Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019
On the Archduke's Path in Mallorca

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Porthmadog Index updated

There's no separate entry for today, just this note that I've updated the index for this year's trips to Porthmadog - here. Lots to go at for anyone lucky enough to be visiting this area.

You can also click on the labels on the right hand side of the blog for any other Porthmadog trip reports.

I now have to go through and index the 400 images from last week, but a couple of 'winter' trips are needed before I produce a Photobook of 'A Year in Porthmadog'. That should be fun!

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

A Different Part of Wales

Back in 2006 a few of us enjoyed a hot walk along the Pembroke coastal path. I recall an excellent trip. Here are just a couple of photos taken on 8 June 2006, included here by way of 'random pictures from the hard drive'.

Happy Days...

Monday, 22 November 2021

Back in Timperley

Our weather in Wales was fine, but with limited sunshine. Yesterday it dawned sunny in Timperley, and remained so all day. We could have done with that last week.

I nipped out on the bike and took the above picture near Seamons Moss Bridge.

Then Mike, Sarah and Isabella had invited us for an excellent lunch, prior to which the one year old treated us to her impersonation of 'Izee, the beautiful spy'.

"I want my dinner!"

"That'll do!" 

Now we know why her cheeks are so rosy...?

Meanwhile, Millie studiously avoids her basket. It's interesting to see her treating Isabella with a soft touch (usually) that if it was an adult bothering her would be a scratch.

Today was another 'blue sky' day in Timperley. After lots of house admin etc I managed to get out and complete 5km in 32 minutes without feeling I was overstretching my heel injury. It's slowly getting better, but will be offered a quiet day tomorrow. 

Here's the canal in Timperley near the end of my jogging route, with dusk approaching.

Sunday, 21 November 2021

Saturday 20 November 2021 - A Birthday, a parkrun, and Christmas in Hinckley

After being treated to breakfast in bed by the two Js, Kate realised she had woken to the aura of a Special Day.

A rather large cake later confirmed the fact.

Happy Birthday, Kate, we look forward to a celebratory meal next week.

A bit later, it was parkrun time. Jacob ran another good time in Burnley, whilst a bit further south in Litchfield, Sue and I met up with Mick and Gayle at Beacon Park.

It was a scenic two laps in the city park on a good surface. Here are the volunteer scanners near the finish.

The park is full of interest!

Here's Gayle at the finish. She's ankle injured from a recent pothole incident on a flooded path, so is walking parkruns in about 40 minutes just now. I walked with her for the first lap then tried running the second lap. My poorly heel/foot just about stood up to that and I finished in under 34 minutes. Excellent.

Meanwhile, Sue and Mick had chatted their way round in under 27 minutes. An easy jog for them.

After tea/coffee in Erica (M&G's smaller campervan), Sue and I made our way to Sue's family's pre-Christmas party. It was very jolly and we came away with some lovely presents. Unluckily for others, we haven't yet turned our minds to Christmas in any way other than this. It seems to be creeping up on us.

Friday, 19 November 2021

Friday 19 November 2021 - Pont Gethin

Today's walk, after cleaning the house and enjoying a coffee with Dave, was a short outing on the way home. Starting at Plas Penaeldroch Manor, near Dolwyddelan, we noted that the café is still shut. The owner told us that it was unlikely to reopen any time soon due to Covid regulations and staffing issues. But the B&B has seen good business this year and he has no objection to walkers parking at the Manor. It would be courteous to ask permission. We had already parked in a small lay-by nearby.

The walk continued past Lledr Hall, a fine looking building now used as an outdoor centre by Salford Council. Trees obscured my attempts at a photo.

Beyond this, our route followed that of Afon Lledr, passing a railway bridge before hugging as close to the river, which proceeded through a narrow gorge, as practicable. 

Our path was through soggy leaf litter, but those attempting the path on the left bank of the river would be less comfortable. I wouldn't recommend the 'path' shown below - it soon deteriorates into a steep metal ladder with very few rungs.

Emerging at a campsite, we were accosted by a chap who wanted to know whether it was possible to walk from here to Betws-y-Coed. It is. "I have a map", he told us. We adjourned for lunch by the river.

After lunch we continued to a tunnel under the railway. Here is Pont Gethin, built in 1875, the bridge that takes the railway over the Lledr river. I failed to take a good picture on the overcast day, but we have managed a full week's walking without having had to call on our waterproofs!

Sue spotted a badger, but like me was too tardy with her camera.

The path then rose a bit, and looped around to follow the railway before rejoining our outward route and returning past Lledr Hall and the Manor. 

Here's our route - 6.5km, 150 metres of ascent, taking 2 hours. A good way to finish this trip. We were at home in Timperley by 4pm.

Thursday, 18 November 2021

Thursday 18 November 2021 - Llanbedrog

One of our favourite haunts is the Lleyn Peninsula. However, as we've been ticking off Alex Kendall's routes in Snowdonia we haven't gone west recently. 

Today, to make up for that, we drove to Llanbedrog and the National Trust car park, where rows of beach huts are stored for the winter.

We wandered down to the beach on the fine, warm (14.5°C) November morning.

The steep steps beyond the Foxhole holiday cottages led inexorably to the Iron Man sculpture, from where there's a good view down to Llanbedrog.

We then followed the coast path all the way to Mount Pleasant, via views down to Abersoch and a couple of islands. 

Bladder Campion was observed, and there were rampant patches of bright yellow gorse.

We noted that the footpath marking team must have run out of yellow paint, but in deference to Conrad (Sir Hugh) I donned a yellow hat. Perhaps I should get a stock of these and issue them to (both) my walking companions?

Sue wandered off, muttering something about wanting to be a silhouette. 

"This is my sort of summit" I was heard to exclaim as we reached the classically named summit of Mynydd Tir-y-cwmwd. "All trig pointed summits should be provided with benches on which their septuagenarian visitors can munch their bananas", asserted the yellow hatted visitor.

A leisurely descent took us past a chapel and the church, and back to the beach for a short stroll in the sand to get our mileage up to 5km.

There's a new café by the beach, Aqua, that served excellent coffees before we moved on to Plas Glyn-y-Weddw, a dower house built in 1856. We've been there before.

A browse around the gallery could easily have left our wallets £1000 lighter, but that expense was saved for a family matter, and our only purchase was of soup and sandwiches for lunch. Then we took a couple of photos and headed back to Porthmadog for a stroll around Llyn Bach and a pot of tea with my brother Dave.

Here's today's route - 5km, 200 metres ascent, taking 1.5 hours.

Wednesday, 17 November 2021

Wednesday 17 November 2021 - Llanbedr

Today's outing involved a delightful circuit from Llanbedr, near Harlech.

Starting in woodland, we could admire what may be the last of the autumn colours, which from a distance appear as a russet tablecloth over Snowdonia. 

Other parking places are available!

One feature of these parts that we have noticed is the farmers' love of storing 'kit' in old vehicles. Yesterday we passed a farm with around 20 such vehicles, and even the poorest farms have a modest collection of vehicles rescued from the scrap heap and converted into wardrobes.

Our woodland stroll took us past a small reservoir before crossing the Afon Cwmnantcol. A river.

The campsite by Nantcol was closed until March, so there was nobody to collect our £1 entrance fees for the falls. I took a picture of a tree, showing how far into autumn we are. A strong wind or a bit of frost will bring the remaining leaves to ground. 

The waterfalls are pleasant enough, but not spectacular. What can you expect for an uncollected pound?

However, one of the campsite trees did produce a result. It must have been full of berries and insects. Tree Creepers (the first I've seen this year) were scouring the trunk, and Long-tailed Tits and a variety of other birds were scoffing the berries.

A series of blue topped (why not yellow?!) posts conducted us around a pleasant circuit of about 2km, with open views.

Continuing on our anticlockwise circuit from Llanbedr, and after some tasty cheese butties for lunch, we were soon entering more woodland with another unpronounceable Welsh name. We were righteous - the sun was shining on us. 

In between the woodland sections, this route often presented us with lovely open views to the Rhinogs and other hills.

Then we returned to the woods, and some giant specimens of fungi. Sue has more pictures of them which will be 'broadcast' in due course.

More open views greeted us, before a final descent along a narrow lane back to Llanbedr. 

Here's our route - about 12km, with 300 metres ascent, taking us a leisurely 4 hours.

Another great little outing.