Saturday, January 11, 2020

Festive Fairbourne

Once the excesses of Wigilia, Christmas Day and Boxing Day were consumed it was time to head off in search of adventure and some gentle exercise. A small group of us rented a cottage in Fairbourne at the mouth of the Mawddach estuary in North Wales.

After settling in to our accommodation we began to explore the local area for a short walk. From Penmaenpool Andy and I crossed the toll bridge and took the steep path up through the woods to the Precipice Walk. The views over the Mawddach Estuary are spectacular!

On the following day, having got our bearings we decided to head up into the valleys for a canoe adventure on the river Dyfi. We started near Aberangell and we were soon weaving our way along tree-lined river banks and between beams of golden winter sunlight. Its a pleasant and easy paddle with gentle rapids and views of the broad valley beyond.

Another day brought on more exploration of the area around Fairbourne and Barmouth. We made our way along the coast path towards the timber rail and footbridge that leads across the Mawddach Estuary to Barmouth. This bridge is a popular crossing. People seem to come from miles around to experience this pilgrimage. The beach and the shops at Barmouth were busy for a winter's day and I wondered if I had got the seasons wrong somehow.

Our route back took us along the Mawddach Trail and away from the crowds. It was nice to finish the day on the wild side enjoying what nature has to show at this time of year.

For most of our stay the weather has been mild but the strong winds kept us off the sea. Eventually on New Year's Eve the wind dropped and we set of on a dawn raid on the Mawddach Estuary. We laughed soon after sunrise on the shore opposite Barmouth and took the flood tide north to Penmaenpool. At times we had to be cunning to dodge the sandbanks but it was worth it for the views up the valley in the morning sunlight. After snacks and mulled wine we made our return to Fairbourne with ease helped by the wind on our backs.

After a hearty New Year's Eve supper washed down with a generous glug of wine we headed off to the beach to see in 2020 with a beach bonfire and the waves crashing beneath our feet.

I'd like to express my thanks to Chris, Dawn, Andy and Michelle for their company on this wonderful festive trip!

1 comment:

Chris said...

And thanks to Jim for his company, too. An excellent few days.