The exciting start along the "rat run"!
A rather long train with a cargo from Germany that kept us waiting for more than 10 minutes.
Running away from the leader who ha stopped to do a bit of birdwatching!
A ghostly appearance under King's Mill Bridge.
Waiting for the front runners to get back on track!
Heading along the delightful avenue of trees back to Erddig (avoiding the muddy section near the river).
Walk stats: Distance: 8.0 miles. Climb: 680'.
Time: 4 hours 26 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Annie, Sue and Michel, Wendy, David S., Tim, Celia, Phil, Sue and Dave P.
Weather forecast not good, we set of hoping that we would get past lunch time without too much rain. Most of us had Winter walking gear, expecting it to feel around 5 Celsius! Alas only one of the group got it right and appropriately wore shorts. In reality we didn't need waterproofs, but donning gaiters was definately a wise choice.
A memorable walk in more ways than one! we started on the way to Bersham by taking the "rat run" (path on the East side of the factory), that led to an overgrown path that probably has been used since we last used two years ago, and if we remember we won't use it ever again! Our problems didn't stop there, after climbing up to the railway line, our crossing point was blocked by a train so long that it seemed to stretch as far as you could see in both directions, stopped as Wendy said by a distant red light! The goods waggons were of an unusual design, with an unknown cargo, all we could tell they were from Germany. I thought the E.U. countries weren't as secretive as this! After it eventually moved off, some of us crossed the line, only to be tooted by a passenger train coming from the other direction!
Arriving in Bersham, we eventually got back on to the Clwyedog Trail, but were soon diverted because Rail Track were working on a railway bridge over the path. At least it took us to an alternative path that took us West of the factory back to Felin Puleston. This is the way we will use in future to avoid the scenic "rat run" experienced earlier!
Having had enough excitement for one day, the route from Felin Puleston to King's Mill started on a delightful path through the woods (note two "delightfuls", I'm learning from Dave Berry!). It changed once we were forced to leave the woods and head down to the banks of the Clywedog. David S and Phil ignored our plaintive calls forced us all to endure the "mud challenge" as well, after all we couldn't abandon them, ebven though that did seem the best option!
We eventually arrived at King's Mill, going under the road bridge over the Afon Clywedog, this time with the path only flooded by a few inches of water, giving us the opportunity to clean our boots a little.
Lunch was taken at King's Mill, where we took advantage of steps and a wall to act as convenient places on which to perch. I understand a couple of the group wanted to have some toast for lunch, but were disappointed to find it didn't even have a plug let alone a socket in which to plug it!
After pointing out that the route description involved us retracing our steps through the "mud challenge", I almost had a mutiny on my hands! Michel approached me as the "leader", but thankfully Phil had already spotted an alternative path that would enable us to return to the banks of the Afon Clywedog via a footbridge North of the muddy section!
Our final section was along a good path through an avenue of trees straight to Erddig, alas we couldn't do the section that would take us to the hill fort as this was on the Wat's Dyke Way that had been closed due to erosion.
Birds seen or heard today included: Common blackbird, Black-billed magpie, Eurasian jay, Wood nuthatch, Common crow, Common buzzard, Grey Heron, Jackdaw, Black-headed gull, Mute swan, Pied wagtail and Goldfinch.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Alyn in Rosset, where Jennings Cumberland or Hobgoblin were the beers of choice. The former a little pricey at £3-60 a pint!