Clynnog Mawr to Llithfaen 3.7.22

Once more we are lucky enough to get a lift from the community minibus who take us to Clynnog Mawr where we stop to have a look around St, Beuno’s, an impressive church for such a tiny hamlet.

We would have liked to look inside but we can hear the sounds of a service so we decide to come back another day.

It is hot today and I’m not looking forward to the long stretch of main road, which makes up the first few miles of our walk. I have studied the map closely and there doesn’t seem to be any way off the A499 so we just have to grit our teeth and do it. After a couple of miles I have another look at the map on my phone and there does seem to be a service road off to the right leading down to a campsite called Aberafon. On our way down the hill a wheezy old camper passes us, obviously struggling with the gradient, and at the wheel is an equally ancient lady with long wild grey hair -the two of them remind me of the film Nomadland. Set in the American West, Frances Mcdormand plays a woman in her sixties, who loses everything in the Great Recession, and embarks on a journey living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad. It’s a great film.

The van below is a completely different creature, brand new and well equipped, it also has a trailer for extra storage. Damian stops to ask the owner if he knows whether we can walk along the beach to Trefor, which would save us the hell of the main road. Yes he says – if the tide’s out.

When we reach the beach it does look like we may be able to do it so we set off across the stones.

On our left there is a lot of bird activity – sand martins flitting in and out of their nests in the sandy cliffs.

Damian has a romantic moment………………..

The walk along the beach is wonderfully peaceful. This is what coastal walking is all about – sunshine, blue skies and the sound of waves breaking on the shore.

Unfortunately we are soon abruptly woken from our reverie by the realisation that we can go no further. The tide is going out but it will be roughly another two hours before it will clear the headland, allowing us to continue round to the pier at Trefor.

In a desperate attempt to find a path up on the cliffs, Damian disappears into the dense thicket of undergrowth from which I can hear sounds of thrashing and swearing until he appears slightly crestfallen with a tear in his beloved jeans. Oh well…..

All is not lost however as I do remember walking past a gravel path up on to the cliffs, which turns out to be a service road for a campsite. It takes us ten minutes to walk back. We then get lost trying to leave the campsite as all the footpaths marked on the map are either completely overgrown or fenced off by a farmer. – our progress is closely followed by an inquisitive llama.

Oh dear – back to the road.

Eventually we reach Trefor, a village with a small harbour and a beach, where we sit down to eat a well earned lunch. We are now well behind schedule and more than a little tired, and the sight of the three peaks of Yr Eifl rising steeply in front of us does nothing to raise our spirits.

These hills are the site of a large granite quarry which closed in 1960. Apparently the rare properties of the granite within the quarry made it the perfect material to produce curling stones for the winter Olympics. Trefor is one of only two locations where this particular granite is found, the other being Ailsa Craig in Scotland. The photo above is not mine – credit goes to the blogger Paul Shorrock who doesn’t mind as long as he is mentioned. https://hillcraftguidedwalking.com/2011/08/01/37-–-the-three-peaks-of-yr-eifl/

Anyway, off we go, into the foothills and I would like to add here that we are not aiming for the summits – the coast path takes us between the peaks up a dirt track which slowly and steadily gets steeper and steeper. At one point we run into a group of locals laying tarmac by hand so we are obliged to jump a few fences to get around them.

On the other side of the roadworks the path gets narrower and narrower and seems to sink down between high hedges on both sides – I feel like I’m in a wartime trench.

After what seems an eternity we reach the flats of the ridge and throw ourselves down on the earth to rest and catch our breath – it takes a while before we can appreciate the stunning view.

Picking ourselves up we follow a dusty path over the top of the ridge and all the way down to the familiar standing stones of the carpark from where we started two days ago.

And from here we walk down the steep tarmac road to the pub at Llithfaen where we sit outside and drink cold beer watching the local children play football. It has been a long but exciting day.

Distance: 11 miles

9 thoughts on “Clynnog Mawr to Llithfaen 3.7.22

  1. What an eventful day out. I like the sound of D’s romantic interlude with the sand martins…not so much his ripped jeans.

  2. Yes an exciting eventful day! St. Beuno’s has an interesting history. A lot of toing and froing for you to keep by the sea (Good try Damian!) I liked the sand martin’s nests , Damian’s romantic moment and the picture of you. Sweet little Llama and lovely view of the three peaks and coast. Your beers were well deservedxx

  3. Lynda – you are really the mistress of paraphrase – lifting the important points and commenting on them – it’s a skill! Thank you xx

  4. That was an interesting walk! St Beuno’s is certainly worth a visit – one thing I remember about it were the dog tongs hanging on the wall, which were used during services for catching and taking out any unruly dogs!

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