Thursday 26 November 2015
Aberdovey to Machynlleth
The White Lion Hotel
I had a whole day without waterproofs, albeit I got soaked when it rained in the afternoon.
I walked straight up the steep hill behind Aberdovey and, despite the greyness, the views across the Afon Dyfi were great.
In particular I could look directly along the very straight Afon Leri. The tide was high but receding and as I walked sandbanks were appearing in the estuary.
Today’s walk was over the hills bordering the Dyfi valley; I could have been a world away from the sea side. The beautiful hilly landscape had the same lumpy texture as NW Scotland, but with the addition of trees, bracken and sheep farms. I didn’t see another person all day.
I passed through Pennal, a small village where there was once a Roman Fort (I only found this out afterwards as there was no indication in the village itself).
Not long after midday I was enveloped in a mist and fine drizzle. After that there were no views, just the ups and downs of the forest track. It wasn’t cold and I was sick of being cocooned inside my waterproofs so I left them off and just got steadily wetter.
As I finally dropped back into the Dovey valley at Machynlleth I was able to see the expanse of the flat valley floor with the Afon Dfyi snaking through it.
I walked the main A487 across the Dovey Bridge, noting its flood warning signs. The river looked fairly high but there didn’t look to be any danger of the bridge flooding (although I heard on the news that it did flood 3 days later). Crossing the River Dovey meant finally leaving the county (some might say Kingdom) of Gwynedd, which I have been walking around since I reached Bangor.
The market town of Machynlleth proclaims itself the Ancient Capital of Wales. Although never officially recognised as a capital Machynlleth is where Owain Glyndŵr, who rebelled against the English, was crowned Prince of Wales in 1404. This grand event took place near the Parliament House, a mediaeval building that remains in the heart of the town.
I wandered through the town, with its second hand book shops and its beautiful clock tower at the end of the high street. I sat in the window of the bakery with a coffee and a cake watching the world go by, and drying out.
I spent my evening cleaning my boots and drying out my kit.