Tight & Scratchy – North Wales Coast 12/08/18

Sunday the 12th of August 2018, and a few of “our little group” had arranged to meet up and drive some of the best “tight and scratchy” greenlanes that the North Wales coast area has to offer…
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We met at the excellent Whistlestop Cafe on Rhuddlan’s HTM Industrial Estate for a fantastic cooked breakfast… Although they were a bit late opening… and there was a marquee hire van and a couple of lads milling around waiting for them to open too. When the sign flicked on to OPEN, I said to them, “you go first, you’ve got work to do…” and just as I said that another five lads climbed out of the back of the van! d’Oh! LOL
Anyhow… from left to right as is customary… Kev and his faithful hound Freyja in the “Blue Rinse” Jimny (!) So called by his mates as it’s allegedly a bit of a hairdressers car, and has blue tints to the wheels also ๐Ÿ˜‰ Brett in the middle in the green Jalapeno Jimny, and Alan and I in the blue S200KYS Jimny…
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Our intended route for the day… plotted by our-Alan and transferred to Memory Map as a digital route by Brett, so the rest of us can follow on our tablets.

Brett’s Introductory Video as we set off from the Whistlestop Cafe and back towards St. Asaph for Kev to fuel up, and to join the beginning of the route… as Brett narrates as we head west up the A55 Expressway.

Brett’s Video of ‘Bryn-y-Pin’ a nice gentle ‘lane to start the day… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Brett’s Video of the first bit of ‘Moelfre’, through the dark tunnel of undergrowth and into the field, where we stop to assess the damage to Kev’s CB aerial… once he’s gone back to retrieve it on foot! The magnetic aerial had been dragged off by the shrubbery and the cable had been ripped in two… So I retrieved my handheld CB from the back of my Jimny and lent him that for the day ๐Ÿ™‚
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Kev entering the tunnel of undergrowth
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Pushing our way through…

Brett’s Video of the middle section of ‘Moelfre’ up to the…
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…’big step’ mentioned at the end of the video above…
I took two goes at it, I really should give it a bit more welly first attempt! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Brett’s Video of the third section of ‘Moelfre’, up the dark bit, the reference to “loving the new lights Phil” is to a pair of LED headlights… I had to take mine out for the MOT ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
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Up in the ‘dark’ of Moelfre under the cover of the trees…
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Next ‘lane was going to be one through Abergele (Chest) Hospital, but a new gate and signage put us off, not worth the hassle… it’s a UCR with ORPA dots, but the signs say “PRIVATE NO THROUGH ROAD” and “WARNING CCTV RECORDING”.
On to the next ‘lane then…
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Alan opens the gate to ‘Pant Idda’…

Brett’s Video of the first section, up to the tiny ‘Suzuki gate’ where he retrieves half a tree off his roof!
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Back to the beginning of the ‘lane and this was our view ahead!
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And looking back in the mirror at Kev (and Freyja) behind us…

Brett’s Video of the middle section – to my favourite bit – driving in the gulley, but only after…
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… pausing to neatly stack a pile of fallen logs out of the way…
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On we go!…

Through the muddy gulley and back to tarmac, where we cross to the next ‘lane immediately in front of us…

Brett’s Video of ‘Pen-y-bryn’ or ‘Ffynnonau’ – well said Brett ๐Ÿ˜‰ LOL
Yup, I watch the videos in sections to work them into the timeline of the blog, and then when the blog is finished I sit down with a beer, or three, and watch them end to end…
DSCN8092.jpgYup! Definitely ‘Tight & Scratchy’… which is the order of the day! ๐Ÿ˜‰
Speaking of which…

Brett’s Video of ‘Bont-y-Gwyddel’…
Where we met three weary sheep, I thought they’d got out of the field and onto the ‘lane where they were tired, hungry and thirsty… hence walking slowly in front of us… ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
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Passed “Ben’s Tree” ๐Ÿ˜‰ We have fond memories of Ben squeezing his Land Cruiser past this tree ๐Ÿ˜‰ He, and his Land Cruiser, are now happily living in Australia ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hiya Ben! ๐Ÿ˜‰
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Lovely tight ‘lane!
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And scratchy too…!
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Oh no?! We’re not are we?! Every year or so, we come back to this one ‘Pen-y-Coed’ Alan’s most favourite ‘lane of the 520+ he’s driven with us over the last four and a bit years…
It’s a dead-end, it therefore doesn’t go anywhere… the farmer has asked us in the past why we do it (we didn’t see him “this year”), and we always say “because it’s there” (Use them or Lose them!), and apparently GLASS are planning to trim it and remove the fallen tree obstruction at the end… so we thought we might as enjoy it one more time as a ‘Jimny-lane’ before they open it up for all to use… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Brett’s Video of the first third of it… you can see my waffle boards have a fight with an over-hanging branch, and then Alan has a fight with the gate…

Brett’s Video of the middle bit… waiting for Alan to shut the gate behind us, and then at three minutes and four minutes in you can see us squeezing between the trees…
At 5:30 minutes in I’m stuck on a branch that has forced itself under the waffle boards on my roof protection bars – ‘tree sliders’ –
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And Kev’ removes it…
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… with his folding “Samurai-Saw”… must get me one of them!

Brett’s Video of the trip back up Pen-y-Coed – you can hear him mentioning me – the ‘local welder’ – as the trees have peeled back a small section of his roof skin where his CB aerial was once attached… LOL! He’s booked in for a repair patch the Wednesday after this trip ๐Ÿ˜‰
At about four minutes in, you can hear me say I’ve just lost my wing mirror… a tree claimed my passenger side mirror! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ and the protection bar from my snorkel to the front of the tree bars on the roof has also been ripped out…

Next ‘lane… another favourite! Drop down the valley side to a ford and then back onto the tarmac road on the other side of the valley…

Next… a BOAT we’ve driven from the other end a few times, but it is cut in half by a fence and a small gate, that in years gone by was locked and had a sign asking horse-riders to ring for access… But now is passable by motorbikes as seen on the video, but not 4x4s…
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So we’ve driven both ends of the BOAT to my finger on the map… An appeal is being made to get his BOAT reopened to 4x4s…
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As we can’t fit through that tiny gate! ๐Ÿ˜‰
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Coasting down the next hill, Brett’s transfer box again jumps out of drive ๐Ÿ˜ฆ So once again, disassemble all the gaitors, pull the lever out, slip the selector rods back into place, and then reassemble everything…
For the rest of the day Brett left Jalapeno in four wheel drive and turned the front hubs off and on as required, as that stops it jumping out of drive?…
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Next, a new one – for us – one (of a few) Alan had been researching and had written to Conwy’s RoW Officers for the nod on…

Brett’s Video of this nice little find…
I whizzed off the end of that fallen log you can see at the end of the video with my cordless chainsaw.
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As we came through the field and a couple of hundred Flossies spotted the 4x4s, they must have thought they were going to be fed, and followed us to the gate, so I had to jump out and persuade them not to follow us… they soon realised I was a red-blooded Welshman and all backed off…! ๐Ÿ˜‰
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Carrying on, following Brett…

To the end of the ‘lane as in his video above…
Next we drove the BOAT at Rhydgaled, but Brett didn’t video it, and I didn’t photograph it… Whoops! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Next, Brett’s video of up Segrwyd “as we always seem to come down” ๐Ÿ˜‰

Next, Nantglyn…
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Following Kev this time…
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Tight and Scratchy will a camber into the fields to the left, as seen on Brett’s video above.
Next… a personal favourite!

Brett’s Video of “Hafod-Dafydd”
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And we followed Kev up… in a Jimny with open diffs and just a 2″ lift… Awesome!
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Next, another new one to us, that Alan had had the nod from Conwy’s RoW Officers again…
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I swore I’d been here before and we’d deemed it too narrow, so I sat on my waffler boards on the roof as the others went for a walk for a look, with Freyja, Kev’s dog…
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The ‘lane goes up the edge of the field and then turns up and rises up the tree line at the top of the field… I swear we’ve walked it before and decided not to proceed…
But today they came back and said it was passable…?
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So I drove in last and squeezed as far right as I could so that Alan could get back in after closing the gate behind us…

Brett’s Video of this cracking ‘lane…

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The next one was just a white on the map… We went for a look and I remembered having a go at it from the other side at the crossroads, so Brett said we’d go around for a look at the other end… I got the wrong idea and decided to press through in a north-easterly direction, and then met him at the other side, with Kev behind, as you can see in…

Brett’s Video of this short but very T&S ‘lane!

Another ‘lane Alan had had the nod on… “Merddyn”
You can here us giving directions to Brett from behind, as Alan had been busy –
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He does an awful lot of research using YouTube, Sreetview, Google Maps, Explorer paper Maps, and had summarised the lane as the sketch above so we knew exactly where we were going…

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At the gate at the start…
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At the second gate, good job Alan didn’t jump out too far to close the gate! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ
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At the point where Brett’s Video stops above, deciding where the lane goes, swinging left ahead of Brett…

Brett’s Video carrying on… you can see how marshy it must be in winter by all the reeds on the ‘lane.
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And back onto tarmac at the top…
Next! We went to look at this one –
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Having also been given the nod by the RoW Officers that this too was legal…
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Handy Tip #53 – Alan laminates all the letters we get… to keep them dry? No! to stop landowners ripping them up! ๐Ÿ˜‰ LOL
Anyway…
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Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s driveable!…
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A couple of fences and a load of trees… nothing has been through here in years!…

Next, Brett’s Video of Maelogen Fawr, inching down carefully, and then getting out to chop a couple of trees back…

Down and over an old rickerty bridge, and then out for a look at what lies ahead…

To the end of the ‘lane… As Brett says on the video he’s missed recording the climb up after getting out for a look…
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Nearing the end of the above ‘lane.

Brett’s Video of a quick right angled diversion over a couple of UCRs along the way, at the top of Llanrwst… You can see his video ends with him coming upon a motorcyclist waving us down… He’d slipped on mud on the road, and his lady pillion passenger had dislocated her hip ๐Ÿ˜ฆ We had a chat, made sure they were okay, and then reversed back to turn around and carry on, when a Police Officer turned up, and they waited for an Ambulance to arrive…

So we about faced and dropped down into Llanwrst via the UCR again, to make our way round to Llanddoged.
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The odd grid where the end of the downhill greenlane meets the top of a nice residential street!…
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Back to our destination above Llanddoged, the red dots in the red circle above, again the RoW Officers had said this was legal, but…
DSCN8161.jpgThe route was blocked by Kev’, errr no, sorry, a metal shed in the bushes, that looked older than Kev’! Nothings been through there in years either…
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Pennant next… Hmmm, and the gate (that we’ve cut the lock off before now – with permission from the Conwy RoW team!) is today blocked by a Land Rover… Hmmm, what’s that behind?
DSCN8163.jpgReal or false? We’ve had lots of signs on this ‘lane in the past…?
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Hmmm…
tro
Well out-of-date?
We’ll contact the Row people and see what’s going on with this then…
On we go then…

Brett’s Video of our next ‘lane over at Eglwysbach…

Up to the gate in the middle, quick chat, and then on we go again…

Up to –
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A fallen tree encroaching onto the ‘lane, which forced me onto the bank on the left…
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And I needed a quick tug passed it from the winch before catching my hardtop back on it…
I then cut a bit off it for the others to get passed…

And on we go…
And out through someone’s garden ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Up alongside the caravan park… “Mind the Log!”

Tyn-y-Coed –
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Where the cows come up from the field below to have a nosey at us…
And a slightly irate lady / landowner comes up and asks us what we’re doing and why are we scaring her cows? Her cows that wandered up inquisitively for a look at us?!
Obviously knowing we have a right to be there, she wanders off again…

The rest of the ‘lane…

Last ‘lane of the day then!
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“Cow Lane” / Llanelian-yn-Rhos

Brett’s Closing Remarks…
Indeed a great day!
A few repairs in readiness for the next trip out then, a weekend in Northumberland!
See you all soon!


 

One thought on “Tight & Scratchy – North Wales Coast 12/08/18

  1. As ever a GREAT blog Dave and a briiliant time doing all of my favourite Tight and Scratchy lanes … maybe one day we should do a Scenic Route and get the Drones and BBQ out …. (maybe not then!!!)

    Like

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