I woke up before Seth and sat on the beach watching the waves crash into the shore while he packed up and got going. The first half of the trail was more road walking, the second half was definitely not.
For the last few days we’ve been ,oozing at some mountains in the distance. Now the mountain was right in front of us. The climb was short, but very steep and after about 45 minutes I was at the top looking at some of the best views of the whole trip. At the top of a mountain I expected a nice view, but I did not expect to be standing among hundreds of sheep. Just like every other place in Wales, there were sheep grazing. I kept thinking about the poor farmer that would have to round them all up. They were scattered everywhere; on cliffs, valleys, between hedges…
What I learned was: If you are in Whales, there are sheep in sight.
We set up our tents along a beautiful ravine and fell asleep listening to sheep calling to each other from all corners of the country.
After getting our money’s worth of last nights beds we hung around the common area talking to our new hiking friends until about noon. I decided it was time to go, and after some coaxing I got Seth up and moving. The first stop of the day was the grocery store for resupply, but before that was about a mile and a half walk around town trying to find the grocery store.
After filling my food bag until it weighed more than the rest of my pack we set off in search of the actual trail. This proved much easier than finding the grocery as the trail went right by the giant castle at the end of town. We walked by the tourists and their selfie sticks as we passed the castle happy to be back on the trail after a day off.
The rest of the day was uneventful as most of it was along roads. The only excitement came when Seth got a text from my brother Eric that he was not going to be able to buy us tickets to the League of legends world final in Berlin because he got pulled into a meeting. Seeing as we had extended our trip by nearly a month to go to this event, we had to get them. We looked at the time and saw that we had 5 minutes to find wifi and secure our tickets. somehow, the tiny town we were in had a townwide wifi that you could pay £5 per hour to use.
I quickly payed the money, but the internet was too slow and tickets were gone. Immediately however, tickets were going on sales 2nd hand. I bought some for double face value and we moved on. We arrived at a small town with a cafe around 7pm and sat there using the wifi until it was late enough to set up camp on the beach a few hundred yards outside of town.
As mention in yesterday’s post, we checked the book and decided to skip the next 20 miles and zero (hike no miles) in Caernafron. We hung out in the morning, got a discount on our tent site, and breakfast on the house before getting a ride to our hostel. So to sum it up, we had a good time at Merram Grass Cafe.
The rest of the day was spent in my underwear in bed eating. We also got our laundry done by a guy who ran a Laundromat out of what was basically a closet in an alley filled with bags of laundry and machines. What little room that was left was taken up by a huge Newfoundland who came running out to greet every customer. He took our laundry and told us to come back at 6. Not other questions asked. We did as he asked and when we returned we were once again greeted by a newfoundland and payed £7 to get our laundry back. After that it was back to bed and maybe more food later.
Despite the eerie vibe given off by the abandoned farmhouse, I slept very well last night. I was sleeping go well this morning until I was jolted awake by what I was convinced was a demolition crew taking out the building. I layed in panic for about 10 seconds before another blast went off. In my dazed and groggy state I was able to slowly piece together that the sound was from a shotgun a good distance away, not dynamite with the intention of imploding a building 5 feet away from me.
With this somewhat comforting news I was able to sleep for a bit before it happened again, and again, and again. I have no clue what he was shooting, but this guy insisted on shooting his shotgun twice every half hour all morning. Seth shouted over to my tent to companies about the shotgun guy and ask when I wanted to get going. I looked at the clouds and decided we should wait to see of it rains.
No more than 10 minutes later it was pouring, we waited the rain out for about an hour and got moving. We hiked about 10 miles before finding a cafe that trapped us for the rest of the day. We made friends with the staff and hung out in the bar talking about gunlaws, Welsh stereotypes, and League of legends. We mentioned we had to get to Caernafron for a hostel reservation and since the trail was all inland road walking from here to there we were just going to skip it with a bus. One of the guys said he could get us a ride from someone that worked their and we gladly accepted.
Since we had a ride and weather.com said more rain was coming, we stayed their at the campsite they had and hung out with the staff all night.
I woke up and it was raining… hard. I heard seth rustling around and confirmed with him that we weren’t moving until the rain was done. At about 11:30 the rain finally stopped and we packed up our wet tents and set off through the soaked grass. We arrived in tow for lunch and had a great meal before realizing we made a huge mistake.
We had wasted what we now new was a small window of time without rain. We had just put our packs back on when it started to come down again. I decided we should hike on since we hadn’t gotten far yet and it was already 2. Big mistake. We were wet and miserable within minutes. I saw a small doorway up on a hill and went to investigate in hopes of finding shelter. The doorway ended up being a man made cave that led to an excavation of an old tomb dating back to 2500 b.c.
While somewhat creepy, the hallway leading to the ruins was dry, so we stayed there trying to dry out and warm up. When there was finally a gap in the rain we took off for the next town and arrived at a pub just as it started to rain again.
We stayed at the pub until weather.com showed that the storm was over for good and took off with about 45 minutes of daylight left to find a suitable camp site. After losing the trail we forged our own path across the field we were pretty sure the trail crossed. I picked a campsite next to a cow pasture, but while waiting for Seth to catch up the entire herd of cows came running over and stared at us. We figured our presence would drive the cows crazy so we pushed on. We almost picked another spot, but decided not to because it was in sight of a nearby house. As we walked past the house we realized it was abandoned. After a little bit of debate as to whether or not sleeping next to a boarded up house was too creepy, we decided that this was our best shot at getting our tents set up before nighfall.
Seth has asked all friends and family to put out an amber alert if we are not heard from within 24 hours. Thank you.
Today was another uneventful day hiking along beautiful coasts with perfect weather. We stopped at a pub for lunch, electricity, and wifi and ended up staying until about 4 watching weird European sports and talking to locals. The bartender told us a direct route back to anglesey across 4 mile bridge so we took that shortcut and avoided making a big loop around the last part of holyhead.
After walking over 4 mile bridge without even realizing it was the bridge we were looking for we were once again lost on the Wales Coast path. Nothing new. We turned around, found the path shortly after the tiny bridge that I swore to Seth couldn’t be the 4 mile bridge, and were on our way again. We set up camp next to some sand dunes happy to have found a spot that was flat and out of sight.
I woke up early, but Seth was still asleep and the college kids’ tent was still there so I decided to sleep in as well. We finally got going late in the morning and rounded a corner to find the train station where we caught a train to Chester on our first day in Whales. It was a interesting feeling seeing a familiar place when for the last 2 weeks all I have seen were new sites.
As we were crossing the tracks we saw a pub, so we stopped for lunch and wifi before heading out across the rest of Holy Island. We climbed the nearby mountain before finding a nice campsite along the southern coast of Holy Island. We spent the rest of the day watching the top half of what was easily the best sunset so far this trip.