Welsh coastal path – Day 1

I’m skipping ahead to the beginning of our walk, on our 4th day in Wales. After a filling breakfast of smoked salmon with scrambled eggs, our taxi picked us up from the Caer Menai B&B and dropped us at the path in Clynnog-Fawr by St Beuno’s Church. After 3 days in Caernarfon – soaking up local Welsh history and acclimatizing – we plunged into the Path.

But first, a quick visit to the church which dates to the 6th century when Beuno established it. He was sainted for his healing, including restoring life to a young woman by reattaching her severed head. A spring (St Beuno’s Well) appeared at that spot, near the church. I soaked my arthritic right hand in it, but when I suggested Ron climb in for a soak (back pain) he reminded me that the legend includes sleeping on the stone floor in the church. Maybe next time.

Of interest were the 500 yr old choir pews with the patron’s double-headed eagle carving and old yews in the churchyard – typically planted as sources of village’s longbows.

Then we were off!

The trail from Clynnog-Fawr to Trefor was lovely with bits of history and flora along the way. Often saw renovated structures along the way, like this waterside building with its former window, perhaps transformed for residential to storage at some point?

Flowers, shrubs full of red and blue berries, brambles, ferns over and around rock walls. Sheep, the occasional pony, and stone cottages.

We missed a turn in Trefor and walked through the village instead of the beach. We came to a pub, unfortunately closed, and an elderly local gent asked us if we were lost. Yes.

He had been a seafarer and had put in at Florida ports many times, as well as many others around the world. He directed us up the hill to the abandoned granite quarry, walk through a tunnel below it, then around to the power line and over the Yr Eifl pass at 1000′ to our destination of Nant Gwytheryn. We intersected with the Path at the power line.

I’d been training back home on the stair step machine and treadmill using the “Kilimanjaro” program back home, and while I do great on straightaways and inclines to 12 or 15 degrees, steep ascents are at the edge of my conditioning. Did it, but slowly and with multiple stops. Definitely slowed Ron down. Note how far ahead of me he is…. of course – his legs are longer…

The abandoned quarry was pretty creepy, reminded me of the Mines of Moria.

All of the short stops to catch my breath afforded many opportunities to marvel at the landscape.

Did I mention the wind? Headwinds all days of 15-20+ and at hats-off speeds going over the Yr Eifl pass.

Then, as the guide book describes, a “stupendously steep walk” down to Nant, where the Welsh Language and Cultural Center has a warm, lovely cafe overlooking the Irish Sea and serving blessedly warm drinks and scones with clotted cream.

The cultural center was fully booked, so a taxi gathered us up and delivered us to our accommodation in nearby Nefyn. Start point for Coastal Path day 2:


One thought on “Welsh coastal path – Day 1

  1. I’ve not been to Wales but have done similar walks in Cornwall–and love them! Your photos and details make this sound like a terrific experience–you earned your scones!

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