I had planned to announce the first part of my Round Wales at 60 walk today covering the North Wales Coast and Anglesey. Detailed planning of the various stages meant that I had already cut out the From the source of the Dee section as I realised some sections of the walk would not allow a nineteen mile a day average to be maintained and 60 days seemed realistic for the coastal path but I would have to add another ten for Offa's Dyke. Not real issue there, the 60@60 was always a bit artificial and the idea was to enjoy this, and remember as I walked. There are no parts of that entire route of which I do not have some memory.
So my initial plan was to find a bed and breakfast somewhere in Flintshire and do Chester to Bangor in four days. Then I would book one of the various walk support operations for the Anglesey coastal path. For those who don't know about these, they basically book your accommodation and transport your bags between stops making the whole thing very civilised. I found a group and started up a conversation by email knowing that I was starting early in the season. However I wanted to be in Moelfre for St David's Day on the tenth anniversary of my Mother's death. Starting on the anniversary of my Father's death (ten days earlier in the same year) had been abandoned due to business pressure and will now be spent in New Zealand. From there I could then have made Porth Colmon for my birthday, its the place where we spent most of our summer holidays for many years.
But local knowledge is a wonderful thing and the company I was working with on the Anglesey section came back to say that the North and North East of the island had been badly storm damaged and many of the cliff top sections were not safe and would involve difficult and boring extensions. Now that I had not expected, but the storms had been bad.
Either way I slept on it, and decided to reverse the route. So I will now go down Offa's Dyke and then come around Wales in a clockwise direction and add back in the trek to the source of the Dee. So it worked out, and it means I will spend the 1st of March on a walk I did with my mother many years ago, just the two of us, which I remember well. So for those interested I will am working on Prestatyn to Knighton over seven days starting on the 28th or 27 of February. I'm booking the same company or organise accommodation and baggage transfer. So for all those who said they were interesting in joining for a section now is the time to let me know for the first part. The remainder of the programme will be published as I free up time in my diary – a series of short and longer breaks.
All well and good, but then I realised I had booked three nights following my birthday with the Welsh National Opera in llandudno to coincide with my plan to carry on down the llyn peninsular and that worked for day trips and public transport for that area, but would not work for the southern section of Offa's Dyke. Again a solution presented itself, I will book a holiday cottage for that week and do walks in the mountains of Snowdonia during the day returning for the opera on those three evenings. The family I think are joining for one or two nights.
The picture is from the 2014 storm: Porthdafarch and Trearddur Bay