Our Airbnb in Penygroes is part of a community enterprise scheme called Yr Orsaf https://www.yrorsaf.cymru/en/, which among other things includes a community bus. Introduced primarily as a vital supplement to limited public transport in the area it has no objection to walkers using it to get from one isolated spot to another. Brilliant!
Having booked a pick up we drive our car to Morfa Nefyn and hang around in a residential street trying hard to suspend our disbelief. It does not help that the gentleman working in his garden at the address has never heard of a community bus. But here it comes the bright yellow electric minibus, completely empty! And it takes us all the way to the village of Llithfaen (6 miles) for five pounds. Wonderful……..
From the centre of the village we walk up the narrow tarmac road which will give us access to the coast path. Half way up the steep hill we stop to catch our breath.
At the top is a carpark with a centrepiece of some majestic carved standing stones and off to the right the quarry scarred landscape of Yr Eifl where we will be walking tomorrow.
From the carpark the coast path takes us down a well maintained tarmac road with some very sharp bends. The gradient is so steep my toes are banging up against the toe of my boots – the cause of many a black toenail.
At the bottom of the hill we realise we have walked into a Welsh Heritage Centre called Nant Gwrtheyrn which offers courses in Welsh language and culture.
The centre consists of rows of quarryman cottages built in 1878, now restored and used as residences – there is also a museum and a cafe. A few of the cottages are open to the public so we take a look.
After all this history we think we deserve a cup of tea even though w have a long way to go and the forecast has warned of rain later on. The view from the balcony of the cafe is spectacular as is the piece of Bara Brith (Welsh Tea Bread) that comes with the tea.
Refreshed we head off down the path which leads almost down to the sea and then turns inland past the ruins of the old quarry workings and machinery. It then starts to climb steeply upwards into an area of what I think are twisted young oak trees.
The narrow path continues to get steeper and steeper and at one point we meet two middle aged mountain bikers walking their bikes very carefully downhill. I cannot think why they would have thought cycling down this steep stony path was a good idea, but it takes all sorts.
Finally we reach the top and are rewarded with flat open country until we reach the hamlet of Pistyll served by a charming little church with a great view out to the sea. The dark granite headstone in the picture marks the grave of Rupert Davies, a British actor best remembered for playing the title role in the BBC’s 1960s television adaptation of Maigret.
From Pistyll we follow the road a short while until the coast path turns off left across farm land with plenty of sheep for Damian to talk to.
At one point we realise that we are following part of the North Wales Pilgrims Way (The Welsh Camino) which stretches from Bardsey Island to Holywell but turns away from the coast in a few places only to come back to the coast path later on.
By the time we reach Nefyn it is raining quite heavily and it is with a great effort of will that we walk out to the tip of the headland Penrhyn Nefyn rather than skirt across. On a sunny day the view would be spectacular but today not quite so impressive.
Across the bay stretches the Porth Dinllaen headland with the beach houses of Morfa Nefyn below the cliffs. We are close to our car now and even closer to the pub where we stopped yesterday – I almost hope they serve hot chocolate!
Distance: 10 miles