Well ok, not completely, but I was severely distracted for large parts of it, which has left me with four extra miles to do to finish tomorrow, but that won't be a problem.
Last things first. After I left the village of Trefor the path totally disappeared. This was quite annoying as I wasted 50 minutes trying to find it and in the end gave up, walked along a busy 'A' road, tried an alternative path and got stuck in brambles before accepting that I wasn't going to get as far as I wanted because the sun was setting.
But every cloud has a silver lining, and in this case it's the campsite I ended up at. I'm pitched within 20 yards of the sea with mountains on two sides behind me, and a stroll of 10 yards to the beach. It's beautiful. It's also the site a woman died on a couple of weeks ago from barbecue fumes in her tent.
1025 metres of ascent today, mostly because I went a bit hypo, but now back to the start.
It rained at times last night, but after a final shower at about 7 this morning it cleared up to leave yet another beautiful day. Blue sky all the way from late morning.
The route was back on the coast for a while, but looming ahead was the biggest obstacle on the entire route, Yr Eifl (The Rivals), a three peaked monster. Not high at 564m, but it appears to be as it rises steeply straight out of the sea. As I approached I was confronted with one of the most dramatic, desolate beaches I had seen. A mile of pebbles backed by steep slopes and Yr Eifl beyond, all showing evidence of the granite quarrying that was once so important to this area. I dropped down a steep path and walked along the beach. I couldn't imagine anyone ever coming here.
Then I saw two people, then a family of four. They were walking down from my escape route, a path up into a horseshoe shaped hanging valley and a track up from there to the pass high above. I checked my map, there was nothing on it that would attract anyone here at all. Except there is.
As I climbed up into the valley I was met by several more people, and beyond them a cafe. And beyond that a number of restored buildings. I walked into the cafe and said to the girl behind the counter, "What is this place?" She replied, "It's a Welsh language centre."
Suddenly it clicked. I'd heard of Nant Gwrtheyrn but had never had any idea it was somewhere like this. They basically do residential Welsh courses for adults, but it has become a symbol of the revival of the language.
I stuck around for ages. I had a nose at the visitor centre and followed the history trail. The renovations of the old quarrymens' cottages are fantastic. I had another coffee and went to the shop, then I lost the plot a bit.
It was already 2pm and I'd not gone far. The road out of the valley was long and steep. I decided to play 'How many vertical metres can you ascend in one minute?' using my techno watch. So I would start the timer, walk as fast as my pack would allow and check my ascent after a minute. After doing this far too many times I was knackered but had achieved 17 metres, which I thought was pretty good. Then I decided I was going to walk to the top of Yr Eifl, all 3 peaks.
This took about 2 more hours but did give me some brilliant views and a look at the famous iron age stone circles on top of one peak. I also got to see a man stomping around a small car park swearing with a wet bum. It seemed that the family dog had wee'd on the driver's seat while they were out of the car.
When I finally got down into Trefor it was 5:30 and I was half way. Trefor is in a great spot, has a quite stunning headland (low but vertical cliffs) and a lovely beach, but isn't really interested. I went to the only shop for a snack before carrying on and losing the path. On the way out of the village a tourist was asking her son where he'd like to go tomorrow. He said, "That place we went to the other day. You know, that big place." After a couple of confusing minutes he said, "Liverpool! That's it, Liverpool. Can we go mum, tomorrow, to Liverpool?" this went on for ages until she shot him. Well ok, till she looked like she wanted to shoot him.
The return of dead animal of the day - a magpie, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Time for bed I think.
-- Posted from my iPhone