Nearly every walk I’ve done around Aberdovey has been a riotous success, but on Saturday it all went slightly wrong in spite of the stunning sunshine. I was trying to scope out a route to another hillfort. I had already made the mistake of crossing a footpath through a field that turned out to be very boggy, so ended up with soggy socks and damp jeans, before turning onto a single track road for a couple of kilometers. Its hedges were so high that I couldn’t see much of the scenery and when I turned onto the footpath it was so overgrown with brambles that it was a struggle to get anywhere. There were a few nice flowers, including toadflax, lots of honeysuckle and a few late foxgloves, and a couple of damselflies and dragonflies, but otherwise it was just a fight against the increasingly vigorous thorny tendrils so eventually, when they were knee-high and seriously impeding progress, I gave up. Fortunately I was in jeans rather than my usual shorts, which saved my legs, but it was disappointing. There’s another approach that I’ll try on another day. I decided to return home, stopping first at the beach outside the crush in Aberdovey itself, parking up opposite the cemetery.
As I crossed the dunes and walked across the grey pebbles down onto the beach, the sight was rather bizarre – facing towards Aberdovey it looked as though several lines of humans in the distance, in silhouette, were moving in slow motion towards me. It was slightly eerie, shades of zombie invasion movies. Fortunately, they were just out to enjoy the sunshine, like me. There was a vintage RAF propeller plane overhead. Many thanks to Hugh Tyrrell for responding to my request for information about it. He says that it is a restored Avro Anson from Sleap airfield in Shropshire, painted in D Day colours. It is owned by a aviation enthusiast who takes passengers for local trips. This time he was further away from home and was probably flying back after visiting Llanbedr. It was a really marvellous sight, with a very distinctive engine sound. An elegant visitor and a contrast to the super-fast jets that we often have roaring overhead around here, also rather fascinating in their own particular way.