"Balls", said the Milligan
(Spike Milligan, Puckoon, 1963)
So there I am at breakfast time trying to solve The i cryptic crossword from yesterday (last night's happy hour left me in no mental state to undergo such a challenge last night) and there's this crow somewhere on site, every time my brain starts to concentrate "Caw". I complete less than half the crossword.
Into town to do some vital shopping and some final pics of Llangollen - tomorrow's forecast is suggesting a confined-to-van day might be in the cards.
Here's the station just over the river from the main town
And looking back the other way:
OK, food has been safely gleaned, photos taken - return to the van, finish the crossword (without corvine intervention) and let's go tackle another bucket list item. Those morning crow omens are perhaps good - the object of the walk is Castell Dina's Bran - or Crow Castle in English. It's a formidable walk, 1000 or so feet above sea level, and I assume, Dee level, atop a very steep hill. On the 1:25,000 OS map the contour lines are visciously close together. Still the campsite is a good base camp, being at about 150m asl. itself.
It's tarmacked road from the site until the last half mile or so, but steep, OS double arrows immediately we leave the campsite. After 3/4 of uphill road the footpath to the summit is obvious and makes the road look easy. It's nasty steep. Yes, I know my young friend from the Lakes run up these pimples before breakfast but for Liz and I this is a challenge.
Indeed, for Liz, just too much of a challenge. Not the ascent, I'm sure she would have made it no problem but she is still very uneasy and wary of steep descents and when the steep path turned to loose rock scree she, wisely, let discretion be the better part of valour and called it a day, just 300m and about 30m or so climb short of the summit leaving me to press on alone
The views from the top are spectacular - that little white tent down there is the famous Eisteddfod pavilion
And in the other direction you can see for miles
Let's zoom in on that a little, shall we. There's the Pontcysyllte aqueduct we walked a couple of days ago
There, when I was a boy, full of tales of Castell Dinas Bran being home to the Grail I always said I'd go there one day. Today was the day!