Day 096: Foel-y-Mwnt to New Quay
Distance: 17.91 miles
Ascent: 7455 feet
Weather: Rain Morning, Low CLoud, Overcast Afternoon
Accommodation: Craig y Mor B&B
Well I woke up to the tent being pummelled by rain. This always has two effects, firstly you feel strangely secure, warm and comfy in the tent. Secondly you end up faffing with packing, eating, just about everything to delay leaving the tent. Even though I was slower than normal I was still on the way by about 8, and out into the decidedly damp conditions though fortunately not as windy as previous days.
I had told myself that when I got to Aberporth 5 miles or so away I would grab a quick tea to warm up, and this was the incentive I needed to get me going. The path was incredibly muddy and quite up and down making for slow and incredibly tiring walking. At a very deep valley (Allt y Gwrddon), the path heads inland before slowly descending down to the river and skirting around the outside of the Aberporth Military Range. From there it soon drops down into the quite picturesque Aberporth which is set up for the tourist trade with several tacky shops stocking cheap buckets and spades amongst other things which no one would want on a day like today. Most things were shut but I found a little café Caffi Sgadan which was open and gave me a little respite from the weather, and the owner kindly said to give the cost to the charity rather than pay.
From here the path continued it’s never ending series of climbs and descents, where I was also in the clouds, passing the very steep village of Tresaith, with its holiday park and most of the houses also appearing to be holiday lets (not my favourite little place), and continuing on to Penbryn where the route heads up the valley on an interesting little path through a small wood seemingly emerging in a car park with an old building in the middle. It turned out this building was an incredibly quaint unexpected little café (The Plymp Tart), and though I shouldn’t have stopped again (only 4 or so miles since Aberporth) with the rain still heavy I sort some more shelter.
On leaving the café the rain had begun to lighten and and after a couple more climbs made it to Llangrannog, where there is an impressive statue of St Crannog overlooking the village. For a relatively small place it had a couple of pubs and even on a slightly wet Saturday seemed to have a fair few people.
It was on the climb out of Llangrannog that I began to realise that today was going to take its toll, as my body was really feeling the climbs presumably effected by the thick mud and rain. I also had a bit of a dilemma as I had passed no proper food shops for a while and would be passing no proper ones for proposed rest of day till camping. So I had decided to extend day a very slight bit to New Quay where I could get food, and would also likely have a good signal for first time, the only issue being where I would kip as can’t camp in New Quay but had decided to ignore this until I arrived later.
The path passed a strange sort of activity park just of the cliffs with a dry ski slope, karting amongst other things, which felt so out of place in this location. It was just after this that I got another of the warnings like yesterday about rugged/remote paths and it appeared to try and persuade you to take the long inland route instead. If you ever come this way do no take the inland diversion, the next section of path is actually very robust, (not muddy) and clings to the gently sloping cliff in a very dramatic way, and with the rain having stopped made for a very enjoyable couple of kilometres even if it was almost constant uphill.
My body was really struggling to get up the hills and the one out of Cwmtydu was very steep as were a couple of others, and due to the fatigue I was starting to catch my feet on some of the rocks etc. and so had to be even more careful on the ascents and descents. But finally New Quay came into site and I was incredibly happy to reach it. It was a Saturday evening and finally the weather was actually quite nice and the town was busy. Now all I had to do was sort accommodation, on the final climb down I had decided that as long as I could find somewhere with vacancies, even if felt a bit wrong and frivolous, I would book in somewhere using some birthday money as my body needed it and I really needed wi-fi as was beginning to get a massive back log of admin/diaries. I found a little B&B Craig y Mor, and was glad to just lie down, and also catch up a bit on computer stuff.
I do not know why my body struggled so much today, as it was a shortish day, even if it had a fair amount of ascent, maybe the mud and rain had an effect, but the last couple of small hills were the worse I have felt on the entire walk.