Travelling up on the Tuesday I was a little concerned in regards to the weather. Rain and possibly heavy for the afternoon. Sure enough, it was raining when I arrived in Harlech. Drizzly, all pervading dampness. The hills where blanketed in thick cloud and even at sea level mist was drifting on the rising wind.
The path out of Harlech is up, very much so. It was something, given my lack of fitness, that had been bothering me. From previous experience I knew parts of the path rose steeply. Encased in waterproofs, it was a slow, hot and sticky plod. The path leads through old and mature native woodland. Thick mist shrouding the area certainly gave it atmosphere. It was not until I climbed above the woods that I realised how bad the weather was turning. The wind had noticeably strengthened and was driving heavy rain across the hillsides. The path leads through the camp site at Merthyr Farm. It was an easy choice, given the circumstances, to stop at the camp site. As camp sites go it is not a bad one. Reasonably priced with free showers and fairly quiet. It rained for the best part of the night with heavy squalls at times that rattled the tent.
Wednesday morning was dull and grey but at least it had stopped raining. With plan A scrapped I was now on plan B. It was deliberately a late start from the camp site . Mainly to allow things to dry out a tad.
Thus it was by early Wednesday afternoon I had set up camp and was sitting snug. later the mist descended once more, bringing with it fine drizzly rain. Later this was interspersed with heavy, squally showers. The rain continued through the night in to Thursday morning. Surveying the situation on the Thursday morning it really did not make sense to move on until the weather cleared a bit. Everything was wrapped in fog and the rain still persisted. It was time to think of a plan D. This meant a day of enforced idleness and much tea drinking, that and a spot of reading.
Early Friday morning saw the early mist gradually lifting and hazy sunshine breaking through. As much as I was itching to be away, time had to be spent drying the sodden tent out a bit. The mist and heavy dew had soaked everything. By now I think I was on plan E. Anyways, I had a plan, even if it only involved a short walk. A walk was what I needed and a walk I was going to have.
Retracing my way up the track to a footpath that leads off, heading over toward a track that comes up from Moel Glo. Here the way on is a well defined land rover track that leads up to Llyn Eiddew Bach. Pleasant, gentle walking. An added bonus was that I was now walking in sunshine, wonderful!
The track runs out at the Llyn, it is obviously a popular area for fishing. There is a continuing footpath and I wandered up that a short way but curbed my enthusiasm. There is though, some fantastic places around there that invite further exploration.
Much of the ground is very wet in this region, although wild camping is feasible finding a dry spot would take a bit of searching.
Rather than just retrace my footsteps down the way I had come, I followed a path around the Llyn and across to another, less well defined track which offered some lovely walking and this eventually rejoined the track I had previously come up.
There is another fairly well defined path that runs around the hill below Llyn y Fedw and passes below the hill fort of Moel Goedog. Obviously a popular walk, I met six people on the way around. My aim once more was for the camp site at Merthyr Farm. With a train to catch from Harlech mid morning there was little option. The black art of ticket pricing is beyond the ken of a mere mortal such as I. The later train, which I would have preferred, was almost twice the price, bizarre? It had not been a lot of miles, probably between eight or nine miles. However, I had managed to put in a few miles and had a pleasant days walking.
Saturday morning was a downhill gentle stroll back to Harlech train station. At least this time I could enjoy the pleasant walk through the woods. The wood is situated on steep hillside and largely unmanaged which is all the better for it. Gnarled old ash and oaks, rowan, birch, mosses and ferns, honeysuckle too. A lovely, natural woodland.