Craig y Forwyn from the Afon Dulas Valley.
Pen-y-corddyn-mawr from the Afon Dulas Valley.
Ed using secateurs to make it possible to cross the style.
Barbed wire tares on jacket east to see.
The other side of the stile wasn't too good either!
Limestone escarpments to the South east of Llysfaen.
Panorama of the skyline to the South east of Llysfaen.
A Berwyn sheep South of Craig y Forwyn.
Llanddulas and Irish Sea - not much further to go.
The delightful North Wales Path along the East flank og Craig y- Forwyn.
Looking East towards Rhyd-y-foel and Cefn yr Ogof.
St Cynbryd's Church Llanddulas.
Celtic Cross St Cynbryd's Churchyard, Llanddulas.
Walk stats: Distance: 7.8 miles. Climb: 1455'.
Time; 5 hours 32 minutes. On the move walking average: 1.9 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.4 m.p.h.
I arrive quite early at the coastal parking area at Llanddulas to find a few birders looking for a Glaucous gull that had been spotted feeding on the carcass of a porpoise. I didn't spot it, but did manage to see a Common scoter out at sea.
The weather was pretty good and never reached the low feel like 0 Celsius some forecasts had given. Even the North easterly winds weren't a cold or strong as we were expecting.
all was going well until we followed the wrong footpath and ended up on the Isallt Road heading for Llysfaen.
This was the start of our morning MUD Challenge that has made this walk, a walk never to be repeated, at least the part around Cefn-Fran Farm. We had problems finding the way through the farm last time, it was even worse this time! We were directed around the East side of the farm building, only to be forced through six inch deep claggy mud that we tried to avoid by going close to the perimeter. Unfortunately Ed slipped and ripped his jacket on the barbed wire. Se eventually ot back on track following the line of the path as shown on the OS Map, but as in the past we couldn't find a way of crossing the fence to the path that we could see beyond. We overcame this by using a nearby gate and eventually arrived at the stile leading onto the road. Once again secateurs were needed to cut away some of the Holly encroaching over the stile, before we managed still with a little difficulty to get over the stile and onto the luxury of the tarmac.
Even though I reported the lack of footpath signs around the Cefn-Fran Farm and the difficulties presented, nothing has been done. This is an experience that I do not want to go through ever again. As far as I am concerned Cefn-Fran farm, Dolwen will for ever be a "NO GO AREA".
Cleaning boots when I got home took twice as long as usual, but it was a job that couldn't be left to the next day, removing the claggy mud. was hard enough without letting it set.
Having escaped from the disaster area around Cefn-Fran, things started to get better, it was time to look for a suitable place to stop for lunch. We soon found a fallen tree that we could sit on as we had lunch, looking South, happy to know that we would never have to go on those paths around Cefn-Fran ever again.
After lunch we set off with Llysfaen ahead of us and with good views of the Limestone escarpments to the South east of Llysfaen that the North Wales Path followed. We would then be on good paths that we knew, all the way back to Llanddulas. This we did - we were able to enjoy the rest of the walk without having to think about claggy mud. Different thought now - how many times will we have to wash our walking trousers to get them clean! The answer - at least two maybe three times!
Birds seen or heard today included: Common scoter, Great cormorant, Herring gull, Blue tit, Common blackbird, Mistle thrush, Carrion crow, Raven and Common buzzard.
Arriving back at the car, thankful that our Llanddulas Adventure was over - time to look for as suitable hostelry to celebrate. In my case, the Blue bell Inn at Halkyn, where I called in for a take away of real cider. I should sleep well tonight!