Monday 2 November 2015
Holyhead to Rhosneigr (via South Stack)
A foggy morning in Holyhead.
I was away by 8 am and walking alongside the Marina. I passed the 1.75 mile Breakwater that is the second longest in the world (after San Diego) and took 28 years to build, starting in 1845.
Holyhead came to prominence after the 1801 Act of Union between Britain and Ireland. Holyhead became the British town that linked the two countries and road and rail networks were built to serve it. This is why the A5 goes from London to Holyhead. Admiralty Arch, intended to mimic London’s Marble Arch, was built at the Holyhead end of the A5 (unfortunately I couldn’t find it – I think it’s buried within the port).
The coastal path heads part way up Holyhead Mountain (not an actual mountain at 220m) and it didn’t take me long to walk to North Stack.
I met a couple on the way who had come from Bangor this morning, where it was sunny; only mist here. The only other people I met were a pair of climbers heading to climb the ‘A Dream of White Horses’. Holyhead Mountain is a bit of a climbers’ Mecca – even I have been climbing here before on a work adventure training trip.
I walked from North to South Stack and admired the lighthouse from high on the cliff as there didn’t seem much point in climbing down the steps when it wasn’t open.
Just as I arrived, so too did a shepherd and his herd of sheep. He walks the Mountain with them every day. I recognised Manx sheep in his flock (he has 6 of them along with Hebridean and Welsh varieties) and I chuckled to myself that I’m now recognising varieties of sheep!
I stopped at the South Stack cafe for coffee and a cake before heading back to Holyhead along the road. I had made the decision not to walk the South part of Holy Island because it was too far without transport or accommodation.
I wandered along Holyhead high street, which wasn’t hugely inspiring, and then across to the train station to get a train back across the Stanley Embankment to Valley. This way I skipped 5 miles and got to see the other side of the embankment wall that I walked along yesterday.
Amazingly I arrived at Valley in brilliant sunshine; the mist seemed to be confined to Holy Island.
The path meandered alongside the Afon Cleifiog estuary towards RAF Valley. As I walked past the airfield’s runway lights I was overflown by a Hawk. A nice welcome.
By the time I had walked around the airfield a thick fog had rolled in (a Welsh haar?). I could barely see the tip of Holy Island, even though it was only a few metres away across the sea.
It was a long and eerie beach walk in the fog before I headed over the dunes to the bridge that crosses the Afon Crigyll on the edge of Rhosneigr.
I was staying with Elise, who I worked with in my last job. She had invited Nik Nak around for dinner as well so we had an FPP Progs reunion (just missing Scott). It was a good evening.