IT WAS just before six in the morning when I returned to Llanfair Pwllgwyngyll, having negotiated the cunning and secret railway challenge designed to prevent you from doing so:
Not only is the station saddled with the impressive (if contrived) name of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch but it is also a request stop, which means that the train will only stop to let you off if you can successfully tell the guard that that’s where you are going. It also helps if you can stop saying it before the train hurtles past.
HAVING reached the northern coast of Wales, I have also put myself into the vicinity of another of the few railway lines that Richard Beeching didn’t have torn up in the 1960s. This is excellent news for my travels as the London to Bangor journey time is considerably less than that of London to Pwllheli, even without the railway replacement buses on the latter line. With this in mind, I was keen to return to north Wales and actually get some walking in on the same day that I travelled.
WITH the January weather proving variable, my forty-second birthday saw me ambling gently along five miles or so of the Thames from London Bridge to Greenwich in the company of two good friends. This was entirely lovely. It also reawakened my desire to walk around the coast again.
Thus, a week later, I found myself dozing fitfully through the eight hour overnight bus journey from London to Penzance.