Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

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

Saturday 11 November 2023

Saturday 11 November 2023 - Dolgellau parkrun and a Walk around Brithdir

Dolgellau parkrun had only 33 participants this morning. It's not the height of the tourist season! Sue and I enjoyed the exercise, and the subsequent breakfast at our favourite café, TH Roberts. A happy way to start the weekend, with lots of friendly folk.

Full results are here.

From there it was a short drive to a lay-by near Brithdir, where we squeezed into the last space, changed into walking boots, and set off into the wooded valley after admiring the wider view.

We were on what is known as the 'Torrent Walk' in the wooded gorge of the Afon Clywedog. With a bit more sunshine today, the autumn colours were wonderful. 

Here's our 'mushroom of the day', Honey Mushrooms. Yummy!?

More sunshine lit up the woodland near a Holiday Fellowship establishment.

More woodland followed, as well as paths through sometimes soggy fields.

One particular uphill path through boulder strewn forest was particularly demanding.

Eventually we emerged, beyond Pont Helygog, from the forest to the open fellside of Glasgwm. Forestry operations could be heard in the distance. The trees in this next picture may soon be gone. 

There were good views across to Cadair Idris. 

After lunching and descending to Brithdir, we took a lovely route back to our lay-by, via ancient sunken lanes, with rutting sheep and fine views towards Cadair. Meadow pipits sang sweetly above us and a Buzzard flapped gracefully into nearby woodland. 

Here's our route - about 11km, with 400 metres ascent. A great 4 hour stroll.

We were back in time for a final game of cards with Dave, who returns home tomorrow. (He was, as ever, sent away happy after we let him win yet again!)

Friday 10 November 2023

Friday 10 November 2023 - Moel-y-Gest

The calm, sunny morning was ideal for a romp up our local hill, Moel-y-Gest. 

We took the coast path through Borth-y-Gest, where the tide was out.

Whilst admiring the views to the Rhinog summits, we listened to the distinctive call of a Curlew and watched Egrets picking at tasty tidbits on the tide line.

There are numerous new information boards hereabouts. Click on the image for a more readable version.

Turning off the coast path, we went through a mobile home village with a distinctive speed limit.

Last time we were here we struggled to find the correct path. In fact we failed, and a local chap pointed us down a track to meet our planned route. Since then the correct path has been reinstated and is clearly marked with yellow posts, our objective being clearly visible in the background. 

A good path then led us past a llama farm and past a fine looking tree where a couple - the only other walkers seen today - passed us on the way to the summit.

It was a splendid clear day. We admired the views into Snowdonia, and the friendly couple took a picture for us.

Sue and I lunched in a calm, warm spot on the summit before making our way down the gnarly path to Porthmadog. Our walking poles came in handy and we passed the friendly couple on the way down.

Here's our 9km route.

After another game of cards with Dave, we ambled into Tremadog and back, 2.5km each way, for another excellent meal at our favourite restaurant in this area, Y Sgwâr. 

The return home was a bit damp, but who cares!

Thursday 9 November 2023

Thursday 9 November 2023 - Around Tremadog

Rain showers all morning provided an opportunity to get on with some copy editing for a friend who has written his autobiography. The picture above just failed to capture an impressive mid morning rainbow.

After lunch we took a stroll to Tremadog and back, skilfully avoiding any precipitation. 

Some new information boards have been placed by Llyn Bach. One of them confirmed that the diving ducks we were watching were indeed goosanders.

Cnicht was bathed in sunshine for a time, but I bet it was shivery up there.

Here's Cnicht again, in the wider context of the Moelwynion range.

The walk back from Tremadog is mainly through mixed woodland. We did an extra loop in the hope of some sunshine. Maybe later in the week - the images below are the best I could manage today.

There were lots of fungi in the woodland. Here's another one that defied accurate identification. 

Returning via Tesco, we walked just 7km today. Here's Garmin's portrayal of our route.

My brother, Dave, turned up just as we returned to the house, so having not seen him for a while we enjoyed a chat and a game of cards. Then it was time for dinner, and Dave returned to his other house which is on the same estate of purpose built holiday homes.

Wednesday 8 November 2023

Wednesday 8 November 2023 - Around Harlech

Back in Porthmadog for a few days, we woke to clearing skies and the usual view of the harbour from our living room. 

A short drive to Harlech, where at this time of year there's plenty of free on-street parking, saw us admiring, but not entering, the castle. It was completed in 1289 and enjoys a rich history, culminating in its demise in 1647 when it was the last castle to fall to the Parliamentarians and was ordered to be demolished, an order only partially executed.

From the castle, our route over slippery stones through pleasant woodland passed lots of different fungi, none of which we risked collecting.

Steep steps led up to a minor road.

After crossing the road we headed up a track that turned out to be a short private driveway linking the rights of way we were attempting to follow. (Walk number 5 in Alex Kendall's Cicerone guide to South Snowdonia - we walked it previously on 17 September 2022.) First we met the wife, then the husband. After a rant about dog walkers they allowed us to continue through their property. They were nice people. We had no dog.

At the suggestion of this couple we varied the route slightly, taking a path with good views towards Snowdon - sadly a bit hazy all day - and past a well that was described thus in a plaque:

'Scotch Baptist Baptism Well, Built 1842'

Full immersion baptism no doubt!

Soon, a series of steep stone stiles led over high walls to the high point of our walk.

We enjoyed lunch on some rocks from a collapsed wall, before posing in front of fine views. Here am I with the view to Snowdon. 

And here is Sue with the view to the rough summits of the Rhinogs. 

Pleasant walking during which we passed the only two people seen out walking today, brought us through Llanfair above the beach along which we were to return to Harlech. 

There was a railway line to cross.

Firm sand made the 2km stroll along the beach to Harlech most enjoyable. 

After leaving the beach, we made our way through the dunes to a convenient resting point with the castle as a backdrop.

On our final stroll into Harlech we noticed a huge eagle near the entrance to a holiday park.

A nearby plaque read:

"Eagle commissioned by Salop Leisure, Spring 2011.
71 share metres of steel sheet cut into 1000s of feathers that are welded on to a solid bar frame and galvanised.
480 hours of labour. Weight 1639kg."


Here's our 9 km route.

That was a lovely outing, enhanced by snippets of cricket - thanks to Ben Stokes the English team made a bid to escape the doldrums today, managing to beat the Netherlands part timers, seemingly a great achievement!