SUNDAY 28th May 2017

Hendre & Halkyn Mountain Leader Peter Simpson  Grade 3  9 miles

start 0830 hrs.


Peter's blog--20th May 2017

Prestatyn Walking Festival

Offa's Dyke Challenge--a 21 mile walk from Bwlch Penbarras to Prestatyn

As part of the Prestatyn Walking Festival the PRC agreed to lead this walk along the Offa's Dyke Path.  Thus  we 23 walkers including 10 PRC members, and also including two 13 year-old girls ( accompanied by their mothers), found ourselves boarding a minibus at 7-30 am in Prestatyn  to be taken to Bwlch Penbarras. We arrived there at 8-30 to begin the 21 mile trek back to Prestatyn, following the Offa's Dyke Path all the way.

The weather was dry when we set out, but as we reached the Jubilee Tower on the summit of Moel Famau it started to rain. Waterproofs were put on, and we posed for a group photo.

The ODP  more or less follows the ridge line over Moel Dywyll,  Moel Llys y Coed, and Moel Arthur.  After descending Moel Arthur there was time for a coffee stop before we continued up Penycloddiau.  There are remains of ancient hill forts and other structures on these hills, but while doing a 21 mile trek you don't really have time to stop and appreciate them.

As we came down Penycloddiau the rain became intermittent, but we still kept our waterproofs on.  By now the views were improving as the clouds lifted.

At Bodfari Hugh and Jacquie were waiting for us by the A541 in case anyone needed more water.

We then had to tackle the steep ascent from Bodfari , first up a lane ,and then up a field. It never seems to get any easier!

We had a welcome stop for lunch at the top of this ascent. The views were getting better.

We then had to go up the steep lane by Sodom to cross over the Cefn Du and carry on along the ODP to  where it descends near Treimerchion.

Hugh and Jacquie met us again just above Rhuallt with more water.

At his stage none of us were looking forward to the next section, which included the long (seemingly never-ending) ascent from  Rhuallt. After we all got up there the route levelled out as we progressed. The best part about the ascent was that it had stopped raining and we could take off our waterproofs.

Hugh met us again at Marian Cwm.

Later, as  we crossed the Marian Ffrith , the sea at Prestatyn came into view, so we knew the end was in sight.

The "sting in the tail" came as we passed above Meliden and came to the steep rocky part of the path above Bishops' Wood on the Prestatyn Hillside. After 20 miles of walking it was a challenge, but we all made it.

Then we just had to make our way down the Hillside-with good views- until we reached the town. The walk ended officially at the High Street after exactly 10 hours of walking, but commendably the two 13 year-olds and their mothers carried on down to the sea at the Nova, where the ODP ends. Well done girls!

Thank you to Mike and Aled for leading us. Thank you also to Hugh and Jacquie for providing the back-up.  We will all have to do it again next year when we hope for better weather!

Peter Simpson




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