Day 1: Prestatyn to Bodfari

Thursday, October 1st

I slept quite well and woke up around 5am. At 7am I went for a look in the breakfast room where Swan spotted me and made me porridge (on my request). After saying my good-byes I was ready to hit the Path at 7:45. As I walked around the cottage to the front I heard emails and messages come in on my phone. Turned out the wifi was much better at the front of the house. I took a little time to send some messages to Stephen. He’d sent me a message showing that spot worked the previous night.

About 5 mins later I actually started walking.

Very shortly after leaving Prestatyn the Path started ascending into the Bryn Prestatyn Hillside. Nice brisk start to the day! It leveled out after that. In Prestatyn proper the weather was clear and sunny that morning. As I got higher up into hills there was fog, but of the nice kind: not too cold and wet, but rather cool and just a tad moist – just the way I like my fog! Very pleasant actually. Soon I encountered my first styles (wooden planks/steps to allow walkers to climb over fences) and started navigating through fields and pastures and country lanes. The waymarking was excellent the whole day.

Leaving Rhuallt I almost missed a marker, but the direction I took immediately felt wrong (along a road), so I checked my gps and then spotted the said marker. Back up into the hills, through fields with cattle, sheep and horses – I didn’t have any issues. The weather was still quite foggy so no real views yet. I entered the foothills of the Clwydian Range and had to climb a few steep hills. Then I reached Sodom (I so wanted to see a sign with that but there wasn’t one) and shortly after I veered off the Path to the left to Llety R Eos Ucha, my accommodation for the night. It was 1:50pm. My bag was already there. As required I’d rang them the night before with an ETA (I’d given between 2 and 3pm). There was no answer when I rang both numbers so I’d left a message. I got comfy on a wooden chair on the porch. When 3pm came and went without anyone showing up I made several more calls to both numbers; again no one answered so I left a few messages. Around 4pm, Ian, the proprietor arrived. I was about to ring Contours to see what the back-up strategy would be…. I was a tad annoyed, but Ian was so nice and charming and apologetic that my annoyance melted away rapidly.

After a shower I contemplated walking down into Bodfari to the pub for dinner, but I couldn’t be bothered… I’d have to walk back up afterwards. I had enough food left over from lunch to tide me over for the evening and night till breakfast.

As expected I struggled quite bit specially on the uphills, but I still made good time. My worry was my ankles: they were quite bruised and I didn’t look forward to putting my boots back on the next morning. But somehow I didn’t think that my lighter walking shoes would do for the Clwydian Hills the next day. I’d had this happen before with these boots, but only once and shortly after I’d bought them, on a 2-day hike. These boots got me around the Annapurna Circuit and to Everest basecamp and back without issues. I had to wait and see what the next day would bring.

Unfortunately there was no internet at Llety R Eos Ucha so no live updates on the blog or facebook. Stephen and I exchanged a few cell phone messages so that was nice.

I read up on the route for the next day: The Clwydian Hills – that will be quite the challenge.

I was quite tired and hit the hay at 7:50pm.

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Leaving Plas Ifan in Prestatyn.
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My first of many many stiles.
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Waiting for the proprietors of Llety’r-Eos-Ucha to turn up.