Solo Snowdonia Region – Cardigan Bay – Day 3 (Spare)

Day 3's short return to the railway station of 2.6km 25 mtrs ascent 331 mtrs descent. (Click for full sized version)

Day 3’s short return to the railway station of 2.6km 25 mtrs ascent 331 mtrs descent. (Click for full sized version)

Day 3 was a spare day with a very short downward journey to the railway station.

Last days always seem to have this kind of elevation profile!

Last days always seem to have this kind of elevation profile!

My heels felt just as bad as on the previous day, but luckily, the downhill nature of today’s walk would keep most of the boot pressure away from the blistered areas.

Here is the virtual photographic journey:

I awake on the morning of Day 3 and start to put on my clothes. There is definitely a secret knack to getting clothes on in a small one man tent :)

I awake on the morning of Day 3 and start to put on my clothes. There is definitely a secret knack to getting clothes on in a small one man tent 🙂

Behind me the sky has a beautiful orange glow from dawn's rising sun.

Behind me the sky has a beautiful orange glow from dawn’s rising sun.

The view Southwards down the coast toward Barmouth.

The view Southwards down the coast toward Barmouth.

My face is a rosy red from yesterday's sun. I hadn't expected the weather to be as good as it was, so had neglected to pack sun cream. Lesson learnt!

My face is a rosy red from yesterday’s sun. I hadn’t expected the weather to be as good as it was, so had neglected to pack sun cream. Lesson learnt!

From my previous walks I had learnt that I never eat the breakfasts on the morning of the last spare day. As a result I didn't pack any. All that I will be having this morning will be a good hot coffee. The intent is to grab nibbles on the train on the journey home.

From my previous walks I had learnt that I rarely eat the breakfasts on the morning of the last spare day. As a result I didn’t pack any. All that I will be having this morning will be a good hot coffee. The intent is to grab nibbles on the train on the journey home.

The view to the North over Cardigan Bay.

The view to the North over Cardigan Bay.

Again, as with all my camp spots, I leave the ground in pristine condition. One should always treat the countryside with respect so that future visitors may enjoy it too.

Again, as with all my camp spots, I leave the ground in pristine condition. One should always treat the countryside with respect so that future visitors may enjoy it too.

To the Southwest in the distance I eyeball the exit point which is a ladder over a wall.

To the Southwest in the distance I eyeball the exit point which is a ladder over a wall.

Normally climbing these ladders wouldn't be a problem, but my heal blisters made the climb up particularly unpleasant.

Normally climbing these ladders wouldn’t be a problem, but my heal blisters made the climb up particularly unpleasant.

I'm now over the wall. It's now just a case of following the trail downwards. As such there is no real navigation to be done today.

I’m now over the wall. It’s now just a case of following the trail downwards. For today there will be no real navigation to be done today.

Up ahead is the only other boggy area on this entire walk - a pleasant change from my usual haunt of Dartmoor!

Up ahead is the only other boggy area on this entire walk – an agreeable change from my usual haunt of Dartmoor!

In the distance I spot the next exit point - another ladder.

In the distance I spot the next exit point – another ladder.

I pop over that ladder and continue to follow the trail downwards.

I pop over that ladder and continue to follow the trail downwards.

To the South I start to get glimpses of the beaches in and around Barmouth.

To the South I start to get glimpses of the beaches in and around Barmouth.

I the distance directly ahead I spot the two parallel walls marking the downward winding path that I need to take. At least I know where I need to be heading!

In the distance directly ahead I spot the two parallel walls marking the downward winding path that I need to take. At least I know where I need to be heading!

The track I'm on soon comes to a T-Junction at the bottom of the hill. I just need to hang a left here.

The track I’m on soon comes to a T-Junction at the bottom of the hill. I just need to hang a left here.

Just a case of handrailing the wall Southward until I find the exit to the track with its two parallel walls.

Just a case of hand-railing the wall Southward until I find the exit to the track with its two parallel walls.

There's the turn off. This marks the border of the National Trust Land and the private farmlands of the lower slopes.

There’s the turn off. This marks the border of the National Trust Land and the private farmlands of the lower slopes.

The walk is now very constrained :) Just a case of keep heading downwards whilst admiring the view!

The walk is now very constrained 🙂 Just a case of keep heading downwards whilst admiring the view!

Up ahead I spot a dog - a sure sign the owner isn't too far behind. In this case it was a woman out for her early morning stroll!

Up ahead I spot a dog – a sure sign that the owner isn’t too far behind. In this case it was a woman out for her early morning stroll!

Another ladder :/ In this case I use the gate :)

Another ladder :/ In this case I use the gate 🙂

With the parallel walls behind me the views start to open up again.

With the parallel walls behind me the views start to open up again.

On the way down I spot this 'obvious' turn off to the left...

On the way down I spot this ‘obvious’ turn off to the left…

But it's a red herring. Luckily, it is also well signposted as private land.

But it’s a red herring. Luckily, it is also well signposted as private land.

Nearly there! Down below right-centre I spot the steeple of the church I need to head toward. This church resides very close to the railway station so makes an excellent navigation marker.

Nearly there! Down below right-centre I spot the steeple of the church I need to head toward. This church resides very close to the railway station so makes an excellent navigation marker.

The beaches are now noticeably closer from the loss of elevation.

The beaches are now noticeably closer from the loss of elevation.

Back into a walled trail again. I happen to know this is the very final section. It should take me directly to the road at the bottom.

Back into a walled trail again. I happen to know this is the very final section. It should take me directly to the road at the bottom.

On the way down, two lambs pop to a gate to great me. I wonder if they are expecting to be fed? Maybe they were just naturally curious.

On the way down, two lambs pop to a gate to great me. I wonder if they are expecting to be fed? Maybe they were just naturally curious.

There's the road. The station is just up ahead...

There’s the road. The station is just up ahead…

*Zoom On* There is the sign to the station (on the lamp-post by the white van).

*Zoom On* There is the sign to the station (on the lamp-post by the white van).

I'm now on the track down to the railway station itself.

I’m now on the track down to the railway station itself.

There is the church that I was using as a reference point from the hills - it's practically next door to the railway station.

There is the church that I was using as a reference point from the hills – it’s practically next door to the railway station.

I'm there! This station is right by the sea with good views up and down the coast.

I’m there! This station is right by the sea with good views up and down the coast.

Timing wise things weren't too bad - only around 30 minutes to wait for the next train.

Timing wise things weren’t too bad – only around 30 minutes to wait for the next train.

The view Southwards. At least I have a pleasant view whilst waiting for the train.

The view Northwards. At least I have a pleasant view whilst waiting for the train.

Another shot of the church - but this time from the railway station. This shows its true proximity.

Another shot of the church – but this time from the railway station. This shows its true proximity.

The train arrives right on time! Unlike other stations, this is a request stop, so I actually have to flag the train down by holding out my hand.

The train arrives right on time! Unlike other stations, this is a request stop, so I actually have to flag the train down by holding out my hand.

There were some great views on the train journey home. Right now the train is pretty empty, but this doesn't last long. By the time I get to Birmingham it is packed out like sardines with people crammed in everywhere.

There were some great views on the train journey home. Right now the train is pretty empty, but this doesn’t last long. By the time I get to Birmingham it is packed out like sardines with people crammed in everywhere.

So that ends this rather disastrous walk.

I  have been in touch with the manufacturers of the boots, but they claim there is nothing wrong with them and that more than likely they were just ill fitting. These claims were asserted without ever having viewed the boots in question.

The damage had already been done after just 12 km. But here are the feet after 22 km....

Ouch…. And only after around 12km all of which was practically on track…

From my point of view, their fit is quite similar to that of my Salomon’s and I don’t get any injuries from those.

I firmly believe that the Arc’teryx boots lack the appropriate padding in the heal region. In addition, a further inspection at home revealed a vertical seam running down the backs of the inner boots. I’m pretty sure it was these seams that were causing the problem.

The boots - a pair of Arc’teryx Bora 2's. These are not the boots you are looking for...

The offending boots – a pair of Arc’teryx Bora 2’s. They look nice and were at least waterproof, but that’s the only good thing I can say about them.

It could be that my feet are just not the right shape for these boots. Either way, that will be their last journey – though I might consider the inners for waterproof camp slippers.

Laters

RobP

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About RobP

Got into backpacking in the spring of 2012. I started as a couch potato then made my way through walker, hiker and now backpacker! As you can see from below I have far too many hobbies! :)
This entry was posted in Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Multi-Day Walk, Snowdonia, Wild Camping and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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