Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Wednesday 18 April 2018 - The Anglesey Coast Path - Stage 3 - Rhosneigr to Newborough

25 km, 300 metres ascent, 8 hours 20 minutes.

A dull start against a strong wind. Gradually improving conditions culminating in t-shirts and shorts weather.

A One Stop shop across the road from Ambleside B&B enabled funds to be replenished and lunch ingredients to be purchased. That after another excellent breakfast that fuelled us for a bracing start against the strong wind.

Here the path sticks very close to the coast, so we were treated to more spectacular waves as high tide approached. Narrow sections of sand at the very top of the beaches were our thoroughfare of choice, though in one or two places the tide beat us to it.

High above the sands, an ancient burial chamber was reached. This was perused at length by the others (a Neolithic chamber restored following excavation in the 1950s) whilst I wandered down to the beach at Porth Trecastell and watched a lone surfer trying in vain to find a good wave.

Near here, a flock of Oyster Catchers went for a run ahead of us, eventually turning back towards their original position.

The bird life around here is extensive. There must be lots of food. I think we observed Turnstones and Redshank, as well as the more familiar Pied Wagtails, Swallows and Skylarks. And many more.

For most of today we had great views across to Snowdonia and down to the Lleyn Peninsula. The smog like atmosphere in which they started this walk has gradually cleared, slowly revealing the magnificence of our surroundings.

Soon after the burial chamber, our path left the coast to skirt around Anglesey's motor racing circuit, before reaching the secluded bay of Porth Cwyfan, where a small church founded in the seventh century and rebuilt in stone in the twelfth century stands on a remote walled headland that is well cut off at high tide. Restored in the nineteenth century, the church retains its original simple form.

More crashing waves and lovely coastal scenery later, and we stumbled on beside a tide affected creek into the small village of Aberffraw. Eschewing the attractions of the pub on this cool morning, we headed for the Llys Llewelyn Tea Rooms, where a couple of large groups of seniles (people of about my age) appeared to be enjoying a full Sunday lunch. Were they three days late, or four days early?

A small bridge in Aberffraw was almost inundated as the tide reached its highest point. The tide had turned by the time we returned from sumptuous lunches at the café, and from Aberffraw relatively easy paths led inexorably to the Riverside Café in Malltraeth. I say 'relatively easy'; the official coast path route, mostly on tarmac, would have been very easy and rather boring. My off-road route took us by the estate where William and Kate lived when William worked on Anglesey. Locals told us of confrontations with the officious landowner on public rights of way even now. Luckily we didn't see anyone, but deep ploughed furrows had obliterated some of the paths marked on our map, causing us to divert around field edges. A path beyond Ty Cadwgan didn't appear to exist on the ground, causing  us to revert to the tarmac.

In former days Welsh kings resided hereabouts. We visited a church used by them - at Llangadwaladr, where a large stone erected in 625 by Cadwaladr stands outside.

After more tea and cake at the Riverside Café we crossed the long sea wall and entered Newborough Forest, home inter alia to red squirrels and 'teenage ravens'. The latter find mates here and pair up for life, having no reason to revisit the forest for the rest of their lives.

Desperate for a beer, we cut off a 10+ km loop from our itinerary. We can do that as a day walk sometime...

By about 5.30, Richard, Janeen, Scamp and Hetty had greeted us in Newborough, whence they moved from Timperley last November. Suffice to say, we very much enjoyed our stay there and a visit to Dylan's restaurant in nearby Menai. Great hospitality. Thanks All.

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