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a scene in N. Wales near Pwllheli
cycling without a T-shirt
chasing a stray sheep
the view downhill
Nefyn beach in N. Wales

Bon Journal

Cycling to Nefyn

Instead of taking the shortest route, we took side roads that were free of traffic. The first path was 45 degrees steep, and I had to walk half of it.

Because of the two month closure of Snowdonia National Park due to the infamous foot and mouth epidemic earlier this year, this part of North Wales has become virtually tourist-free. August should be the peak season, and yet we seem to be the only tourists around.

From Pwllheli to Nefyn, we stopped to admire the cows, sheep, and horses that were now free to graze and roam. Along the way, we also stopped to pick blackberries - not just to quench our thirst but to taste the sweetness for making jam.

We wondered what it would be like to live out here. Some places are so remote. Who will notice you if you die? The cold and the wet can be endured but not the persistent wind.

Today was sunny enough to cycle without a T-shirt. The roads twisted and turned up and down. After a couple of hours, I was ready to sit still. My friend pushed me forward. "At the end of this steep stretch lies the sea." Would I be hallucinating if it was true?

After what seemed like an impossible climb, we reached the top of a deserted cliff. What appeared before us was beyond anyone's imagination.

Below us stood the entire coast line of Caernafon Bay leading to the Irish Sea. It was a contrast of blue sky against blue sea surrounded only by tranquility. If I had cycled down without my brakes at this point, I would have been content crashing into the sea. It was THAT beautiful.

9 August 2001

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Pwllheli, North Wales
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