Day 113: Bull Bay to Benllech
Distance: 18.53 miles
Ascent: 3588 feet
Weather: Rain, SOmetimes Heavy, most of Day
Accommodation: Tiesteel's Static Caravan, Benllech
After a lovely breakfast and a great night’s sleep I was well set up for the day. The forecast was terrible with rain forecast all day, though the winds were meant to have eased off. Fortunately as I walked down the hill from the B&B to the coast path it was not raining, and the winds were very light. I was though in full wet weather set up as it looked very grim.
The day started with a little diversion inland into the centre of Amlwch to go to the Co-op to get supplies for today. Stocked up probably with too much food, I headed back to the coast path and down to Amlwch Port. This was a lovely little port, farily unusual in that it was very narrow but long as opposed to most that I have seen. It had some quaint buildings and even a Copper Kingdom, which is a museum about copper extraction and not a penny arcade.
The path heads up onto the gently rolling low cliffs, and a little plaque on a rock signifies the location of a holy well (St Eilian’s Well), apparently the marks in the ground are possibly the foundations of a small very old chapel that was built around it. There is almost no water trickling out of it, and a tacky figurine with a cup next to it to throw coins into seems to slightly degrade it.
When I passed Porth Eilian I saw an unusual for sale sign, ‘Lighthouse and cottages for sale’, this intrigued me, and I could take the path to see it, I wondered what sort of person would buy this and how much it would be. Well after a bit of research the whole compound including lighthouse and the two cottages can be yours for £1,375,000 or an individual cottage for £375,000. Any takers?
The rain had begun to get heavy and as I had expected just became a day to keep the head down and push on. The path then took a fairly substantial diversion inland around the estate of someone who must have a fair amount of influence, as this was the biggest diversion (apart from obviously MOD estates) around an individual estate, when it seemed very easy for the path to just follow the coast. It was a pheasant shooting estate I presume, but it can’t have been hard to spot of shoot the pheasants as literally every 50m for several miles there were pheasants everywhere.
About half way along this inland part I passed a church and decided to sit in the porch of this to get out of the rain and have my lunch. Even here in the church yard there were loads of pheasants. On heading back into the rain I knew I would not be stopping again for the next 9 miles as there would be no point in the rain. The path re-joined the actual coast at the Traeth Dulas (the River Goch Estuary) which was stunning even in this grim weather, and I was worried with all this excess water whether there may be issues with the path which headed across the estuary mud flats. In fact barring a bit of mud there were no issues. There was a poor little duckling who had got stuck in a hole and couldn’t get out (it was really trying) and looked very tired, I could see a duck with ducklings a few hundred meters away. I know they say not to pick them up as the mum might reject them, but it appeared this one would die anyway without intervention, and he happily let me pick him up and I put him down about 50m from the others close enough that the mum might not overly notice me and when I released him he started squawking and the mum responded and he charged straight back to her which was really nice.
The path headed back down the other side of the estuary, passing an intriguing fun bus outside a pub. I wondered what a fun bus was, and it turned out to be a double decker bus that had been converted into an incredible childrens play area. Quite clever for a country pub really as it takes up no internal space and can be used in all weathers.
The path continued along the cliffs to Moelfre where it was incredibly tempting to head in somewhere for respite from the rain and have a tea, but I knew if I did that it would be hard to get started again and with Benllech only an hour away it was better just to carry on.
This final stretch went very smoothly up until about 500m from the end when the path was blocked and closed off apparently due to a landslide. But I was not going to let this stop me and carried on presuming as most of the time there would actually be no issue. In fact there had actually been a small landslide, but the temporary remedial works made it safe and easy to cross this short stretch.
I was so happy to finally get to Benllech and meet my kind hosts (The Tiesteels) who had offered me the static caravan in their garden for my rest day. It was great to get out of the rain and start the process of drying out. After a bath and a lovely roast for dinner cooked by Gail and some sticky toffee pudding (this pudding seems to be a mainstay of the walk), I was very content.
A wet but successful day, and I am in a perfect location for my rest day.
NB - You may get an idea of the wetness, by the fact I only risked taking 4 photos, 3 of which were before or undercover from the rain.