Sunday 29th April  2018

Walk 1   Bodfari and the Vale of Clwyd.    8 miles. Grade 3 Start  09.00 hrs.


Roberts` blog re Peter`s walk from Bodfari


A walk from Bodfari was originally to be led by David but as he was unwell, Peter kindly stepped into the breach and produced this alternative route.


Ten members met at the usual place in Bodfari on this slightly chilly spring morning.


The first part of the route followed quiet minor roads leading past Moel Y Gaer and towards Moel Y Glyn.  All around, nature was beginning to burst into life with the singing of birds and the arrival of a new growth of plants and flowers.  The hedgerows were especially rich with sorrel, cowslips, daffodils, bluebells, honesty, violets, wood anemone and others identified by Judith.  A green mist of leaf was apparent in the trees, as they woke up from their long sleep.  The walking was easy and relaxed and height was steadily gained, and in the absence of stiles, bog or rocks, people could chat and take in the views.  In one part of the woods there seemed to be a vast sea of wild garlic with trees rising from it.


We arrived at a spot for morning coffee with views across the Aber Wheeler valley visible - afforded because of recently cut trees that had once lined the road.  Bananas seemed to be a popular snack and it almost seemed that an impromptu banana club had formed, with a line of eaters happily munching away.


As we approached a farm known as Penucha our route took us steadily downhill and passed an abandoned weighbridge.  This area has some large sand quarries and it looked as if this had once been used to assess the loads.


A short walk along the main road took us to the turn-off to Pandy cottage and the woods [Coed Nant y Wrach] leading to Moel Y Parc.  The path was narrow and followed the gorge until we arrived at the woods end, where Peter suggested a lunch stop - this being the last sheltered place before the moorland of the mountain.  An unhurried lunch was enjoyed before the last sustained climb was made to the summit.  To our left the large transmitting mast dominated, and its top was intermittently shrouded in mist.  It is 771 foot high and an orange gondola was near its base indicating the mode of access to the mast.  This must be a sobering ride at the best of times.


A summit photo was taken of the group of happy walkers who has just been admiring the very good views from this place which is 1306 foot high.  We could see across to the Pennines beyond Liverpool, and the Beeston hill was clear.  Then across towards the Denbigh Moors and through rolling showers the Carneddau Mountains could just be glimpsed.  We thought of our friends who had accompanied Amanda to do a "reconnaissance in force" of a strenuous walk in these mountains entailing tricky navigation in the mist, and which may hopefully feature in the Summer program.


We descended the mountain to meet the Offa`s Dyke path near to Fron Haul before turning towards Grove Hall.  The ground seems to be nicely drying up here and the walking was easy.


Tea and cake was taken at the Tweedmill Café.  Peter gave instructions so as to avoid navigational errors through the store and all found the correct place.


This walk was approx. 8.5 miles and had 2200 foot of ascent which is no "walkover".    Everyone had a good time and we were lucky with the weather.  We all had time to take in the views and sense the new life which spring brings.  So thanks to Peter for leading this varied walk at short notice.