Walking The Ceredigion Coastal Path 7

I recently began a walk along the Ceredigion Coastal Path which, as part of the Wales Coast Path, runs from Cardigan in the south over 60 miles to Ynyslas on the northern edge of the county. This is my diary of the event.

Saturday 25th May 2019 14:00
Location: Pen Y Badell
Mileage: 16.5

The track rose quickly from Penbryn and the rest of that section now feels a blur. A steep grassy meadow lead down to the busy tourist beach of Llanadog. I considered a portion of chips but having been spoilt by Stoke-on-Trent prices where a bag containing almost too many chips to eat costs less than £2, paying £3 for a handful in a cone was a step too far so I settled myself down on the edge of the beach by the exit to the next section of the coast walk.

Discarding shirt, boots and socks I made up a Huel and rested and drank for as long as I could. The beach was buzzing with Bank Holiday-makers and locals, Kayakers* and toe-dippers and possibly students smoking and enjoying the sunshine. I sat on the last part of the concrete path off the beach leaning up against the wall of an open air cafe and took in the sights of life off the trail for a little while.

With 4G mobile signal available I checked for campsites and came up a blank unless I wanted to walk three miles inland for one that was simultaneously described as the best campsite ever and the worst campsite ever. With nearly a litre of water I figured I’d have enough to make it to just before or just after Cwm Tydu and would have curry from a can again tonight, meaning I didn’t need to forage for supplies immediately. With New Quay on the horizon tomorrow, and then hopefully Aberaeron or Llanrhystud or perhaps both the day after for an easy couple of days camping.

The climb out of Llangranrog was a bit of a monster and the path a bit busier with access to another beach cove sharing the same track, from there it was a climb up to the shadows of Pen Y Badell, a Celtic hill fort. I was hoping to spend some time there but the path skirts around the bottom of it, with towering sides maybe another couple of hundred feet higher still. Another steep grassy meadow climb put me on the same altitude as the fort and Ynys Lochtyn before me and the coast stretching off to the right.

So my plan now is to take it easy for the rest of the day, walk for a bit, rest up for a bit, find a sleepy spot around 6pm and cook up the other can of vegetable curry.

*Did you know that uppercase ‘K’ in Inuit is pronounced ‘h’? So Kayak should actually be pronounced hiyak in English?


Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

There’s an eclectic mix of posts on here, from writing and poetry to banjos and guitars, art, photography and computing, so feel free to dive in and have a look around,

New to this site? Click here to visit my About Me section.

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Go well!

Walking The Ceredigion Coastal Path 6

I recently began a walk along the Ceredigion Coastal Path which, as part of the Wales Coast Path, runs from Cardigan in the south over 60 miles to Ynyslas on the northern edge of the county. This is my diary of the event.

Saturday 25th May 2019 10:55
Location: The Plwmp Tart, Penbryn
Mileage: 14.8

A break for a breather and a cup of tea at a cwtch café in a car park somewhere in or near Penbryn. I broke camp at 07:30 and within minutes on the trail crossed a small stream, if I had walked just a few hundred feet more I could have washed and washed up last night. A few hundred feet more and I passed a lush looking meadow whose flatness contrasted with the slope of last night’s bed. but would I have traded all the luxuries for the sight of the pod of dolphins cruising up the coast?

In a few more hundred feet a slippery rock took my foot out from under me and dumped me unceremoniously on my arse, brushing myself off the next few hundred feet rewarded me with a slowworm warming itself in the early morning rays of the sun on the path in front of me. The path undulated and became a little overgrown, always in the sight of the radar tower of the missile facility high above on the approaching headland. Finally the path turned to meadows as it diverted away from the base and the headland and delivered me to the top of Aberporth.

Now on the road I passed through an estate of what I guess used to be service personnel houses judging by their uniform design and repairs to extend them beyond their designed working life. The road wound down and down into Aberporth proper and the beach and toilets. There I made my morning ablutions, did last nights washing up and made breakfast. I washed my cooking pot in the beach shower and filled my water bottles in the basin of the beach toilets and packed everything back into my rucksack.

From Aberporth the path leads back up from the other side of the beach. Feeling confident that finding the path would be way I followed a sign and in the absence of any more signs found myself walking through a housing estate of bungalows. The estate gave way to a road out of town, the sea was on my left but the path never appeared. I trudged the mile and a half or so to Tresaith completely missing out on the cliff side views and cascading waterfall of Afon Saith. I sat in a bus shelter at the junction for Llangranog and luxuriated in the new supply of water I had picked up in Aberporth. Consulting the guide this time I could see the start of the path to Penbryn, just round passed the glass and chrome modernist style house being built on the corner in front of me.

The 1.6 miles to Penbryn climb steeply with steps cut into the earth and rock to facilitate the rise in altitude, the sea is on the left as usual and the path meandered up and down, close to and further away from the edge until it was time to rapidly descend down more steps cut into the earth through the woods at Penbryn, arriving here at the cafe in the car park where a lot of tea and a packet of crisps ( for a very modest £2.40) turned into two pots of tea and packets of crisps and a 45 minute break in the sun.

 


Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

There’s an eclectic mix of posts on here, from writing and poetry to banjos and guitars, art, photography and computing, so feel free to dive in and have a look around,

New to this site? Click here to visit my About Me section.

Follow me @ponyfolk on Instagram for my multi-medium art and @shadowthepoet on Twitter

Want to introduce yourself, your art, your blog or you world and discover all that is new in the world? Click here for my ‘Join the Revolution’ page.

Go well!

James

Eating A Wrap On The Beach

Aberystwyth, the beach, the sun was hot but the wind was cold or at least cool. The temperature had dipped from the high twenties we had been been acclimatised to down to perhaps the low twenties now. The beach was pebbly but they were so small that with a little more effort and perhaps another million years it could be a sandy beach.

Entering the shade was much like visiting the dark side of the moon and with bare feet, the sun soaked pebbles underfoot felt burning hot, so we sought out a compromise and hotfooted it across the beach towards a concrete bastion that we hoped would shelter us from the wind.

Next that classic beach move of trying to change into your swimming trunks whilst in full view of pretty much everyone on the beach, and also those on the esplanade behind, with only a towel the size of a flannel to hide under. After a furtive few minutes, and now with bathing costumes weighed down with innumerable small pebbles that had snuck into every accessible and inaccessible nook and cranny, we made for the sea.

Entering water that is at a vastly different temperature to the ambient air temperature is always an experience. Yes, it will feel cold, yes, it will feel ok once you are in, and yes, once you are in you won’t necessarily want to get out. Remembering the hundreds of times I had swum in the river the year before last never helps, remembering the last few times I had swum in this sea, only the day before, for example, in fact that morning, didn’t help either. The process is always the same, expectantly and excitedly stripping off, and optionally changing into swimming attire, before plunging in up to the ankles or perhaps knees and thereafter inching in up to thigh tops. Then it’s a waiting game, each new millimetre of flesh that touches the water screams out in complaint and then is silent. That wasn’t too bad was it, but to plunge in, chest down, into the water? Not yet, let me think about it. Let me think about it a bit more. Perhaps I should just get out. But the water, and I know I’ll like it when I eventually get in. Ok, here goes. In a minute. Now. Hold on. Now. In a minute. Take a breath, pull a face and I’m in. yes, this is great, watch out for that jelly fish. What’s that? Ok, not a shark, just some seaweed. And I’m swimming, out to the end of the breakwater, and back in again, and out again, and along parallel to the beach and back again, and backstroke and breaststroke and just flapping around for bit. And then, all too soon it’s time to get out.