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New Port Philip Cycle Trail

New Port Philip Cycle Trail

While out walking in Melbourne’s western bayside suburbs today, I spotted these enterprising lads, who obviously decided to take the short cut from Altona across to St Kilda.  Hope they packed their snorkels! I opted for the longer route, and took in a fine 8km stretch of the Williamstown to Altona Foreshore Trail, a shared cycle/walk path which winds along the coastline from Williamstown Beach across to the fabulous off-leash PA Burns coastal reserve in Seaholme.  While the Foreshore Trail itself is on-leash for dogs,  (it runs parallel to the Jawbone Conservation area), the parks at either end of the walk are both off-leash, so plenty of exercise for everyone – particularly those whose dogs like a good run (or in the case of these kids, swim) beside the bike.

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Williamstown Wetlands, via the Foreshore Trail

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View down to Llyn Nantlle Uchaf (Lake Nantlle), Snowdonia, North Wales

Sometimes you just need to know when to give up!  On my recent trip in North Wales, the day before I was due to leave was my last chance to have a go at climbing a tantalising little 653 metre hill in the Nantlle valley (in the foothills of Mt Snowdon) which had been laughing at me all week: it’s a minor peak, though it has an impressively long-winded name: Mynydd Tal-y-mignedd (no, I don’t know how to pronounce it either!). I’d managed to get half way up earlier in the week when I had a couple of hours spare and in glorious sunshine.  As is the way, this day dawned damp and grey (though not cold) and the clouds had dropped onto the top of the hills, so the Nantlle ridgeline walk I had earlier thought of was out.  Instead I thought I’d aim for the obelisk on top if Mynedd Tal-y-mignedd. The path petered out once I got up on the hills above all the ancient dry stone walls, but with a trusty ordnance survey map, I bashed through some heather, clambered VERY ungracefully over the last stone wall to cross a burn (creek), then slogged ever upwards to a knoll with spectacular views up and down the Nantlle Valley.  And then the (horizontal) rain came.  And the (gale-force) wind.  And the rain and the wind together.  And the cloud. And of course, as only happens on those British Hills, the world dropped away around me, and it was just me and the cloud (and did I mention the rain and the wind?).  It fact the weather was so foul as to be ridiculous, and I couldn’t help but laugh like a mad woman! Talk about flash backs to mad walks of my misspent youth – it was fantastic! But, with visibility so low, after slogging onwards and upwards for another hour, I just had to bail, and head back down.  Though – of course, as it turns out – just 100m short of the obelisk. Another day ….

View across the heather to the knoll on the way up Mynydd Tal-y-mignedd. The first photo overlooking the lake is taken from the top of this outcrop. Slate covered Craig y Bera (698m) is in the cloud on the left.

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