Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Aber Falls

Yesterday, as I was walking down from the hills, trying to stay on the trail, which sometimes was a path barely the width of my body with nowhere to go on either side because to the left was a stone wall and to the right was a huge thicket of stickery bushes, I finally came to a clearing near a small sheep farm, which was surrounded by meadows with a few houses in sight. I had no idea in which direction I was supposed to go to get to the town, although it was clear that I was getting close, so I wandered around the meadow for a few minutes, and then noticed that there was a woman hanging her washing in the back yard of one of the houses. As happened at every point (4 times) yesterday when I was out on those hills and not sure which way to turn, there was someone I could ask. I saw literally fewer than a dozen people while hiking for five hours yesterday, but half of those times when someone did cross my path, it was just at the right moment. I walked over and asked directions into the town which she very nicely gave, and then, noticing my American accent, she asked where I was from, and when I said Seattle, she told me that one of her friends who is Irish, just moved to Seattle! We ended up chatting for about 15 minutes - the people I have met on this trip have been so nice! Of course there were the folks whose homes I stayed in - Julie and Matt in Doolin were fantastic as were Con and Angela in Dingle; Here in Wales I'm with Hilary and her daughter Zoe, who have been so nice to me -- all the BnB folks have been great, but there was also Susan whom I met because I was sitting next to her on the bus into Dublin, she made sure I knew how to get where I was going once I got off the bus; there was the guy who was working as a caretaker at the church with the stained glass windows in Dingle, we talked about the high cost of college in the U.S. (random...); there was the German lady and her son whom I met at breakfast in Waterford, they shared their peanut butter with me; and yesterday there was Julie on the outskirts of Llanfairfechan who pointed me into town, has a friend in Seattle, and who during the course of our conversation, suggested I got to Aber Falls today, which is in a nearby village west of Penmaenmawr, so I took the bus there today and had another great walk.

After the falls, I took the bus to Conwy, which is east of Penmaenmawr, and is a medieval walled village; I walked around there for a while, had a cappuccino and some carrot cake, and took the bus back to Penmaenmawr. I definitely feel like I did a good job of exploring this bit of Welsh coastline, a place I ended up in for no other reason that it was a spot on the train line with what looked like a nice place to stay, and which put me between Dublin and Liverpool, where I'm headed tomorrow.