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  • Chris Jones

Day 171 & 172. Friday 17th & Saturday 18th November. Rhos on Sea to Llanfairfechan.

The rain had stopped, the sun was rising slowly over the headland and I started my day with an interesting conversation with a chap picking up litter for the council. He told me that he didn't think I could camp there in the park, my tent was hanging on the fence drying in the morning sun so I told him I definitely wouldn't then, I'd pack my tent when it was dry and move on... 🫣 he agreed that would be a good idea so I thanked him for his good advice and I moved on !!! Bless... 😂 he was a lovely chap and I genuinely don't think he realised that I had camped there already and was actually packing up !!!

I walked for a couple of miles and by complete luck, I was just passing a little cafe, just as the heavens opened and it absolutely hammered it down, that was a close call so I sat in the warm and enjoyed a big pot of tea and a bacon butty until the heavy clouds had passed over. It was a steady walk around the coast to Llandudno and I got into town just before lunch time. Months ago when walking through Oban I'd bumped into Bee and her husband Chris who invited me to visit Queen Elizabeth Court, the RMBI care home in Llandudno. A little research had shown that there are 17 Freemason sponsored care homes dotted throughout England and Wales so I pledged to try and visit all of the ones located on the coast. This was the second one I'd visited and I was looking forward to meeting some of the residents. Sadly, bee and Chris had that very morning headed back to Oban for another break so I never got to see them but Gary met me in the reception and gave me a guided tour.

He also sorted me out a lovely lunch, fish 'n' chips with mushy peas, well it was Friday. I was amazed at the size of the home, it had a huge wing dedicated to dementia care and I was impressed at how happy the residents seemed to be. I met Chris, a Freemason of nearly 50 years from Wales and I sat with a group in one of the many day rooms and talked about my walking challenge so far. It was a slow burn to get going but after a while we got a lovely conversation going with lots of questions being asked. The chap I was sitting next to made me laugh, we were chatting while we were waiting for the staff to find and round up any of the residents that were interested in joining us, my new friend asked me where abouts I'd come from and asked me what room they had put me in !!! He also hoped that I liked living there as much as he did... I know this walk is taking it out of me but I didn't think it had aged me that much !!! 🫣🤣

Tour and chat over I said my goodbyes and walked up through the town and out onto the West Shore, I'd had a nice lunch and was feeling good after meeting so many lovely people in the home, it was Friday afternoon so I was thinking that there must be a pub open somewhere... there was indeed, right next to the statues celebrating the fact that Lewis Carroll was inspired to write Alice in Wonderland on this very shore. What a story...

I headed in for a pint and had a chat with a couple when I first went in but they left and I sat by myself for ages, everyone in there enjoying their Friday evening and enjoying the company of family and freinds while I very much felt like Billy no mates, it was clearly going to be one of those nights so I finished up and walked a few hundred yards into the sand dunes to pitch up for the night. It was a fresh and blustery night but I slept really well, until just before 7am when the sound of a barking dog woke me up. The dog had clearly noticed my tent and was heading my way yapping his head off, he came right up to the tent sniffing and barking, the cheeky bugger then peed up the side of my tent and then ran off. A few minutes later I could hear the dogs owner tramping up into the dunes heading right for me, he or she never said anything but walked right up to me and booted the end of my tent !!! Fortunately the end where my feet were but I couldn't believe it... the cheek of it... I was so incensed, I shouted out. Without swearing I offered him or her the opportunity to come back and kick my tent again, they could then experience the challenge of walking their dog home with broken legs... 🤬 possibly a daft thing to shout out, I had no idea who was out there so I could very easily have lined myself up for a good hiding but I was so angry. Whoever it was didn't respond and walked away, I was dressed and out of my tent within 5 minutes but they had gone... what is it with some people, if I was camped on the village green or on someone's private property I could understand them getting upset but I was out in the sand dunes in the middle of nowhere. Even then, I can't imagine a reason why someone would walk up and intentionally boot the tent... 🤬 anyway, I was awake and annoyed so I packed up and headed around the coast towards Conwy where my earlier annoyance was quickly erased by the unbelievable generosity of amazing people. Firstly, I was just crossing the railway line at Deganwy when I was stopped by a young lad that ran up behind me.

Young Leo had seen me walk past his house and had ran up the road in his pyjamas with nothing on his feet. Very excitedly, he asked me if I was raising money to which of course I explained what I was doing, he then handed me £3 and asked me to add it to my fund. What a top guy, I looked back down the road and could see his mum in a window waving at us, I shook his hand, thanked him and gave him a hug, turned and walked away, I have to say with a lump in my throat. What an amazing thing to do, thank you Leo, you're a top guy and you made my day. 🥰

A little further down the road I crossed the river and walked into Conwy to the castle.

Built by Edward I between 1283-1287, said to be one of the finest examples of late thirteen and early fourteenth century military architecture in Europe. There was a charge to go in so I didn't bother, instead I got talking to a lovely guy called John who was from Liverpool, a keen walker who gets a train to a place of interest, walks for 10 miles then gets the train back. We headed for a cafe and John treated us to a bacon butty and a cuppa, we had a great chat and parted company, him heading back towards Llandudno and me towards Anglesey.

Was it the Westie in the Union Jack coat or The Smallest House in Great Britain that attracted me ?? The house is just 72 inches wide and 122 inches high and was lived in right up until May 1900. The last person to live in the house was a local fisherman called Robert Jones, get this, he was 6 foot 3 inches tall !!! 🤣 I'll bet that was cozy...

I left Conwy and walked all afternoon until I reached a little village called Llanfairfechan, it had been a blustery cold afternoon, I'd walked just over 17 miles and I'd had enough so I headed to a campsite I'd seen on my map. I needed to pitch up for two nights so I could have my day off the following day so a campsite was the only option, the nearest guesthouse wanted £73 per night and I didn't want to be paying that. The campsite was clearly closed but I called the mobile number that was pinned to the door, the owner answered and when I explained what l was doing she said she'd come down to see me. Sam came down to see me and said I could pitch up on the field but because they were closed the water was turned off so unfortunately there were no showers. She then said that if I wanted, I could stay in the bunkhouse for two nights, there was a bed with clean sheets, a kitchen, a bathroom with a shower and a living room with a big comfy seat and a tv !!! Oh, and central heating... 😁 I couldn't believe my luck today, I was blown away. I settled in and nipped over to the Coop

to buy provisions for the evening and for my day off, returned to wash my clothes, get a shower and settle down in front of the tv. Microwave curry with a few beers and I slept like a king.

Thank you Sam at I had a lovely relaxing day off and I'm so grateful to you. 😍

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