CW Day 12 : Commins Coch to Waen Oer

Made an early start from the excellent camping spot just before Commins Coch. Slept through from 22h00 to 05h00 when i was woken by the dawn chorus.

Underway at 07h05. The signed path off the forestry track (which is where I'd camped) is pretty overgrown but you can follow it down to come out by a house. The later path to the main road and bridge across the river seems okay to find and use. There is a new house build here which might have helped. and got a call from Sophie as I was pulling up the hill out of Commins Coch, which was great and got me going for the day. The route joined a section of the Glyndwr Way again but soon it was back to the route mark free joys of The Cambrian Way.

Cambrian Way Day 12
Waymarking, but for the Glyndwr Way

As well as a physical challenge it can be very much argued that a long distance walk like the Cambrian Way is very much a mental challenge. There are 3 areas in which have an impact of the well being: planning/logistics, navigational and the motivational point of view it keeps your brain working all day. Maybe this is an aspect that I and others find alluring.

Other walks may not have these challenges and for many this would be good. Looking at the waymarks you could probably do the Glyndwr Way without a map and the risk of getting really lost is removed.

Another mental challenge is solving the myriad of puzzles set by farmers when tying gates shut. As well as complex knots undertaken in bailer twine, I did see one gate with bootlaces during the day, and one with a knot complex enough for me to resort to climbing the gate. Another gate was tied up with knotted barbed wire. Maybe more than a subliminal message here from the farmer.

Cambrian Way Day 12
The wind farm on Mynnyd Cemmaes

Across Mynnyd Cemmaes and its wind farm which was straight forward as like most you'll use the access road rather the bridleway. The route finding after this okay but the route is a convulted zig zag across the map on bridleways through forestry and boggy ground. After lenty of climbing in the morning so nice to see myself contouring round on a green lane eventually im Mallwyd at 12h15.

Cambrian Way Day 12
The great track into Mallwyd

Stopped in cafe at the petrol station for sausage and chips as well as tea and of all things a can of Shandy Bass. I'd been having visions of a tin of fruit cocktail during the morning, so nipped into the shop next door and picked one up. Not the lightest item but it was going a treat at the end of the day.

Wanted to push on into Dinas Mawddwy and I'd not seen the note of the missing footbridge, but from the Mill I'd just headed up the main road as the footpath towards the bridge seemed obstructed anyway. Note on the website is here.

Cambrian Way Day 12
Blocked (?) footpath towards the absent footbridge in Dinas Mawddwy

Spent a pleasant sitting hour outside Yr Hen Siop writing up notes and drinking tea (superb Earl Grey) and a strawberry milkshake, also excellent.

Cambrian Way Day 12
Outside Yr Hen Siop in Dinas Mawddwy

Being on the walk hasn't made me more tolerant of people who have a penchant on expressing opinions to complete stangers, which in many cases are wrong. Forgotten the Bertrand Russell quote for now but its about how less knowledgeable people can bluster their way through whilst the clever people are full of doubt probably as a result of their analytical abilities. [1]

Now, I'm guilty of a bit of bluster and bullshit to get what I want but I do also have the self doubt and awareness of how my opinion might be different or incorrect. As you get older, I hope you have a sensitivity on how others might feel and react to your comments. That said life might have been better for me in my 20's when I didn't really care about consequences.

The reason for these comments were as a result of watching and listening two people occupy a ridiculous amount looking to engage in conversation on items only of interest to themselves. Interesting for the observer; you want to know what people have to say or what they think, but in return you want to contribute.

Cambrian Way Day 12
The track from Dinas Mawddwy and up to Maesglase

Away at 14h30 and the initial steep steps on the climb out to Maesglase and you get a feel for proper mountains again after the lesser heights of the previous 4-5 days. Th Like many Cambrian Way paths, its not well trodden and you sense walking in the area is focused on Cadair Idris rather than the eastern part of the ridge. That said, a path is a path and by now the Cambrian Way walkers hankers after any section which isn't marked as undefined.

Got to the top of Maesglase at 16h40 and continued along the ridge with a stop for 30 minutes in the sun at Craig Portas. For those wishing to shorten the section into Barmouth, there are some good bivi spots here (also at the bwlch before Craig Maesglace). I'd carried up 2 litres of water and after the stream for the waterfall at Maesglace there isn't anything else. Up Waen Oer for 18h15 and thought about a stop there but finaly chose a spot 15 minutes further a long with views of Cadair and out to the Rhinogs. Not perfect, but the winds were relatively light as they were shifting from the east to the north.

Cambrian Way Day 12
Camp spot just beyond Waen Oer

Cambrian Way Day 12
In the proper mountains now; looking east towards Cadair Idris

The tin of fruit cocktail was great and worth the carry. It had been a long day, but again the weather had been good and the going relatively quick in the morning. Making the most of the weather and your own energy seem to be important factors. I don't feel I'm rushing things, but seem to press on the mornings and take a more leisurely approach in the afternoons.

Cambrian Way Day 12
Pure heaven after a day on the trail. For some strange reason I carried the empty tin for Bryn Gwynant as forgot to chuck the rubbish in Barmouth

Distance : 35.43km / 22.01 miles
Walking Time : 9h01
Stopped Time : 3h03
Moving pace : 3.9 / 2.42 mph slow but a lot of ascent before and after lunch

[1] "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts."

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