Episode 137 – The finale of my walk round the Wales Coast Path – Five miles from Morfa Bychan to Aberystwyth, making a grand total of 4,495 miles in 358 walking days round the coast of England and Wales including Offa’s Dyke and Hadrian’s Wall

 

CC0A9802-4CC9-4129-82D0-438030337348Final approach to Aberystwyth courtesy of Ian Buckingham. Happy landings.

Progress Map – by courtesy of Ordnance Survey – At last, the Crimson Worms meet up at Aberystwyth. I have finished my circumnavigation of Wales  to add to that of England, which leaves me nowhere to go but Scotland  – before independence?

Watch this space!

5EC9DF0F-D4BF-4832-88B8-ED4505846E53

Dear Rosie, Lauren, Stan, Jake, Rowan and Maisie,

plus Ian, Sue, John, Sheila, Sarge, Rhiannon, Elizabeth, Donald, Sarah, Annie, Richard, Andy, Caroline and Marilyn, with apologies from Janet and co, on account of partial incapacity plus alternative family commitments….

….Thank you very much for turning up at Aberystwyth on Saturday and helping me cross the finish line of the Wales Coast Path. You have now walked some of the way round Wales and England and as such you qualify as cast of the Order of The Crimson Worm

You, more or less, walked, stumbled, slithered and slipped, the final five miles from Morfa Bychan to Aberystwyth and crossed the line with me. Some of that Path was quite daunting. Well done!

Here are the  best pictures of our walk and the celebrations afterwards.

773A6B67-866A-48DE-A479-0CF056AD2D0C

In the beginning. Gathering Grandchildren at Morfa Bychan rendezvous prior to our mid morning stroll. Ignoring the grown ups – we have , left to right- Lauren, Rowan, Rosie behind Maisie, and Jake behind Stan.

 

 

 

The cliffs are quite high  so it’s mainly down hill to Aberystwyth …..,

Richard’s view of things, more courageous than most😅 considering he doesn’t like heights

915B603E-337B-40FF-9F64-7991CD29B9EA

B85FEFBD-E985-42A6-B881-CA6E40BB1F9A

……Andy led the way down to sea level, where there are rock pools, stony beach and artistic stacks of stones0F962245-6B7D-44C3-989E-785CAE67CD8E

 

 

 

….

 

 

past the marina  and RNLI fund raiser on the opposite promenade

8CEB7660-FB3C-41B0-982F-975A521AC09Fand then more refreshments; which duly turned into pile on Richard relieved to be back on terra firma.4B68BE93-AAB5-46DE-8338-38C4D4BCFBBC

7B1F87DE-2187-4A80-87F0-B2247295E10D

 

 

 

…Frequent rests and a steady strolling pace still put new joints to the test and they weren’t found wanting. A wonderful effort from Big Sister Sue and Big Brother John.

It was soon time to head towards the finish line at the Pier

 

 

 

 

 

AF33755B-8E17-44FC-9FE4-346F17F18B1FOne last time; Dear Rosie, Rowan, Maisie,Stan, Jake Lauren and Bobl – let’s finish this together. Thank  you!

Best of the rest 👌please submit your photos for inclusion here

– like family friends Andy/Sarge and Elizabeth; please forward similar for Rhiannon our Welsh Translator.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A glorious, peaceful sunset brought a fabulous day’s walking to a close. We adjourned to the pier indoors and celebrated…

C09A7F18-7A4C-46BF-BF04-14CEC8FEC2CC
John’s halo/hair already gone –  my halo has slipped….must have been the celebratory bubbly which my rules allowed for special occasions. The only other alcohol taken in these last two walking years was medicinal to get me on a plane to New Zealand. That was bubbly too!

 

 

5EC9DF0F-D4BF-4832-88B8-ED4505846E53
Still round England and a country the size of Wales. The puzzle is complete – for England and Wales Anyway. The name now needs changing to include my proposed Hopscotch haround the highlands.

Suggestions please!

 

 

 

cliff railway photos…..above….. relaxing on the Sunday after

And finally in the aftermath on Saturday and Sunday survivors of the walk celebrated in Baravin and took off for the Cliff railway at one end of the prom and back to the other end of the prom for a personalised guided tour by Tim, of the RNLI  Boathouse where Christopher and Rosemarie presided over exchange of wealth for RNLI trinkets. My souvenirs cabinet is now complete for England and Wales…… although I do rather covet those yellow RNLI boots…..  size ten …

 

 

 

RNLI Tim gave us a wonderful impromptu lecture on every last detail of his rescue craft. For me it was a personal culmination of visiting most,if not all, the RNLI stations around the English and Welsh coasts and managed only ever to use their rescue facilities once, when I ran out of drinking water.

 

Random picture overflow…

Head and foot massage; foreshore rescue team of Rowan and Maisie; in turn Maisie rescued from the waves by lifeguard Andy

 

 

Richard meets Cassie – I foresee a new pet coming along? – promenade and sunset.

 

 

Above; Apres -walk various sedentary occupations on the Cliff Railway and Pier slot machines.

 

Ganging up grandchildren mischief

 

 

Even more pictures can be added anytime.

I apologise to everyone for not making a more gracious speech of thanks at the end of this second chapter of my walk round Britain. I really was quite speechless and overwhelmed by what was taking place. I can’t quite believe myself what I have done.

It is rather special.

Thank you everyone for your interest and sampling the flavour of my coastal walk. In particular special thanks and adulation must go to Marilyn for her excellent organisation. Without her detailed menu knowledge the meal at Baravin would have been a bun fight. The organisational success of the Finale days on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday were entirely due to Marilyn, my wonderful wife, and so I must now repay the debt by catching up on all the outstanding work and maintenance back home at The Mill.. No more walking for a while while I repay the debt with interest.

 

l must say that other than the above mentioned lack of home maintenance there have been no repercussions caused by my elongated walking.

I am hugely pleased that my body survived the tests and rigours I threw at it, in extremes of weathers and walking conditions. I recall a non-walk related self inflicted twisted knee sidelining me for three months, which excellent NHS physiotherapy resolved, but otherwise I can only think of one corn that gave me grief in all of this.

The only other grief was from Bruvver John who pointed out that my tummy would cross the finish line before me. Maybe he was right, but it did inspire me to lose a few pounds and as I gaze at my reduced navel, I think the finish was a dead heat.

Diolch yn fawr

Iechyd da.

 

Serendipity and it’s rewords

I’m not too sure about that last apostrophe, nor the spelling and/nor the pronunciation. The more you study it the more one realises what a strange set of irregular rules we have governing our use of language. Anyway my final footnote is not to Flossie on about pedantic trivia, but to distribute rewards to those thoroughly deserving of them.

I long since realised that Marilyn has been an enormous influence on the resounding success of our joint escapade and as the walk rambled to ever nearer its completion I stepped up my search for a suitable momento and reward.

My tour has always been punctuated with convenient visits to junk shops, Bric a brac, brocante, fine art sales, curios, flea markets, car boots etc and resultant booty has been added to the ever growing museum of walking the coastline.

But,  although the perfect gift for Marilyn, continued to elude me and my growing odd sock fund, I had no doubt the correct specimen would eventually reveal itself probably aided and abetted by my ever lasting walking companion, Serendipity .

And it came to pass as we drove home after the finale in Aberystwyth, we called in at our own big smoke, Knighton just a few miles miles from home, parking under the clock tower , almost alongside Knighton Fine Art, run by near neighbours, Graham and Richard, one of the few local outlets that doesn’t serve coffee –  although, I suspect given a request, they probably would.

Check out http://www.knightonfineart.co.uk

 

 

Can you see where this is going? I knew even before stepping inside that Serendipity was already present and the right gift for Marilyn was within reach.

I’m not too sure Graham fully understood my quest or my sock fund, (secretly pondering we’ve got a right one ‘ere) but it only took  him two attempts to find a watercolour of Little Haven, Pembrokeshire by R V Pitchforth RA no less and within minutes I was able to have the purchase approved by, and in the possession of The Accountant, accompanied by Fine Art instructions of Provenance and which way round to hang it.

Now you may say you disbelievers that’s just coincidental that the place you started the tour de Pays  de Galles many years ago, Tref y Clawd (Knighton) housed a painting of one of the more outstanding and memorable scenes of The Walk from the sixties, awaiting you at the finish.

So, is it also a coincidence that amongst the painter’s portfolio is also a similar seascape of Porthmadog Wharf, which has immediate family connections?

Not even spooky. Just serendipity.

You’ve got to believe or it doesn’t work……

…….. you can do it!

Just one step at a time!

Episode 136 / Wales Coast Path- Walking 7 miles from llanrhystud to Morfa Bychan with Marilyn and Elizabeth

Dear Rosie, Lauren,Stan, Jake, Rowan and Maisie!

Unlike yesterday the weather was not so hot for this Friday Walk of seven miles from Llanrhystud to Morfa Bychan. In fact it managed to rain lightly two or three times and there was a pleasant cooling breeze.

ZUD, Marilyn , Elizabeth and Bobl gathered in llanrhystud at exactly the same parking lay-by as yesterday and with an extra effort began to get underway just before midday. I was a bit concerned about the rain clouds and that once we were moving along the Wales Coast Path there was no access till we reached the other end. Well maybe a bit at Tynbwlch, but my history of finding these poorly signposted tracks wasn’t good!

1DE9D718-AD14-4B80-A731-2D6ADA1A9DA5

Note the dark clouds- but the rain never really happened.

The Path was a reasonably gentle slope mainly along the cliff edge and not much access to the beach and plenty of sheep

 

 

 

Above – Elizabeth’s view of the walk

And below some of her portraits

We ended up at Morfa Bychan in the middle of nowhere,really, all set for the main party tomorrow / but very little car parking. So tomorrow’s logistics are going to be interesting.

 

Marilyn had driven ZUD as far as she dared fortunately it coincided with our escape route

It took ages posing for this picture and lining up my witches hat…..92B4FC0B-026C-48C6-916B-AEE9FEF712F8

Episode 135 – Finale day minus two. Walking 13 miles on my hottest Walking day ever, from New Quay to Llanrhystud

Dear Rosie, Lauren, Stan, Jake, Rowan and Maisie!

Last Thursday was the first of three carefully scheduled   days needed to complete my circumnavigation of Wales. Everything worked like clockwork except the heat, which was solar powered and record breaking.

I drove to Llanrhystud to catch the 08-33 bus to New Quay

507E5E26-6731-4837-BE3E-DF192AF4D98D
And left Nobby out all day under the llanrhystud sun

 

First port of call, after dousing myself in sunscreen, was the New Quay Life Boat station . No one around to talk to so move on round the bay before the midday sun arrives and it gets too hot.

 

Soon moved off New Quay Bay to the shelter of the foliage overlooking Little Quay Bay, me dodging from shadow to shadow.

 

Passing through Aberaeron, Aberarth and Llanon which isn’t on the O/SMap!

 

Shade was now at a premium and my water bottles were heating up. Serendipity found me a caravan park gardener hosing down his bedding plants. He pointed out the drinking water tap and I was soon replenished and underway again. Even though the sunscreen had now melted on my forehead and was running into my eyes stinging them quite painfully. Navigating was always quite difficult. This was just rubbing it in!

My oasis below at Llanon

FD2A9F37-5422-446F-BF2A-C013C1E2E53A

I too had heated up, having been out all day in the sun. It was now five o’clock and I needed a boost. Or a chill.

As the Wales Coast Path gradually merged with the shoreline, an executive decision was made for me also to merge with the seawater. Despite the heat the sea was still quite cool and although I otherwise changed, paddled, splashed and towelled down for about an hour I never had the courage to fully immerse myself.

l am long out of practice at beach changing and balance is a forgotten art so when my ablutions were eventually over  I began the rest of the walk  with sand and damp patches everywhere. So no more pictures!

in fact the final walk in to Llanrhystud was quite an adventure. I had to change maps and there was no overlap which is probably why Llanon got missed. Also the WCP comes inland and merged with the main road. Sadly in the confusion, I messed up and ended up on the main road too early and was immediately in conflict with peak hour traffic, which does not acknowledge pedestrians.

Nobby was still there when I reached the city limits of Llanrhystud. Someone appeared to be standing guard over my car as I approached. Ever cautious I swapped to the other footpath and as I drew level ran for the driver’s door and was in and away all in one swoop. The “guard” hadn’t moved, or indeed woken up! Perhaps I was mistaken?

i arrived home by eight in the evening only to get an alarm call from Nanny telling me that we had acquired a cow or bull in the garden munching it’s way through out raspberries.

After a bit of peekaboo around the barn the heifer  eventually decided it was more peaceful in the river and leapt the fence to get back with her mates.

The farmer made a belated appearance when the fun was all over.

 

Episode 134 – One day trip to New Quay Walking 11 miles on the Wales Coast Path from Llangrannog; which only leaves about twenty miles to completely finish the Welsh circuit!

Below – Progress map courtesy of Ordnance Survey shows almost imperceptibly eleven Miles travelled from Llangrannog to New Quay on Monday  8th July, leaving a gap of about twenty miles to complete the circumnavigation of The Wales Coast Path

AAE313B5-961C-42C1-8194-396DDCE22E43

And making the grand total miles walked 4,466 in 355 walking days

 

Dear Rosie, Lauren, Stan, Jake, Rowan and Maisie,

I’m sadly running down the clock and also trying to make my last few days finishing The Wales Coast Path take as long as possible. This trip, which contains some of the most Cliff hanging edges encountered without safety harnesses,  involved driving ugly ZUD to New Quay, parking up and catching the eponymous Cardi Bach bus to Llangrannog and walking 11 miles back to NQ and back home all in one fantastic sunny day with just enough breeze behind me to keep cool. Just as well – either the hills are getting steeper or I’m running on empty.

The story in pictures;

Below at New Quay – awaiting the bus to Llangrannog, watching the “Flying Fish” removed from the water and beating the bus up the hill; eventually the ubiquitous Richards Cardi Bach Bus day drops us off at Llangrannog where the steps to the Wales Coast Path hint of further steps to be taken

 

 

 

Leaving Llangrannog the aerial  way – zoom in on the notice to read how a giant’s toothache created the bays…

 

 

 

Above – after Lochtyn ,NT, the Path seems to be creeping ever nearer the cliff edge…..

 

 

 

 

The notice, which I ignored, says something about there being a safer path somewhere avoiding the cliff edge – zoom in to see how narrow it gets! I survived😅🙈5AA71AF6-267B-4790-87CB-AC1F176C61C1595454A8-CB03-4154-8999-DAEF400274C6

Above – Craig yr Adar, NT or oblivion?

 

 

 

Finishing this walk to New Quay, below right, at the Harbour ….. and looking ahead in the distance – that’ll be Aberystwyth twenty miles away, hiding in the heat haze on the horizon, left. See you soon.

 

Just a congratulatory word for the Wales Coast Path bus services, which provide transport facilities to remote parts of the Wales Coast Path. Without them and their very helpful drivers I would still be walking. The logistics and planning are made so much easier when they go to places other transport cannot reach!

Particulsrly

Episode 133 – Resuming the Wales Coast Path walking 36 miles from Moylgrove/Trewyddel to Llangrannog reducing the north/south divide to Borth, to about 30 miles….or maybe more?- or is it less – confused? Read on!

087AC17D-30F5-406E-BDB6-CC5F5B78A4D6Progress Map by courtesy of Ordnance Survey. The southern crimson worm has turned up the heat and reached Llangrannog 25 miles south of Aberystwyth. Whereas his slippery northern pal remains holed up at Borth 6 miles north of Aberystwyth – use two fingers to enlarge the map!!

Dear Rosie, Lauren, Stan, Jake, Rowan and Maisie,

I’m running out of miles to walk and there is a realisation that another chapter in my walk around Britain’s Coastline is coming to an end as I approach Aberystwyth.

I’m beginning to think that the area I’m now walking is by far the most scenic and I want to photograph everything in sight which creates a selection problem further down the line.

The sequence is also questionable since enforced walking there and back creates double the opportunities and also twice the confusion in putting things in the right order. I think I can safely leave that to my dear reader – if the reader notices at all. Let random prevail…

 

 

Grand total miles  walked so far round England and Wales is 4,449 in 355 days but not all in one lump! In fact spread over several years.

If you think the total appears to be exaggerated- well it is- I include lost miles when I have gone out of my way unintentionally (unkind people call it lost) and I include duplicated miles where I have gone there and back on foot, plus any extra walking needed to actually access the Wales Coast Path (WCP)

Please  feel free to check my figures, you can borrow my marked up route maps and see you in about six years, unless you walk faster than I do.

Anyway, a rough guide would be that walking round England and Wales including Offa’s Dyke and Hadrians Wall is gonna end up being about four and a half thousand miles, give or take….

This latest several day walk starts at Moylgrove/Trewyddel where I lost and found my wallet last episode.

The next big town was Cardigan which I used as a bus hub as I walked the Coast via Cemaes Head and Poppit Sands.

 

Cardigan is well inland on the Afon Teifi with nowhere to Ford the river until the first bridge – Bridgend!

1B4AA30E-22DA-4BEF-BCC2-DF7C27ADB0C4

Above/ Bridgend Cardigan/the castle was being done up and not so photogenic. After that came Gwbert, Parcllyn, Aberporth,  Penbryn, Tresaith and Llangrannog

Penbryn  was picturesque beyond belief. I lingered longer here, maybe realising the WCP journey was coming to an end with heightened emotions; caused maybe by the superb natural surroundings; or could be the coffee, cake and ice cream at the Plwmp Tart?

Penbryn.,.

 

 

Domestic issues – below-  camping at Llety and inside my personal public transport – for a while I was the only bus passenger

Above and below Llangrannog where this walk started and ended

 

B22D3060-E6DA-40A5-9A83-7948C3853416.jpeg

A very early start, caused by a fox raiding the bins at my campsite. He came and sniffed at my tent and screeched at 3am; I got up and cleared the mess because next the gulls would come to investigate followed by rats. My trusty multi purpose steel tipped sticks were by my side. Needless to say I didn’t get much sleep and started my walk much earlier than usual.

I was desperate for a hot beverage it being very early and nowhere open. The Gilbert family came to my rescue and gave me early morning sustenance and Essex nostalgia. They had been coming here for summer holidays for years as a greater family and occupied a wonderfully positioned letting just by the boat slipway. As family continued to arrive I made my excuses and headed off refreshed looking back and down on their idyll -above – bottom right

Next was filling in a shortfall heading for Tresiath and back , running on empty and no buses to suit my timetable. I hate there and backs except this one was well worth doing twice .Refer the Plwmp Tart!

I returned to Llangrannog tired overheated but exhilarated.

Time to go home!

Hang on?

But what’s all this about ?

 

An updated Progress Map??02B1D472-EB86-4F72-A404-C79998AD9286

it seems the northern crimson worm didn’t go home straight away on Thursday, but instead slipped out and slithered into Aberystwyth unnoticed

 

There’s crafty for you boyo!

Heres the story in pictures very low key but the southern worm still has to complete the course in the finale on July 27 walking into Aberystwyth from Llangrannog

 

The plan was to walk 6 miles from Borth into Aberystwyth and catch the train back

Leaving Borth beach and the IRB Station

B36B4027-A8BF-44F3-8786-196D38D457E8

 

 

Looking back at Borth – below

CB9F07FB-F767-48EB-A62D-E3E7D7DE4E64

 

 

Aberystwyth laid out ahead of me as I crest the next hill — another mile to go

A1975256-6DE6-47B5-B475-912F8F68EC5A

 

End of the cliffs at Aberystwyth Cliff Railway

AB25A50D-7F3C-4E90-A634-D6EDCF02324F

Followed by a walk into Aber to find the railway station out of here.

Below – Leaving the train at Borth from Aberystwyth where Nobby was waiting to take me back home, but not before we had negotiated an enormous might time diversion in the heart of mid-Wales where they seemed to be resurfacing every road I needed to use.

5384F47D-7716-4735-B90D-8108C49BA6DB

I got home at midnight. Otherwise a very successful journey making a mess of my arithmetic but I believe I have now completed 4,455 miles in 354 walking days!

 

The northern crimson worm had deviously got to Aberystwyth first.

All that remains is to complete the circuit by walking thirty odd miles from Llangrannog to Aberystwyth and celebrate with the Finale- with fish and chips and lime and lemonade at Aber  Baravan -full details available from Marilyn- dress code walking gear.

 

Episode 132 – Return to Newport Sands and walking 12 miles on the Wales Coast Path to Moylgrove/Trewyddel The Principal Walker showing signs of fatigue and has to be rescued by Geoff and Marlene from Bolton; Lily and Sam from RNLI: and Richards buses not forgetting Trenewydd Farm Holiday Cottages….

N

My rescuers; Richards Buses disappearing with my wallet; Geoff and Marlene who found it; Lily and Sam who replenished my water supply; things go wrong when Bobl’s in a hurry and Nanny had been loaned to Rosie and Lauren. Not forgetting Linda and Tony At Trenewydd Holiday Farm my B and B for the night

Below- Cliff edge scenery from Newport Sands to Cwm  Trewyddel. Today’s walk was pretty strenuous with plenty of ascents and descents in the heat of the day; I was glad of the company of Geoff and Marlene. With all the chaos I still managed twelve miles bringing the total to 4,413 miles in 351 walking days.

 

 

 

Dear Rosie, Lauren, Stan, Jake, Rowan and Maisie,

Nanny took a risk and allowed me to play on the Wales Coast Path resuming at Newport Sands on my own whilst she looked after Rosie and Lauren.

With my independence, my plan was to arise st 5am and leave home with Nobby, driving to Moylgrove/Trewyddel and intercept the 9-24am Poppit Rocket Coast hopper bus alighting at Newport Sands and walk the coastal path back to Poppit Sands increasing my southern crimson worm tally by miles. Simple. What could go wrong? All in the right direction too!

It all started to unravel when I stopped for breakfast  refreshments along the way and miscalculated the time to get to  the bus at Moylgrove/Trewyddel. In the end, was relying on the car clock being 5 mins fast. I coasted into the M/T car park where the only two people around formed a small queue at a bus stop. An exchange of yells established it was the right place for the coastal bus, as I hurriedly  tried to get my gear together.

Suddenly the bus arrived

I mostly succeeded transferring my gear, except for my water bottle, my sticks, my hat, sunscreen and also left the luxury of tying my boots till on board the bus.

The gentleman boarding the bus, Geoff, watched as I made to join him and observed that I might want to close the passenger door on my car.

The bus driver generously waited till I’d got the door closed and locked and I landed in a heap on his platform with the belongings I’d had time to bring with me.

I managed to tie my boots as I chatted to new neighbours  Geoff and Marlene. It appeared they were journeying similarly to me except staying on the bus one stop longer. Shame cos they were familiar company in many ways to me and would have made good travelling companions but more importantly I could leave all the navigating to someone else.

Anyway we parted hurriedly as the driver informed me we had arrived at my stop. I was still blissfully unaware of the goods I was lacking and even more unaware that I was about to leave my wallet on the bus! About a mile into my walk I suddenly realised I was bereft of a wallet. I walked on having about 15 quids loose change on which I could survive and knowing Nobby had a full tank. But my resolve waivered, with no wallet my identity was out there at the mercy of who knows what!

So I retraced my steps searching all the way back to the bus stop .Nothing.

Except the familiar faces of Geoff and Marlene. I didn’t have to tell them my woes / the missing wallet and all the other missing equipment. They had worked out I was unfit to be out on my own and had found the wallet on the bus and decided to give chase hoping to catch me up to tell me. Which, because I’d turned back,they had soon overhauled me. They told me the wallet was in the safe custody of the bus driver.

i tried contacting the bus company Richards but to no avail. No signal.

We agreed the best course of action was to let the wallet journey round the countryside and rendezvous at the end of the day at the end of the line.

i was no longer at the end of my tether.

Thereafter we formed an orderly queue and proceeded on our journey round the coast together. Very pleasant company.

We formed a plan to contact the bus company after refreshments at the end and maybe intercept the bus somewhere along the route.

Meanwhile I took time out to visit the RNLI Lifeguards at Poppit Sands to replenish my water supply. Nothing was too much trouble for duty lifeguards Sam and Lily and I was soon supplied with enough water and sterilised bottle to complete my journey. I remain very impressed by the whole service offered by the RNLI. Did you know they make All their own lifeboats in Poole?

It took a while to catch up with Geoff and Marlene ( or as I renamed them serendipity personified) on account of some seriously steep ascents. Especially the last! But at the end Geoff insisted on feed and watering me, topped off with a gin and raspberry ice cream cone!

The garden centre cafe allowed me to use their phone to arrange s rendezvous with the bus carrying my wallet, I was not equal to their telephonic system and fortunately the waitress remained available to help place the call and give me essential information like where was I?

SP Geoff and Marlene  hadn’t finished as I was escorted through the cunning crafty back lanes to await the bus; I even had time to purchase souvenirs from the RNLI Shop.

i took Geoff’s advice to  not drive home but to stay around Cardigan and refresh for less hectic walking tomorrow

 

Trenewydd – I am thus writing the blog from the comfort of b and b near St  Dogmaels.  I am comfortably positioned ready to spring into action on the WCP on Tuesday and return home after much too much excitement

It was spooky that the only Bolton connections I had were also known to Geoff and Marlene…. namely the Chadwicks and the Lofthouses

 

 

Back to today’s Walk

 

Witches cauldron

E7C1FDB7-5199-4C1D-858E-74EB38F7E9B3

 

 

Shady memories below of a steep, long and painful climb to the garden centre cafe where Geoff and Marlene resuscitated  me tea cakes latte and gin flavoured ice cream

D9F0388F-4DF7-46D2-A0BB-2D942FCE9619

 

RNLI Station at Poppit Sands

– more souvenirs particularly as they rescued me from potential dehydration

 

That’s all folks – I’m double visioning – or hallucinating?

Episode 131 – Walking the Wales Coast Path, (south), 34 miles from Aber Mawr to Newport Sands, Pembrokeshire, via Strumble Head and Fishguard. Total mileage round Wales and England is 4,401 -in 350 days. ….. only 72 miles to go before the Finale in Aberystwyth

5781BFDF-C7BE-438E-B345-1BDBBC5714D9My favourite picture! Hot enough for my first swim of the year- taking a short cut across The Afon  Nyfer at Newport Sands

 

 

 

Dear Rosie, Lauren, Stan, Jake, Rowan and Maisie,

It has been a busy walking time,  trying to finish my walk round Wales in time for The Finale . Nanny and Nobby accompanied me last week for  34 miles walking on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path from Abermawr to Newport’s Afon Nyfer on Wednesday to Friday. Not to be confused with the Newport in South Wales!

The route hugged the coastline mainly at cliff top level with very little opportunity to get to the shoreline.

Starting again at Aber Mawr, I aimed for Strumble Head and the first day’s walking ended  after 12 miles at Llanwdna with easy access to our b&b at Fishguard.

The second day totalled 14 miles walking via Goodwick and Fishguard to Dinas Island. It was getting mighty hot.

On the last day I completed the circuit of Dinas Island and pulled up short at Newport Sands after only 8 miles at the Golf House Clubhouse, totalling 34 miles this trip. I was overheating and over eating too much crab.

During this heatwave the overall mileage ticked over to 4,401 in 350 days making my daily average walk nearly 13  miles since November, 2013.

The gap on the Wales Coast Path Progress Map below, (Courtesy of Ordnance Survey) has now closed to 72 miles, from Newport (Pembrokeshire) to Borth

D7B7C592-509C-4913-B606-2057EE7429E9.jpeg

Below, Wednesday, at midday, I’ve returned to Abermawr, and start walking, although my app calls it Pencaer and  Castlemorris. Nobby and Nanny leave me to it and I set off for the next rendezvous

 

Soon heading for Strumble Head lighthouse – furthest below

 

 

No access to the light house

 

I lost my map and map case somewhere in this hay field…

5A5C6E03-7735-4304-A533-8640A739CC91

Next day when I returned someone had hung them on the stile. Nice one! Thanks!!

. Next day heading for Fishguard

FD212CF3-5586-4D7F-AA3F-287BC3B0E73A

 

CCD1B651-3EC8-4B3B-9132-11F99D637EEE

6EDEDC80-D013-43EC-A664-8354255BF2A2

Suddenly the footpath became quite restrictive – walkers segregated from ferry traffic. Somewhere in there would be an RNLI Station which I couldn’t get at

32689316-B3FC-44AF-AE7C-5168CFCEC7D3

The Harbour from Fishguard

 

A rendezvous with Nanny at the old harbour just in time for crab salad lunch at the quay cafe across the water- yes that’s the Wales Coast Path cutting a swathe through the greenery

A583EED9-A028-4F1B-8284-8C7030C089E6

 

A5298B93-2039-4FC0-984A-43E515D7E5B6

Harbour defences!

 

 

375F10C7-7E9C-47A6-AEEC-6AF14B3FF6C2

The hottest days of the year so far…a group being taught coasteering. My walk is quite mundane in comparison

 

 

Must remember to look back ocassionally,  I’ve walked all that!

CFE1138D-EFEE-44C2-A3F3-0E0902141EF9

 

 

10E2E49C-CAC8-4594-9A0C-D8C7D8AE72FE

And looking ahead at what’s to come

 

 

 

 

 

75A373A2-059E-483E-80C8-6F80B7B6238B

 

 

 

Running out of words to describe these pictures, and feeling sad that the tour is coming to an end

 

Approaching Newport Sands and Afon Nyfer wondering whether the tide was right for fording the River

ADB4418E-4719-4018-8D4F-CF4BBF976284

But first an iced drink and another crab sandwich lunch at the Morawelon  bar and restaurant, we can watch the tide.

We did and it seems quite safe to wade across. Cross the Afon Nyfer and finish in the golf club car park

 

 

…..5781BFDF-C7BE-438E-B345-1BDBBC5714D9much too hot to go on – on reaching the Afon Nyfer at Newport Sands, with the tide at its lowest, a great opportunity to cool down by wading across the main channel, after crab sandwich lunch, at The Morawelon, on the south beach.  I finished my walking on the north beach where Nanny and Nobby were waiting in the Golf Club car park. My wet boots will soon dry out in this heat

 

 

More crossing the Afon Nyfer – others followed me across,.,33AB0CBF-03DD-43E4-94CA-36B17E512A42

Hurry the tide’s coming in again!

Back soon to close the 72 mile gap….

 

Below. Going home via Aberystwyth – when we can get past harvesting equipment blocking the narrow lanes

F23C37D0-F947-4CC0-B553-4D632FA5D38D

Episode 130 – being the counterpart to 129- a further 20 miles from Machynlleth to Borth to return the Wales Coast Path walk back to the coast and the total mileage to 4,367 with about one hundred and ten miles to go. Scroll through for Episode 129

Progress map below by courtesy of Ordnance Survey showing the north Wales Coast Path crimson worm back in its rightful place on the beach at Borth. Within striking distance of Aberystwyth. Still no reaction from the south crimson worm about 110 miles away, stuck at Abermawr

1FEF64FC-05F0-45DC-B7E8-E0CAB92A9542

Dear Rosie, Lauren, Stan, Jake, Rowan and Maisie,

Yesterday, Tuesday, 18th June, v v early, I drove with Nobby to Machynlleth to complete the inland diversion around the Aberdovey estuary. Last trip I had already completed the north bank, Tywyn to  Machynlleth, and now I was hoping to finish the south bank counterpart of Borth to Machynlleth

I chose to catch the train from Machynlleth to Borth and walk the Wales Coast Path in reverse because the trains worked out nicely.w

 

 

Even having time to breakfast on the train

 

– Barra brith and coffee before arriving at Borth below

 

And now after filling my rucksack with snacks at the local grocer, I was ready to take on all day long the bogs, hills and forests which the train line had just skirted in twenty minutes. I only got lost once-

at Brwyno GR SH/SN 710 964

I missed a wooden finger post high up pointing almost back on myself; very easily spotted walking back though!

 

 

Bogs above

Forests below

 

I don’t know what you were expecting but the above pictures are typical Wales Coast Path inland diversion- not much to sea?

Sorry  but I do navigate much better with the sea on my right…..  or left

but there were dramatic rivers below

 

 

And one intruder

 

Did someone say  lunch?

After lunch and a very impressive display from my new friend who was so happy to see me, I realised my phone charge was getting low and reception wasn’t always guaranteed.

I opted for radio silence  to save power for any real emergencies and that meant no more pictures. My own personal batteries were going the same way, getting lost again was no longer allowed

I’ll list the significant features of the journey so you won’t miss out

 

After getting lost along the Afon Brwyno River I returned to charted territory at Caerhedyn and followed theLlyfnant Valley to the RiverRhisglog at Gelli Lydian where some serious tree felling made following the path more interesting until …….

D372F548-F0E3-4BB0-BE07-CF90B67AC4A1

…….At last after a very long day, starting out at 6-30am Machynlleth came into view. The photo was timed at 5-10 pm. Laid out before me from my elevated position I could see the river bridge and the railway station a couple of miles away. Fortunately it was a downhill dawdle most of the way to Nobby parked at the railway station just after six thirty pm. Not even bothering with the flask of coffee he had been guarding all day, I hopped in and drove home by gone 8pm

Simple.

Not.

But yes! once home if you were to look due West over our back fence, across the River Teme and beyond over the 😊Cambrian Mountains, that’s where I’ve been getting lost . No people. Just one horse.

Overall, a very satisfactory two (Saturday and Tuesday ) day’s walk despite the 36 mile diversion being mostly unnecessary if I could have forded the River Dovey at Aberdovey! The journey from Tywyn to Borth direct incidentally measures about 9 miles with no allowance for tides, currents, wind, tacking or calling in my investments in the RNLI! So the full effect of the diversion is about 27 miles extra.

l’m not bitter, just worn out. But I didn’t drown, I wasn’t swept out to sea and I didn’t succumb to quicksand

Episode129 -A one day, 16 mile dash to Machynlleth, Tywyn and Aberdovey to bridge the R Dovey. The north Wales Coast Path Crimson Worm is front runner in the race to be first to Aberystwyth. The south Crimson worm is still languishing around Abermawr on the way to Strumble Head. Total mileage round England and Wales is 4,347 miles in 346 days.

Donald birthday edition 

2B1E47D3-29D0-4D13-A39A-46CA2F5CCE59He was one for the forty fifth time on Friday 

 

Progress Map by courtesy of Ordnance  Survey

846EDECF-660D-40D2-99C0-D4A102B7AE0F The  crimson worms are leaving quite a trail around Aberdovey, particularly following our previous February visit to Tywyn and Aberdovey to climb Cadair Idris with Stan and his pals. Add to this the 12 mile trek from Aberdovey inland to Machynlleth to cross the R Dovey  and I’m getting maximum use out of OS Explorer Map OL23 and there’s still the return journey to the coast from Machynlleth to Borth.

 

 

Dear Rosie (have a nice birthday party on Friday), Lauren (   Good luck with song on Friday ),   Stan(remember Cadair Idris?), Jake (so pleased you’re back in the fray -how’s the cricket going?), Rowan (first horse riding lesson accomplished) and Maisie (have you reached the top yet?) and Richard also, (Happy V BIG Birthday),

Because the Wales Coast Path action is close to home I managed a day trip yesterday (Saturday) to resolve the dilemma caused by having to cross the River Dovey on the way to Aberystwyth. But  just in case this cunning plan went awry, Nobby was filled with all sorts of camping and hiking equipment so I could bale out any time

My options were to blag a lift across the river to Borth at Aberdovey or walk 12 miles inland to Machynlleth the nearest bridging point; and twelve miles back again to Borth.

I parked Nobby at Machynlleth Station -free!- with no particular plan other than leaving all options open. I took the train along with two carriages full of mature walkers doing the same thing, but was only one of few getting off at Tywyn (my last known walked destination on the Wales Coast Path) and headed for the beach and Aberdovey

 

At Machynlleth option of train to Tywyn or bus to Aberystwyth- the train won.

While Nobby stayed put in the free car park

30489BAE-BF02-4041-A837-E81B708F1455

 

Arriving at Tywyn and heading for the beach and the Wales Coast Path

 

8F50C30C-6CFE-4841-8A52-0647C4660C40

 

Stan will remember the prom and arcade, curiously closed today, maybe they thought he was coming to empty their coffers again….

 

 

Tide going out plenty of surf and firm sand to walk on to Aberdovey

First sighting below was the RNLI Lifeboat Station which I inspected and bought a few souvenirs as insurance but did not help my pleas for cadging a lift across the Dovey

 

 

 

The city limits of Aberdovey were quite fish and crab orientated  but today with low tide just before 2pm and intermittent rain there were no fishermen or boatmen around to serve my need to cross the river at Aberdovey rather than walk an extra 24 miles inland detour via Machynlleth.

 

I approached some locals whose best advice was they had just seen a jet ski being launched, perhaps if I tracked it down I could blag a very wet crossing? But all was quiet – no irritating raucous racing engine noise – even though I would have temporarily displaced my aversion to these almost unnecessary machines.

A8F5B9B1-FEA4-4990-A32B-083302BE960DA few minutes later, the last picture above depicts a broken down jet ski being revived on the beach / what’s the opposite of serendipity? Seems that idea never got off the ground! It would never float

The next twelve or so miles were unimportant to me as I headed inland. I had been unsuccessful in my attempts to get a lift across the Dovey at Aberdovey despite asking the RNLI Station, Outward Bound, the Harbourmasters Office, fishermen, the yacht club, charter fishing boats and any kids with a lilo or even an inflatable toy. .Here is a selection of the trip photos which for the most part followed the railway line and the main Aberdovey road to Machynlleth – with no footpath! And it rained and the off- road parts of the walk were poorly signed.

 

 

I was constantly changing into wet weather gear, sun gear, hi-viz gear and dodging traffic on the country lanes while searching for non existent waymarkers on this redundant bit of the Wales Coast Path.

 

 

 

 

At last I’ve reached the lowest bridging point of the River Dovey and I crossed and headed for Machynlleth Railway Station, Nobby and home after a slightly resentful walk inland away from my beloved coastline.

 

AA50244F-0AFA-412D-B570-76BE7AC10837

Next visit I will resume from this Machynlleth station heading along the south bank of the R Dovey to get back to the beach at Borth. I will then be back in position on the opposite bank of the River Aberdovey heading for victory for the north in the Crimson Worm stakes ….