Yesterday I threw my legs over my crossbar, cycled to Chester railway station and caught the Holyhead train to Llanfairfechan – what a great name. Instead of walking up through this hilly town to do my usual ridge walk around the Anafon valley (used as the setting for my Left Luggage scifi book), I thought to catch a local bus to the village of Aber… where the famous Aber Falls are. Arrggh, there was a long queue of grannies, probably off to a knitting marathon in Bangor, so I walked the 2 miles to Aber and then on and upwards into the hills. My aim was to find where I’d gone wrong last time I came off Moel Llywtmor, ending up scrambling down a steep gully and slipsliding down a scree slope. I found a great upland forest trail that led me to the above scree slope and from that angle I could easily see the tracks in the limestone scree I couldn’t before.
It can be rather unnerving traversing the scree if you haven’t a head for heights. Luckily, I had a walking stick – not one of those fancypants hitech poles, although I intend to get one – but a handy length of an Ash tree branch that I found in the forest and which I whittled with my penknife. I was amazed at how much it is easier to walk on dodgy shifting ground with a stick! I returned, not over Llwytmor this time, but via the North Wales Coastal path until it hovered over Aber vilage and then a steep downhill track. A fine walk taking in three waterfalls and stunning views of both the mountains and looking north, the Irish Sea, Anglesey and Puffin Island.
Back in the village, my legs and feet protested at the walk back to my Llanfairfechan starting point so I waited at the newish bus stop. I hate waiting. I read a Cycling World I’d brought with me and ambled about thinking of where my Xaghra’s Revenge subplots were taking me. After another 10 minutes I gave up and walked to Llanfair… The problem is that the footpath, and cycle path is actually alongside the busy motorway-like A55 coastal road. When I saw where a large vehicle must have ploughed across my path and dug up much of the grassy embankment I hobbled as fast as possible until the path digressed away from the dual carriageway. A bus rumbled up behind me and I waved at it. The driver said because of roadworks the Aber village has no buses at present from West to East!
A shock met me back at the Chester railway station. A note was pinned to my bicycle and someone had stolen my panniers! The note said: ” Sorry for the inconvenience. Your panniers have been removed for security reasons and are in the station supervisors office. They are in breach of the station security policy. ” Umm, did they really mean to say that the supervisors are in breach? Hah. No, my fault. I usually ride my mountain bike to the station but this time rode my road bike and forgot to remove the panniers first. As I retrieved my bike and received a righteous ticking off to which I mumbled my apologies, I asked: “I don’t suppose your office is bombproof?” His look showed me he didn’t follow – bags, panniers = bomb containers. The reason why they shouldn’t be abandoned? Doh. The penny dropped… hah. Still my fault though.