Day 36: 28 Apr 2014; Prestatyn to Flint

Day 36: 28 Apr 2014; Prestatyn to Flint
Walk descriptor LEJOG2014 Day 36
Date Mon 28 Apr 2014 Start to end time 08h 59m
Start point Prestatyn End point Flint
Miles today 21.61 Cu miles 679.79
Ft today 605 Cu ft 110,006
Route miles left 791.69 Route ft left 87,683
Today’s weather Warm and sunny all day. Light cloud, no wind. About 17C
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Today’s location
(the red cross in a circle shows where I am at the moment)
GPX based track of today’s walk
(click here to access to access downloadable file)

I had fairly low expectations of today’s walk. When I’d been doing my route planning last night, I’d noticed that the most commonly occurring feature marked on my map which I’d be encountering today was “sewage works”. But actually, the day turned out rather differently – and much better – than I had expected.

As soon as I got up this morning, I could tell that the weather had changed. The air seemed softer, and didn’t have that harsh damp edge to it which it had carried most mornings so far on my hike. And it continued like that all day. Warm and sunny, with none of the harsh biting easterly wind that there had been for yesterday’s walk along the coast. In fact it was the first day since I’d set off when I actually began to feel a bit thirsty along the way. Normally it’s been so cold and / or damp that I don’t really ever feel the need for hydration. It was a real joy to be walking and not to be constantly trying to keep warm.

The route today was quite long, at around 22 miles, but deliciously flat. Only 600 ft of climbing. A real rest for weary legs! The walk followed the Welsh coast path along the Dee estuary, and I was able to deploy my beach-walking skills, perfected in Cornwall and Devon, once again. Though today the tide was flowing rather than ebbing, and I was quite surprised when the beach started retreating in front of me, literally feet at a time. I had to beat a hasty retreat to higher ground as my path rapidly disappeared under water.

There was lots to see along the way. There were interesting examples of industrial archaeology in the form of the Point of Ayr lighthouse, and the rusting hulk of the 4,000 tonne “Duke of Lancaster” ferryboat. And the port of Mostyn was interesting and thriving. Now home to a major assembly factory for offshore wind turbines, and also the port from where Airbus 380 wings are shipped en route from the factory near Chester to the assembly plant in Toulouse. The banks of the estuary were also rich in birdlife and plants. I noticed that the celery-like plants which been sprouting to life in Cornwall, were now setting seed and beginning to die back. An entire life-cycle completed in the span of my walk.

I’d had difficulty finding anywhere to stay tonight – none of the local campsites would answer my emails or phone calls. But Mold Tourist Information Centre came to my rescue and managed to negotiate with the excellent Oakenholt Country Guest House who, for a very modest fee, have allowed me to camp in their garden and given me full access to their facilities – and a bacon roll in the morning! Fantastic service both from the Tourist Information Centre, and from Oakenholt.

Then to complete a really satisfying day, this evening I was taken by a local Scout leader to meet two Scouts from Connah’s Quay who will be going to the jamboree in Japan next year. Nice, once again, to meet some people who could really relate to the cause I’m supporting.

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)
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I am certain that this lighthouse at Point of Ayr is actually leaning into the sea. It stands at the northernmost point of mainland Wales and has been inactive for 130 years From a distance these looked like the distillation units of a chemical plant but in fact they turned out to be the giant columns of offshore wind-turbines being assemblef at Mostyn harbour
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The rusting hulk of the Duke of Lancaster – formerly a British Rail ferry from Heysham to Belfast and now mainly a canvas for industrial-scale graffiti artists Flint castle – another little known gem that will merit subsequent re-exploration!
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The excellent Oakenholt Farm country guest house – the proprietor has kindly allowed me to camp in her garden! Meeting with two of the “Gold-diggers” scout group who will be going to the Jamboree next year, in Connah’s Quay this evening
Panorama looking over the Dee estuary across to the Wirral
The previous day’s blog follows below the blue line
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