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Coasts, Ski Hills, Summits and Castles

Monday, July 22, 2013 @ 08:28 pm from Wales Wales
Day 26

When I got into town yesterday and saw how amazing the scenery was, I knew I had to spend today covering as much of it on foot as possible. When I was checking it last night, the weather was looking pretty sketchy for today (70% chance of rain and thunderstorms) so I decided I'd get an early start and try to cover as much ground as possible before any rain hit.

I made a quick stop by Sainsbury's to pick up some bread and ham for lunch and then set out for the Great Orme mountain to the west side of Llandudno. There was a little confusion about where the trail actually started but eventually I figured it out. I worked my way up past a ski area (yes, they actually have a ski area here!) and up to some amazing views. Along the way I passed by St. Tudno's Church that has a huge cemetery overlooking the ocean.

From there, the summit of Great Orme was visible and a pretty dauntingly steep climb, but I powered through and went straight up the grassy side without relying on any switchbacks. The views from the top were great. Unfortunately it was rather hazy so I couldn't see too far, but on clear days you can see the Isle of Man 57 miles off the coast.

I'd take haze over rain though. It was about 9:45 now and the skies still looked pretty good. The storms they were calling for weren't making themselves apparent yet. Seeing Conwy in the distance got me thinking... It's only 4 miles (as the crow flies) to Conwy and the castle/city walls. Should I go for it?

Yes, the answer was yes. I could see a hike along the beach that would take me all the way to Conwy. That was reassuring since walking along the roads here seems like a death trap. There's no shoulder at all and what they have as a two lane road should really be a one-way. I'm still amazed at how there aren't more accidents.

While I was descending the mountain to the beach I passed a group of goats grazing along the cliff faces. I snapped some photos and carried on. When I made it to the beach I found some shaded benches and sat there for a bit to eat lunch and enjoy some views of the Wales coastline.

The walk from Llandudno to Conwy was nice. There was a nice path that switched between sand, pavement and gravel. It was about 5 miles along this path to Conwy. After rounding a bend along the path I could see Conwy across the harbor. The castle was on the left and the old town on the right. Surrounding Conwy are the old town walls that you can hike along.

There were some really great viewpoints of the castle from the path and road so I had fun taking some photos. I went up to see how much admission was and it was 5.60 pounds... a little more than I wanted to pay. Instead I found the city wall and hiked around that. I think the city wall offered better views than the crowded castle would have anyway.

By now I was probably about 8 or 9 miles into the hike and was feeling the heat and humidity from the day. I figured it was probably time to head back to Llandudno so I made my way along the beachfront path back to town. When I got back to town I bought some fresh fruit and enjoyed it by the beach. It was about 2:30 by now so I came back to the hostel to shower. Along the way I passed by a book shop offering some cheap books so I picked up a new book for 2 pounds. I figure that will give me something to do tomorrow when I'm bumming it around the beach.

The shower felt fantastic, especially since I had my hiking pants on since I thought it was supposed to be colder and rainy. Turns out the rain never came so I headed down to the beach to read and relax for a few hours until I was ready for dinner.

For dinner I picked up some chow mein noodles from the grocery and came back to the hostel to heat it up. I enjoyed it with a cider and some bread before sitting down to answer emails and work on this blog post.

If tomorrow is another day like today, I think I'm going to head down to the beach and relax there. My legs got a pretty good workout today so a relaxing day wouldn't be too bad.

I've been constantly amazed by Llandudno and how chill of a city it is. If the weather was consistently good like it has been lately, it would definitely be on the top of my places to recommend people visit on vacation.
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Hiking up the Great Orme
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St. Tudnos Church
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Hello Goats
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Conwy Castle

Where I've been:

Good Evening… Planet Earth
All the countries I visited on this trip (in yellow).

What's this about?

Traveling is something I've loved doing for as long as I can remember. I've been lucky enough to travel out of the US a few times but never longer than 2 weeks at a time. I decided that I should go see the world and experience all it has to offer. I booked a one-way ticket to Dublin, Ireland to depart on June 26, 2013. After I get to Europe I'll let serendipity take hold and see where I end up. No schedules and no itinerary… just go with the flow. That's as close to a plan as I'm making.

Who am I?

My name's Brandon O'Brien and I'm a travelholic. Before this journey I've been to 11 countries and put over 17,500 miles on various motorcycle trips through the USA and Canada. I'm a self-employed web developer so I'm fortunate enough to be able to work anywhere there's an internet connection. That's what truly made this experience possible.


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