A short amble about Yr Eifl12th December 2022
One trip often inspires another, and my visit to the Llŷn Peninsula was another example of this, following on from another to Barmouth. One motivation was to have travelled the entire length of the Cambrian Coast railway line, while another was to visit Yr Eifl after seeing it featured in various magazine route descriptions over the years.
My plan had been to catch a bus from Pwllheli to Llithfaen and walk around Yr Eifl before returning to Pwllheli on foot. That did not happen for various reasons, though indecisiveness on my part affected my traipsing around Yr Eifl.
Firstly, there was the fact that this is a long rail journey so that limited how much time I had available, especially with an arrival time after 13:00 after an early start from Macclesfield. The Sunday timetable was poor for much of the year as well, which meant that weekend stays are not supported as they might be elsewhere. Thus, I wanted to avoid getting marooned.
This was another hot day, and my progress may have been slower than it would have been on a cooler one. Of course, there might have been an element of underestimation in the time needed to get to the main top of Yr Eifl anyway. When this is put together with a fear of getting marooned on a Welsh extremity, cautiousness was bound to intrude.
Given the time strictures, I set off out of Llithfaen without delay, not that there was much there to hold me anyway. Its only shop had shut for the day in what felt like a very sleepy place. Thus, this was going to be one of the quieter strolls that I ever have done. It was a case of following the lane by Tynyparc and getting out onto the open hillside, where there are many paths, for this is access land. Rights of way are my normal preference, so I followed one past Caergribin before following a less formal path uphill to the summit with views of Mynydd Carnguwch and Cardigan Bay behind me.
Views of the eastern top of Yr Eifl were to distract me on the way up to the main summit. Even among the stony slopes, walls could be seen on the eastern top. These are the remains of the Tre’r Ceiri Hillfort, a sign that these hills have been frequented by humanity since antiquity. Further to the east, there were other hills to be seen once enough height had been gained. This collection includes Moel-Pen-llechog, Gyrn Ddu, Gyrn Goch and Bwlch Mawr. These take up more land area than where I was and might be worth exploring at some point, assuming a return to the area. The scene was beginning to feel more suggestive of being in more immersive hill country, especially with the hills of Snowdonia in the background.
On reaching the main summit, I was greeted by a trig point with the number four added to the top. The letters A and H were added as well, so I wondered if they were the initials of whoever did this. The drop to the sea on the other side is sobering, yet it has not escaped quarrying. Thankfully, I do not recall seeing much in the way of gouges into the landscape, but that might be a different story if I was following the Wales Coast Path, since that gets closer to these active and inactive workings.
My next moves were the subject of some internal debate given time constraints. Visiting the old ramparts of Tre’r Ceiri might have been a no-brainer if it were not for other considerations. Whether I had yet to reject the idea of walking back to Pwllheli or not remains an open question for me now, but I descended to the B4417 in any case. After that, I walked back to Llithfaen again. Traffic was light, and I do know that my mind was set on caution because I caught the next bus back to Pwllheli with time to spare before the next train.
That train was delayed, so I got to spend more time in Pwllheli than I had expected. The delay was heavy, so there was a real risk of missing my connection at Wolverhampton, but I got home that night anyway. Timing concerns mean that it was not the most relaxing of journeys, even with some bright evening sunshine to distract me. The trouble with this section of the British rail network is that much of it is single-track. Thus, a delay to one train can affect others, so there can be all sorts of knock-on effects. In this case, it might have been a passenger falling ill that was the cause of all the trouble. At least, that is what I seem to remember being told when I tried to claim compensation using the Delay Repay scheme.
Even among any qualms, I still began to muse a little over future possibilities. The idea of using Porthmadog as a base appealed to me, possibly because bus connections could address the lack of trains for returning after a weekend getaway. However, a recent look at the train timetable suggests that the Sunday timetable has improved. If so, spending more time near Pwllheli becomes plausible. What I gained was a brief taste of good things, and there are other possibilities in these parts. The railway also serves several access points for other hill walking routes. A bit of advance planning could yield its rewards.
A return train journey between Macclesfield and Pwllheli, followed by a return bus journey between Pwllheli and Llithfaen.
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