Yesterday was the perfect autumn day, with blue skies, a golden sun and a light breeze. Idyllic. I took a shoulder bag and a happy heart and headed up to the top of Aberdovey, walking past Tyddyn Rhys Y Gardair Farm and turning on to the Panorama Walk, part of the Wales Coast Path. It was one of those days that not only makes you feel good to be alive, but overjoyed to be human. The views, the sounds, the feel of the breeze on skin, the different aromas and some lovely juicy blackberries – all five senses are engaged. The joys of landscape and seascape, of colours, textures, shapes, of the underlying geology and geomorphology, the flowers, animals and birds that interact with it, of simply being there – those are all thanks to being sentient. A comforting thought.
I set out in the ugliest but most comfortable hiking trainers ever. They are designed for road work and tracks, not rough terrain, and as hideous as they are, they are seriously suited for the job. It was never my intention to go as far as Bearded Lake / Llyn Barfog, and I only walked to the turn off for the Happy Valley car park, about an hour each way if I hadn’t stopped to pick blackberries at the start and end of the walk, as well as stopping frequently to take photos. In the event it took me two and a half hours there and back. I am up to my ears in DIY and had done a couple of hours in the morning and wanted to be back in time to do another batch in the afternoon. The bliss of living just 2 minutes from the start of the walk means that I can just drop everything and go. The circular panorama walk that takes in Bearded Lake is next on my list, but the walk to the end of the road and back was absolutely stunning, simply wonderful. I had it almost to myself. I ran into two small groups of walkers, and a lady who was giving her daughter a shoulder-ride, which looked like hard work, and four or five cars passed me, but other than that I was in splendid isolation.
The blackberries are in the fridge. My father is coming to visit, so I have bought dressed crab from Dai’s Shed and some inch-thick lamb chops from the Aberdovey Butcher, and we are having the chops with a blackberry sauce, whatever vegetables he brings from his garden, and sautéed potatoes. I find spring lamb fairly tasteless, but the big flavourful lamb at this time of year is delicious.
To enjoy the Panorama Walk using Aberdovey as a starting point, turn into Chapel Square, go straight up Copper Hill Street, take the second turn on the right, which takes you into Mynydd Isaf. At the top of the road turn left and follow the road to a junction, and turn right. From there follow the single track lane all the way. The path is clearly marked. You can walk or drive. You will cross several cattle grids, and if you are driving you will need to stop to open a gate at one point. Other than that, keep an eye open for passing places and when you reach the end of the metalled road you can either park and do the walk to Bearded Lake, or turn around and go back. If you are walking, don’t forget to look behind you at the views over Cardigan Bay and the estuary, and do look out for wild flowers in the hedges and verges. You can also start from a Snowdonia National Park car park in Happy Valley (click here for details on the xxx website).