A rainbow appears as we set off along Barmouth promenade, which is very long and completely featureless. A row of bedraggled palm trees, locked tightly into their planters, is the only attempt to liven up the front – we decide to walk along the beach as far as we can.
After 20 minutes or so we are forced to leave the beach, walk over the railway line and up onto a busy road. From here it’s heads down, trying to ignore the noise of the traffic wizzing past.
So much so that I nearly miss these brazen creatures, perched on the high stone wall on the other side of the road.
A Welsh dragon in all its glory…………………………………………………………………………
On we go……….past a sign informing us that we are on the fringes of Snowdonia National Park although it doesn’t exactly feel like it.
At one point we stop to rest and watch a sheep scratching its back on some thick electrical leads overhanging the wall. by the time I get the camera out he had been going at it for at least 3 minutes.
At long last we are in sight of a turn off left which will take us through a caravan site and back to the beach. This is not the official path but we can clearly see that the tide is out far enough to continue on the sand to the next holiday village, where we will have to turn right and walk inland again.
We walk back over the railway line and through the deserted caravan site.
The beach is a joy to walk on, firm and only slightly damp – massive boulders have been transported here to act as sea defences. Sea worn stumps of wood fringe the rocks like a row of rotting teeth.
At the next holiday village we turn off right, up a minor road, past rows of huge static caravans and chalets. I walk into the main reception building which houses a swimming pool and ask politely if I can use the ladies. The receptionist looks me up and down and reluctantly opens an automatic door leading to the toilets. I feel I have to say that I have nothing against taking advantage of a convenient bush when I have to, but it is getting increasingly difficult to haul myself up again from a squat.
From here the path leads through fields, over stone walls, until we meet another minor road down to the beach and the extensive sand dunes of Morfa Dyffryn.
Here we follow the boardwalk down to the beach and find a bench and table in the sun – the perfect spot to have our rather late lunch.
It is now getting late and we have to go home to London tomorrow. The map shows me that the next stop where we could get a bus or train back to Barmouth is Llanbedr, which is 6 miles away along the beach. Despite the glorious weather we decide to call it a day. Following the next path through the dunes we make our way back to Dyffryn Ardudwy, where we are lucky enough to catch a free rail replacement minibus back to Barmouth.
The last photo of this wonderful stretch of beach reminds me of the classic quotation attributed to Chief Seattle, a 19th century native American chief of the Duwamish tribe. Apparently he was so well known that the city of Seattle was named after him.
“Take only memories, leave only footprints”
Distance: 8 miles