no wildlife at all, not even birds – guessing it must have been too wet and wild today. We did see a fair amount of drowned rats though, including us (mad British summertime walkers)!! Oh, and a leech pond – medicinal apparently.

And the final mile took us out of the forest onto a tarmac path (snail strewn) back to Malltreath. By this time the rain had stopped, the wind was on our backs pushing us on and it was just a comfortable stroll to complete our 8 miles of coastal path today.

Managed to find a small pub for coffee and piping hot sausage rolls – just what the doctor ordered.

And now, we’re just back from the Adelphi pub – our local in Amlwch where had our final ‘pie’ meal. 100% recommend this pub, it’s so friendly and the pies are first class, especially the ‘Moo and Blue’ (Beef and Stilton).

David leaves us tomorrow morning and Steve and I head back into mainland Wales for some more walking. Our nine days as a threesome has been absolutely fabulous – we’ve talked (a lot), laughed (a lot), put the world to rights, walked (loads), played scrabble, cooked, ate and drank and laughed some more. We’ll miss you David – please come back and be an honorary Rambling Rose again soon.

We are the three Rambling Roses

And David would like to say:

Mae’r oedd y ola cerdded heddiw a dw i wedi mwynhau bob dydd, en enwedig y bryniau! Ynys Môn yw ble hyfryd. Mae Steve a Dee wedi bod cwmni dda iawn a dw i wedi cael amser bendegedig! Tan y tro nesa fy ffrindiau dda!

(It was the last walk today and I have enjoyed every day, especially the hills! Anglesey is a lovely place. Steve and Dee have been very good company and I have had a wonderful time! Until the next time my good friends!)

Sun, seagulls and strenuous paths

Monday 27th June 2022

Day 7

So after all this time of BAD (Blog Avoidance Days) it’s now come down to the planning and resource department (Steve) to pen a few words about the day’s activities. Your normal blogger (Dee / Deirdre) decided to abstain from today’s walk when she saw the guide book had described it as strenuous!

So, it was with some apprehension that Dave and I set off for Cemaes on the first part of the journey, in two cars as we needed to leave a car at the end of the walk before driving to the start.   

First duty though in Cemaes was breakfast. The town was deserted other than the Harbour Hotel, which initially looked a little upmarket but was in fact pretty much the opposite … breakfast guests were outnumbered by dogs in the restaurant, there was a guest with a pint of beer at 9.00am and another guest with gold boots on  … you can only guess?

After discussion we agreed that the small breakfast would suffice, it was £2.00 cheaper than the large breakfast and the only difference was one piece of bacon!

Having parked the first car we then headed off from Cemaes in the second car to our start point known as Church Bay or Porth Swtan, just five miles by road but eleven miles when we walked back around various headlands and, of course, the many up and downs.  The guide book was very correct in the strenuous description.  Whilst the views over to Holyhead were spectacular it was advisable to keep a keen eye on your feet as we traversed the edge of steep cliffs and so, so many steps up and down.  Even at this point of North Wales there’s a sight to see and the ferry from Holyhead to Dublin was out there in the bay on the start of its journey. Strange to think that Ireland is just over the water.

As it turned out it was the first three or so miles walking that was really difficult following which we cruised along cliff tops and through fields, passing fellow walkers going in the other direction.  We had given a lot of thought before choosing which way to walk to ensure we had the wind behind us whilst walking.  It’s been a real surprise for me that the sea is really blue and turquoise. I always  had visions of the Irish Sea being dull and grey but not so, there are fantastic views from the top of the cliffs that always keep you watching.  This all came to a change as we approached a power station right on the cliff tops, remarkably big, grey and extremely quiet although meaning a slight diversion inland through the woods until we emerged the other side and the gentle stroll down into Cemaes.

Telepathy played its part at this stage as I’m just thinking about coffee and cake at the beach cafe in town, when my trusty partner chirps up with “shall we have a coffee in town?”  And how pleasant it was even though the seagulls were a little keen in the area but our needs were greater than theirs!  Overall we covered eleven miles in three and a half hours for a very rewarding sunny day in this wonderful countryside of ours, we truly are very lucky!  Next time though I’ll skip the hills at the start ……

Braving a wet, windy weather walking day!

Sunday 26th June 2022

Day 6 of Anglesey Coastal Walking

It had been a foul night last night and still this morning it was raining buckets and blowing a hoolie! So, over breakfast it was a lot of “shall we?” “what do you think?” … until we decided that the Arctic explorers hadn’t been able to say “it’s too cold to go out today!!” We are the Rambling Roses and we have Anglesey to conquer, so of course it was a ‘yes.’ As we drove into Malltraeth, our starting point for today, we found ourselves making little motivational statements – “I think the rain’s easing off” “at least the wind will be behind us” “I think it’s getting a little brighter.” But who were we kidding, it was still chucking it down and the wind was swirling. We forced ourselves out of the car and made sure we were layered up in wet weather gear.

As we trudged through the inclement weather, we were occasionally treated to some sheltered woodland paths which gave us reprieve from the harsh elements. There were occasional hills over the first few miles but all quite manageable. We even had a stretch of country lane where we were able to walk three a breast and chat – very civilised – the only dangers of such sociable rambling can lead to missing the coastal paths signs – luckily that didn’t happen today. And we took it in turns to lead today – obviously the pace varied according to leader – that’s all I’m saying!!

After the first few miles of country walking we finally hit the coast – and boy, there was such a selection of beach walking ahead. We did hard sand, soft sand, sand dunes, shingle, pebbles, boulders, jagged rocks, seaweed – we had everything thrown at us today.

After a fantastic long stretch of easily walkable sand we found ourselves with an estuary which was just too deep to cross (although Steve got very wet feet in trying it out) … and so it was an extended walk with the wind on our backs to that ‘bridge too far’ … and then a long walk back on the other side, this time with the wind very much in our faces. The path eventually took us up onto the cliff tops where we continued to battle with the onshore wind in places – it can be quite precarious on narrow paths if the wind swirls in the wrong direction. Fabulous views of crashing waves – the sea incredibly lively today.
About 6 miles in, we found ourselves a little sheltered spot amongst the rocks and tucked into a selection of egg, peanut butter and cheese & marmite sandwiches (thanks Steve) – epic! And David had brought a flask of coffee – heaven! We quickly packed up and moved when we noticed a large group of ramblers heading our way – didn’t want to get stuck behind them on the path …. and it was a good call as the next couple of miles was particularly narrow.

Although some blue sky was peeping through now, the wind was still a great force. We literally got sand blasted in places – great exfoliation though! Passed a beautiful little cove with some brave swimmers and body boarders.

And for the final treat of the walking day we were faced with uppy and downy sand dunes – soft sand – so gruelling on tired legs.

After 12 miles of rambling, the Roses reached Rhosneigr, today’s destination and enjoyed a coffee in the Oyster Catcher. And the sun was shining!!

Wrapped up Sunday with a beer at the pub and a fabulous Indian meal at Rozis. And so to sleep and prepare for another day.

Parkrun + Coastal Walking = 11 miles

Saturday 26th June 2022

Day 5 – up and out early this morning as we had volunteered at the Nant Y Pandy parkrun (great name)!! I was the official tail walker so got to wear the high viz and ‘tail’ – Steve and David were my fellow tails. An absolutely beautiful setting and super friendly team. We had lovely chats with the marshals, runners and dog walkers as we strolled around the 5k hilly route – especially David as he found lots of willing Welsh speakers to practice on.

From there we drove in our two cars to Rhosneigr where we parked up to have breakfast. A fab little cafe called Cafe Notos – (Notos is the God of the South Wind), so appropriate for this surfing renowned stretch. We all enjoyed a full English Breakfast which really hit the spot. The cosy atmosphere was somewhat hampered by a screaming baby (and I mean screaming), accompanied at times by her toddler brother – you just had to feel for the mother!

Fully nourished, we left one car in Rhosneigr and drove on to Four Mile Bridge which was the starting point for today’s coastal walk. Parked up right by the path … such a treat. Almost immediately we hit a small field heavily populated with cows – we had to literally walk in between them at close quarters – the way they stare you out unnerves me!

The first mile or so was quite overgrown with ferns, brambles, nettles and all things prickly … a little bit jungle at times … but we were brave soldiers! Lots of countryside prettiness in the first 4 miles. There were quite a few ramblers of all sorts, so plenty of opportunity for exchanging walking tales – and David took every opportunity to converse in his very eloquent Welsh language.

Think this my be the national Welsh leek
An interesting butterfly/moth spotted

The wind at times was unbelievably strong – coming down a slope at one point I felt like I was skydiving (not that I’ve ever skydived) – arms outstretched in a funny position and face contorted!! “Looks like a rather blustery day” …. says Winnie the Pooh.

But then, for the last four miles we were walking along the rather magnificent Rhosneigr Beach – the tide was fully out and I have never seen such an expanse of beach ever – quite remarkable … oh, and windy! It was hard at times facing the wind head on but there were lots of distractions by way of wind surfers, kite surfers and ‘blow carts’ (as we discovered they were called).

We had been so lucky dodging the rain all day. As we walked the final stretch of beach however it was threatening hard.

As we came off the beach we realised we had overshot where our car was parked so had to walk back on ourselves a little – oh, we laughed!!

My pace (and enthusiasm) was beginning to weaken by this point so Steve and David had gained some distance on me. And then I felt some spots of rain – so as I climbed to the brow of a sand dune, battling to get my flapping in the wind raincoat on at the same time, muttering to myself … I stumbled across a most tranquil Tai Chi class in full swing! I did my best to slink by inconspicuously so as not to disturb their meditation – think I got away with it!!

Got to the car just in the nick of time before the heavens opened.

Now back at base and have enjoyed a fabulous Welsh dinner cooked by David – Cawl … so tasty hearty and we accompanied it with some red vino of course – well, it is Saturday! So now, I’m finishing off the blog, David is doing some of his Welsh studies and Steve is writing the parkrun report – we are terribly busy bees!!

Steps, stones …. and stepping stones!!!

Friday 24th June 2022

Day 4 and I was back on the track today, feeling revived after my glorious sunshine beach day. Thank you to my two Guest bloggers for yesterday – it sounded like a good day to miss and it certainly looked it as they wearily trudged across the beach to meet me!

And it was David’s turn to take a day off walking today (blister recovery), but he had lots of interesting activities planned including a practice session with the Beaumaris Brass Band this evening. We missed you David … and you missed an easy one!

So, Steve and I stepped out alone on a cloudy day walking from Newborough to Brynsiencyn. A lot of inland today so no magnificent coastal views but we did have the wonders of Snowdonia in the distance to enjoy, a little marred by the low cloud.

And steps, yes always steps on coastal paths – there were steps rather than stiles today which are quite manageable. The steps cut into slopes however are another matter – thoughtlessly designed to suit only walkers with long and stable legs – both of these attributes I am lacking … so am prone to stumble. And stones – a stony beach section today when first reaching the Menai Straits – boulders, pebbles and shingle are always tough terrain in coastal walking … and just how do those stones make their way into your boots!?

But today’s test of nerves came in the shape of stepping stones – the Rhuddgaer Stepping Stones, described as the ‘Giant’s Stepping Stones’ – enormous stones that straddle the Afon Braint tidal river. We weren’t far into our walk by the time we came across them – Steve was ahead of me as I had stopped to chat with some beautiful horses. He started walking over them and then came back – I thought he was wanting to take some photos of us crossing. But I soon realised he was coming to check on my anxiety and assess my ability to tackle what was ahead. Now, they weren’t your normal stepping stones which just poke out of the water – these genuinely were enormous as stepping stones go, standing about 4 feet out of the rocky lined river below – yikes! My first reaction was to think that my Sir Galahad could hold my hand and guide me over but the misshapen rock surfaces did not allow for this. Gulp!! They were tall with a sizeable gap between each one. Why is it that when I’m required to balance my body is prone to wobble!? So, I just had to put my big girl pants on and make my way over with full concentration. I was so proud when I got to the other side – I felt like I’d completed a trial on ‘I’m a Celebrity!”

After that trauma, the rest of the walk was so pleasurable – no hills, mostly woodland and farm land, cows, sheep, goats and rabbits. Some fabulous properties too – gosh, there must be money in these parts.

When you walk the coastal path, very occasionally the signposted path leads you through someone’s garden – today the sign informed us to enter a gated extremely well manicured garden where an elderly couple were busy gardening near the entrance. So we were able to ask them to confirm that this was indeed the path and they warmly opened the gate to allow us in. The lady actually thanked us for being so polite in asking as recently they had walkers that came through and proceeded to sit in the shade of one of their trees to eat their lunch. We chatted for a while and as we were leaving she mentioned that we would probably find a field of cattle at the back that would be likely to ‘show some interest in us!’ She then went on to mention they were heifers and bullocks and so if we were nervous there was an alternative route by road. I was very interested in this alternative but as you can guess Steve’s response was “we’ll be fine!”

Lucky for him (and me) – the fields were empty of cattle!!

Cloudy views of Snowdonia

Eventually we reached the Menai Straits and from here it was a relaxing walk to our finishing point. We even stopped to eat our sandwiches and enjoy the views. Just short of 7 miles today and low elevation – that’s my kind of coastal walk.

Oh, and Steve lost his hat …. AGAIN!! (See blog ‘The well-travelled hat’ 30/31 March 2018).

This time, it wasn’t his beloved leather cowboy hat but it was his beloved running/walking cap that he has lost and found several times before. Despite running back to search and then driving back for another search after the walk, it was not to be found. So, poor heart-broken Steve – the cap of nine lives is no more!!!

Oops, Wrong Way

Thursday June 23rd 2022

Day 3 of our Ynys Môn (Anglesea) Walking Trip dawned with yet another blue-sky day and perhaps slightly warmer than yesterday. Dee decided to miss today’s walk as she was unable to resist the lure of the clear, turquoise sea and packed her bags ready for a day at the beach – “Oh she does like to be beside the seaside, she does like to be beside the sea”!

Therefore today’s blog is being written by apprentices Steve and David under the watchful eye of Blog-Meister Dee! We hope to keep up the high-standards of writing for her many readers.

Today we planned a walk from Penmon to Benllech. Steve drove us to the start via a series of single track roads where we came across the ruins of the church and priory at Penmon as well as having an excellent view of Penmon Lighthouse and Puffin Island (also known as ‘Ynys Seiriol’, the founder of the monastic settlement at Penmon). Dee had the unenviable task of driving back trying to avoid the single track roads and ignoring the car’s satnav which for some reason was tempting her onto the single tracks just as the sirens from Greek mythology lured sailors to their doom on the rocks!

We now leave Dee behind for the moment as she made her way to Benllech and the allure of sand, sea and ice-creams.

Today’s start led us away from the sea as we entered woodlands and fields occupied with the now-familiar sight of sheep and cows (I wonder if they are Welsh-speaking?). We had a slight disaster close to ‘Bwrdd Arthur’ (Arthur’s Table) as we mistook a general footpath sign for the Coastal Pathway Sign (they are the same colour and Steve was talking at the time!) and ended up not only doing an extra ½ mile but having to climb back up from the beach on a hill that would not have been out of place in the Himalayas!

Thankfully the rest of the walk was uneventful and eventually levelled out as it took as along Red Wharf Bay (Traeth Coch), a most wonderful stretch of red sand that apparently was used to test the first Landrovers. It was here that we bumped into a fellow walker and asked how far it was to our end point at Benllech. For a horrifying moment, Steve thought he was going to say “Fifteen Miles” but thankfully instead said “Fifteen Minutes”. It was a tad longer than that but eventually we caught up with Dee on the sands of Benllech where she was sat reading and looking refreshed from her dip in the sea unlike the 2 jolly walkers who joined her looking hot, tired but pleased to complete yet another leg of the walk. Following an enjoyable packed lunch and rest, we made our way back to the Air BnB.

The Steve edit …. I have proof read this blog and can find no grammatical errors although I did try! Having the responsibility of reading through a guest blog from David that had been emailed to Deirdre for me then to look over, I’m afraid the only addition I can make is to add the sign that we spotted on our walk … just what do people think is happening out there, I ask you “risk of Death”, just unbelievable!

It’s been great to welcome a fellow walker this week, although I think we may have broken him! He’s just limped into the room having made a cup of tea and all he talks about now is blisters!

A ‘strenuous’ day on the path

Tuesday 22nd June 2022

Another blue sky, no cloud day – warm with a gentle breeze. So all was well with the world as we set off for our Day 2 Anglesey walk from Cemaes to Amlwch Port. The guide book had suggested that it would be a ‘strenuous’ walk but after yesterday’s mammoth 16 miles, this 8 mile stretch was us having an easy day. Cemaes had a lovely little beachside cafe but we’d sensibly eaten breakfast back at base today so for once it was not required. After disembarking the bus therefore (said bus with same heavily ‘masked’ man from yesterday), we were ready and keen to head straight off.

And there was no settling us in – the path turned off to the left practically from the start and took us steeply up up up, wading through dense vegetation before introducing us to the precarious downhill path. And these climbs and descents then became the order of the day – some slopes but hundreds of steps too, of varying precariousness! If you are considering doing this stretch be prepared for stunning beauty throughout but also know that it is hell. A real test of your muscles, joints and nerve!! Thank goodness for my trusty walking pole (loaned from Jess) and my two Sir Galahads, Steve and David, who provided hands to support me over the steeper parts and breaking a few of my stumbles. It’s so easy to grumble as you face some of these strenuous parts but I guess we love it really – we certainly love it when it’s finished!

St. Patrick’s Bell
Ruins of a porcelain works at Porth Llanlleiana

The old brickworks at Porth Wen

The sea was stunningly blue and turquoise today and the sun shone down on it throughout, making me long to jump in. We saw a number swimmers and paddlers – I’m definitely going to try it tomorrow. David spotted dolphins too – they were a little elusive when I was watching but I’m sure they were there. So many picturesque coves – Porth Padrig, Porth Cynfor and Bull Bay … but sadly no ice-cream vendors to aid these mad coastal walkers! Some interesting historical sites today too – the ruins of an old porcelain works at Porth Llanlleiana and the old winding gear and ruined chimneys and kilns from the long abandoned Porth Wen Brickworks.

The last mile or two were somewhat less strenuous as we wound our way around more low lying cliff paths into Amlwch, treated to glorious wildflower displays. And back in town we enjoyed coffee with pancakes and ice-cream as our reward for today’s effort – it may have only been 8 miles but, my goodness, what an 8 miles that was!

For my sister Maureen xx

And today David would like to say:

Diwrnod 2, Cemaes i Amlwch. Dim ond wyth milltir heddiw ond roedd yn serth iawn! Ro’n ni’n fel gafr mynydd! Pan gorffenon ni cawson ni goffi a crempogau mewn caffi yn Amlwch. Ro’n nhw’n crempogau yn flasus.

An extra Rambling Rose … walking in Anglesey

Monday 21st June 2022

So, we’re back to finish off Anglesey (well, that’s the plan) and we’ve been joined by an honorary Rambling Rose … Mr. David Rose! David’s not a blood relation but related by way of running obsession – he is indeed a fellow Redway Runner and a lovely friend. We’ve been talking about doing this for well over a year now, and finally we’re here.

David is Welsh but living in Milton Keynes and has been studying the Welsh language, recently having sat an exam. So we have high hopes that we’ll be striking up all sorts of conversations with the Anglesey locals, as the island is renowned for its Welsh speakers.

We arrived last night at our cottage in Amlwch and set out early this morning to catch the bus to Benllech, our starting point for today. We arrived in the nick of time to run for an earlier bus, conveniently held up by a sweet elderly man, with his face literally fully masked – you could just about see his eyes – giving the driver a detailed account of where he wished to disembark. We then had some lengthy and humorous banter with the driver ourselves – chatting was obviously his thing … though not in Welsh!

After a break neck speed bus ride to Benllech, we found ourselves a perfect cafe and settled down with our full English Breakfasts (as opposed to full Welsh). Lovely food, lovely service but again no Welsh speakers for David to practice on.

We wandered down to the beach to find the coastal path – it was only at this point I discovered today’s walk was to be 14 miles … I had had 10 miles in mind but hey ho!

And the day certainly didn’t disappoint – absolutely stunning coastal scenery and golden beaches all the way …. some walking across sheep filled fields and through shaded woodland, the path rocky underfoot in places and our fair share of hills it has to be said. And fantastic weather with blue skies and little wind (dare I say a trifle too hot at times) … but a little breeze joined us a bit later making it more manageable. So wonderful to be back amongst the wild flowers and butterflies, the sounds of lapping waves, hovering kestrels and even a few cheeky seals bobbing their heads in the sea! Picture perfect.

I have to point out that I very much saved the day by spotting an overgrown coastal path sign … Steve and David had walked straight past it and could have added even more miles to the day!!! And what was it overgrown with?….. Rambling Roses!!!

David soon discovered, Steve likes to keep moving with minimal breaks …. and so it was we reached 10miles, then 12, then 14 …. and still there was no sign of our destination. I think we all agreed the path was tough but we had no choice but to keep going and do our best to keep chirpy. How many times did I hear ‘this has to be the last hill’ and ‘ it has to be around the next corner!’ Finally, despite sore feet, tested spirits, some asthma troubles and a bit of hay fever sneezing, we eventually found ourselves at Amlwch harbour … and so the smiles returned as we relished in our achievement. David clocked up 16 miles on his Garmin – Steve slightly less … decided the discrepancy could be down to David’s regular ‘loo’ backs (running banter!!)

Just another hill then to get to the pub – the Adelphi – where we enjoyed well deserved beers and pies before tackling the final hill of the day back to our cottage for tea, bath, bed and hopefully lots of recovery sleep.

A wonderful first day back on the coastal path but, particularly considering the heat, a few steps too far. Great to have 16 miles under our belt though … and tomorrow definitely planning an easier walk.

And David would like to add:

Cerddon Steve, Dee a fi un deg chwech milltir heddiw ar hyd y llwybr arfordir Cymru. Roedd e’n galed ond gyda hardd golygfa! Dw i’n dysgu Cymraeg felly edrychais i am pobl i siarad Cymraeg gyda ond siaradon nhw i gyd Saesneg! Dim ots. Fallai yfory?!