Today the walking began in earnest. It was about 11 miles, not taking into account the 2710′ total ascent.
We set off in Rowen (my husband graciously dropping us off there before heading to work) and began the day with a visit to the village’s Zion Chapel. We had a lovely visit with Ken, the caretaker, and then it was off to conquer the first big ascent up to Llangelynnin Old Church.
From the moors, after a short walk, we could see down to Conwy Castle as well as out to the top of the Great Orme.
We then joined with the North Wales Path for a section that we had walked previously — taking us to the stone circle (somewhere between 3,500 and 5,000 years old!) above Penmaenmawr.
We continued on toward Llanfairfechan, on a path we hadn’t seen before. This slowly wound us down the hill past blooming gorse and roadside rhododendrons.
Before getting all the way to town, though, we turned and started back up the hill. The climb was much more significant than we anticipated! It just kept going and going …
Until we found ourselves at a crossroads on the Roman Road. My dad compared seeing “Aber” on that sign to the feeling you get on the motorway during a long trip when your destination finally appears on one of the road signs. From this point, it was all downhill (literally!).
Finally, we were down to the Aber Falls walk!
This marked the end of our pilgrim walk for the day, although we still needed to get home. We started to walk into Abergwyngregyn and I was looking for a cell signal (to check in with my husband and see if we’d be taking the bus or hitching a ride home with him). We stepped to the side of the road to let a car pass, as we had been doing ever since rejoining real roads, when the car slowed down to stop beside us— it was my husband, who had watched our progress via GPS all day and anticipated that we were nearing the end. A wonderful (and pretty funny!) surprise to end the day.
This is the second of 12 daily blog posts I wrote as I walked the North Wales Pilgrim’s Way, May 13-24. I am publishing them after the fact but they reflect my thoughts as I completed each day’s walk.