Day 5 was the spare day which resulted in a short walk of 7.2km with 17 mtrs ascent and 256 mtrs descent.
I awoke on day 5 to the sounds of heavy rain, or at least it sounded heavy from within the tent! 🙂
As with all my recent plans, the last day is a spare day with very little to do. In this case it was just a short 7km hike downhill to Llanfairfechan. These ‘spare’ days provide me with a degree of flexibility during a walk and help take up the slack of any delays incurred on earlier days.
The primary aim for today was to get to Llanfairfechan’s railway station by 1010. However, I had jeopardised this by waking up later than planned. If I missed the train I would be stuck with a two hour wait!
To help ensure that this didn’t happen I resolved to speed walk my way there, even though both feet were laden with blisters.
But before I could set off, I would have to pack…
Given that this was the last day and that it was raining, I decided to try out a new-for-me tent packing technique of disconnecting the inner tent from the outer from inside the tent. This technique allows one to keep the wet outer separate from the dry inner and also allows one to store the wet outer on the outside of the rucksack, so that it doesn’t make anything else wet.
This is where the Osprey Exos rucksack’s outer stretch pocket came in extremely handy. Had I still used my old Berghaus rucksack, I’m not sure that this packing technique would have been possible.
Another advantage of this packing technique is that one can pack one’s rucksack under the cover and protection of the outer tent. As a result, this would be the first time that I have packed up in the wet and actually remained dry!
In the event, once the main rucksack was packed, the rain had ceased, which made for a dry but grey exit walk.
As usual I will let the pictures do the talking!
Given the heavy rain that occurred throughout the night and morning I decide to separate the tent inner from the outer. This is a first for me, but the technique enables one to pack the dry inner deep within one’s rucksack and pack the wet outer on the outside of the rucksack. This way the inner stays dry!
Being in the tent as the inner was being disconnected was a weird experience. However, this new routine enables me to pack in the dry whilst the rain came down outside.
In a first for me, all my kit has been packed up in the rain, yet I’m perfectly dry! The Akto tent’s versatility once more proves to be a hit. I’m now wondering about the possibility of using just the outer in the summer as there is a lot of room in here….
This is the view out of the tent toward the coast. It is still a little foggy, but at least I can now see things. Plus as an added bonus the rain has stopped!
I’m now ready to pack up the outer fly. This tent packing technique proved to be a lot easier to do than I envisaged. My only real worry is that I will assemble it all incorrectly at home and have a badly configured tent on my next outing!
To the North West I get this lovely view of cloud banks pouring over the landscape.
The view over the empty tent shell toward my destination for this trip – Llanfairfechan!
Everything is now packed away, with the outer tent safely secured in the Osprey Exos’ outer stretch pocket. This will ensure that the kit in the rucksack stays dry – including the inner tent!
I now start the journey to Llanfairfechan. I had got up fairly late and knew I had to make the train station by ten past ten, otherwise I faced a two hour wait! This added time pressure resulted in a fairly brisk walk back in the hope of making the station on time!
I’m now on the switch-back heading off of the hills. The low level cloud added a completely different character to this scenery compared to day 1’s sunny photos!
Here I’m now on the final descent to ground level. It seems that my swift progress has afflicted the majority of the photos I took for day 5 with camera shake! So these are the few photos that more or less made it out without the shakes!
Up ahead is the same church I used to navigate from the coast to head inland on day 1. It’s appearance reassures me that I’m headed the right way!
This part of the walk was over roads and pavements and would take me from the hills to the coastline.
The coastline soon appears directly ahead. I know I’m cutting my timings fine, so I’m walking with as much speed as I can muster!
I’m now handrailing the coastline Eastward directly to Llanfairfechan. The track and loose shingle that I sometimes have to walk on impede progress, but I am determined to make it to the train station on time!
Up ahead on the horizon I can see the final treeline that I need to pass. Once past that, the train station should be just around the corner. The clock is still ticking, so my walking speed goes up a gear!
There is the final tree-line – I’m nearly there!
To the South the mountains are shrouded in cloud.
I’m now at the turn off and headed straight for the railway station. Its footbridge can just be seen in this picture.
Finally, after a rather fast paced walk I make it to Llanfairfechan railway station. This station is a request stop, so I literally have to wave the trains down to get them to stop!
Just in time! I make it to the station with 19 minutes to spare. It seems that the 7km speed walking paid off! I’m pretty sure that had I remained at my normal pace, I would have missed the train.
Right now I’m relieved that I made it to the station on time. I now have to face a distressing journey back to Bristol in my 5 day old sweaty clothes…
I don’t normally post speed graphs from my GPS, but this one shows my ever increasing average speed as I push myself to get to the railway station on time! The dips are camera stops, but even with these most of the photos were spoiled. I’m guessing it was the dullness of the day combined with my eagerness to get moving that contributed to the poor photos.
So ends one of the most interesting walks I have done so far!
In some ways this walk proves that one doesn’t need to leave the Uk to have a great holiday with stunning scenery.
I’m now getting ready for a short 2 day jaunt in the Peak District. It could be on this weekend, but the weather forecast is looking pretty grim at the moment.
Hopefully fingers crossed, the winds will be much lower than predicted!