Statistics: 12.25 miles, ascent 2920′, 5 hours
We set off in the rain and the higher we hiked the wetter it became.
This was the day of the “moels” (high, bare hills with rounded tops). The highest of these moels in the Clywdian Hills is Moel Famau, the location of the Jubilee Tower, built in 1810 to commemorate King George III’s Jubilee. The strong winds at the top have caused this tower to crumble over time; it is currently being restored. By the time we climbed the moel the clouds were so thick that we did not see the tower until it was right in front of us.
We scrambled to the top in the freezing cold wind for a quick picture.
By the time we left Moel Famau the visibility had reduced to 5 to 10 feet and only with the help of the GPS did we find the path down. During the following hours on the trail, we climbed several steep hills: Moel Dywll, Moel Llys-y-Coed, Moel Arthur and Moel y Parc.
Many of these hills are the ancient sites of Welsh hill forts. We encountered a number of Welsh school kids who were studying these forts while on a school camping trip. They were all fluent in Cymraeg (the Welsh language) and gladly translated historical markers for us.
We had a wonderful surprise today. Another family friend from the UK, John, had called us this morning (as luck would have it) to say that he had noticed my recent comments on Facebook about our extended walk on Offa’s Dyke Path. John had a holiday home on the Path and was presently at that home. He invited us to stay at his guest house for the night, and would meet us on the trail with his Border Collies.
His vacation home was a beautifully restored, 16th century, Welsh longhouse and barn. John prepared a lavish salmon meal for us, after which, with our glasses of wine, we all sat around a glowing fire in his traditional study recounting our adventures on the Path.