A grey dawn, turning to rain. Wet weather gear on, we head out of Aberdyfi off passing the Literary Institute on the right, turning sharply uphill to the left at the point where it says Araf/Slow on the road. The climb and steps are quite steep, but the views over the town and harbour is worth the breathless effort.
Leaving Aberdyfi behind, bear right onto the quarry road, and before you know it you are heading left up the gorse covered Cefn Rhos, passing a stream heading uphill.
It has been raining heavily, the fields are pretty churned up, the cattle stare down at us from their vantage point on the hill, probably wondering what on earth we were doing there in such weather!
Go through a gate to the left of the farm yard and barn. We are now making good time along the road above Cwm Maethlon – Happy Valley. The rain has turned to a steady drizzle, but well worth pausing to enjoy the view.
We reach the slate marker for Carn March Arthur -legend has it that Llamrai -King Arthur’s horse left a hoof print while dragging a monster (Afanc) out of the nearby lake.
The tracks across the moors become quite rutted and filled with water – in an effort to avoid getting wet over our boots we steered off the path only to find it harder to cross the boggy terrain. This was Lucy’s first baptism by Bog, which necessitated a change of clothing when we got to firmer ground.
The sign posting is great – an easy walk passing a felled forest wood eventually reaching the main road – crossing over to Cefn Crib caravan Park.
This is where it all went horribly wrong. A car was parked in a gateway – little did we know that behind that car was a low lying sign for the coast path. We missed it and continued down a track, and with no other sign in sight we followed the green and yellow signs through mud, and bog and unfortunately a wooden bridge had been blocked off because it was rotten – so there was no way of crossing over to continue our way to Plas Talgarth. Another half dozen Bog baptisms and a dip in the river before we made it into the main road.
We were so grateful to Deilwen at Gogarth Hall Farm holidays who took pity on us, made us a cup of tea and called us a taxi. Thank the Lord for kind people.
Needless to say, we didn’t reach Machynlleth but after a peaceful evening and a couple of glasses of wine we completed the walk the following morning. Next day, the dawn was bright and beautiful – Storm Brian had disappeared and we decided to walk back from Machynlleth towards Cefn Crib caravan Park where we went horribly wrong the previous day!
Passed the Gothic clock tower we went enjoying the sunshine, across Dovey Bridge turning left and then a right, up a lane unsuitable for heavy vehicles. It is a steep climb, but the autumn colours and the view from the top was well worth the effort.
Right turn off the lane and the climb continues to the crest of the hill then down through a forest path until we reach a forestry road. Turning left, We were glad of the shade as it was getting a little bit warm climbing up the hill – walking in the shade of the forest cooled us down .
This walk was well signposted, we stopped at Pennal to take in the church and gardens dedicated to the Princes of Gwynedd. The neatly arranged gravestones gave insights into the social history of the area. We decided to walk along the main road to Cefn Crib , not taking any chances with getting lost