Walking The Ceredigion Coastal Path 16

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.

Tuesday 28th May 2019 18:51
Location: Pencraig Farm, Cwmpengraig
Distance: 39 miles

Well, that was a surprise. I had struck camp by 10:30 and was on the path to Llanrhystud, the first part is along the beach, large pebbles and fairly good going, then at Aberarth a quick detour off the path, through the village and onto grass. I stopped to chat to a walker heading to Tenby expecting to be there in a couple of weeks. He suggested the Morfa Bychan campsite for a place to stop for the night. I had already contemplated this as a possible stopping place midway between Llanrhystud and Aberystwyth. I figured this would put me in good stead for a final early assault on Aberystwyth before catching the bus back to Cardigan.

The path became a little more undulating now following the line of the sea on my left and the A470 on my right before flattening out into a field-edge path on the approach to Llanon. Here, about two miles in, it became apparent that the blister on my left foot was not going to hold up, that combined with the oncoming wet weather and the path fortuitously depositing me on the A470 in Llanon, led me to the snap decision to jump on the next bus to Cardigan. At that point a police car pulled alongside.

“Hello, can I ask you your name, sir?”
“Why”, I asked
“Your description fits a missing person”, came the reply.

Assured I wasn’t their missing person they moved off and I headed for the bus stop. The hour and a half it took to get back to Cardigan revised all of the major highlights of the trip so far. Aberaeron High Street, down through the winding streets of New Quay, past the turnoff for distant Cwm Tydu and through a much busier Aberporth than the one I passed though early the previous Saturday. We passed signs for Penbryn, Tresaith and Mwnt before dropping down into Cardigan, Aberteifi. Half an hour later I was on a bus to Newcastle Emelyn, Castell Newedd Emelyn, and back to my starting point at the bus stop outside the Livestock Market.

I hitched up my rucksack and began the long walk back to camp. On reaching Drefach Felindre, the 640 bus sped past. It continues from Newcastle Emelyn all the way to Drefach Felindre. The last three and a half miles hobble over the top of one of the steepest roads around had in fact been a needless exercise, other than to bring my mileage up to that had I made it to Llanrhystud. Lying here now, fed and showered, with throbbing feet, that’s one sacrifice I could have forsaken.

 


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

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Go well!

 

Walking The Ceredigion Coastal Path 15

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.

Tuesday 28th May 2019
Location: Camping on the Farm, Aberaeron

06:19
It’s cold, the wind has been blowing 20mph all night, rain too. The rain has stopped now although it may return for a bit later, then it should dry out for the rest of the day. That’s my window to hit the trail for Llanrhystud. I was cold in the night, I finally ended up fully clothed, woolly hat, in my sleeping bag, in my bivvi bag with all the drawstrings pulled tight to cut out the wind. At one point I thought the tent had collapsed on me before remembering I was in the bivvi and reorienting my sight out of the hole to see the tent was still up.

The sea here is a constant white noise, the waves don’t crash and there’s no way to get below the sound waves. Up on the headlands it’s easy to duck below a dip or a hedgerow and the wind and wave noise just disappears. Here at sea level both are constant. The similarity of the noise of the sea has to traffic noise on a nearby motorway is uncanny.

The water has boiled now and a cup of tea is ready. I had pondered how to bring milk for my tea on this walk, in the end opting for none. I’ve got used to drinking black tea now, its taste is a little more tart than it’s milky relation but eminently drinkable.

My dreams have slipped away from me again leaving fragments, a bus journey in stormy weather up through the Scottish Highlands, although the bus interior is more panelled like a vintage train carriage and the driver leaves the wheel to come back to check tickets. I go forward to find the bus climbing its way up a steep track following the road as it bears in a right hand curve with the rain coming down and hedgerows looming above us. A car coming in the opposite direction passes us easily, wipers and lights on in the stormy night.

08:53
The forecast’s changed, the last bit of rain is not going to come in. The temperature has warmed up now, I’ve spent the last couple of hours in my sleeping bag with the addition of my coat and I’ve now eaten breakfast and shed my coat. Things are looking up. Next plan of action is to head into town, get a sandwich for lunch and some soya yoghurt for breakfast for the next couple of days, then head back here and strike camp. One great advantage of plant based dairy alternatives is that they don’t go off in the same way the real stuff does when left at room or outside temperature. That has been a lifesaver for my morning yoghurt and muesli routine.

 


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

Walking The Ceredigion Coastal Path 1

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.

Thursday 23rd May 2019 19:35
Location: Phoenix Camp Cwmpengraig
Mileage: 0

Sitting in the back of the van at the campsite planning tomorrow’s start to the walk. D is heading to Swansea and has offered me a lift in the morning. My best preference would be Carmarthen to the start of the walk or Newcastle Emelyn where I could catch a bus to the start of the walk and save the 5 mile walk into Newcastle Emelyn. D is not so sure on account of Carmarthen being in the opposite direction. I’m not so sure I understand as we passed it on the way here and so it can’t be that far out of the way. A quick look at the map reveals the problem. I need to get to Cardigan, not Carmarthen. So Newcastle Emelyn it is then. I can catch the bus outside the livestock market and that should get me into Cardigan in thirty minutes. Then I start walking.

My pack feels inordinately heavy though, I have tried to pack light but there are only so many things I can do without and I felt that I had already pared everything down to a minimum. Everything I look at now translates to grams and kilograms, each litre of water will add a kilo, each can 500 more grams, a pot of yoghurt is another half a kilo. And I still need to add my sleeping bag and water, but I will be taking my first set of clothes out of it. It should also get lighter as the days pass too as I have packed enough muesli for a week and five days supply of Huel and a couple of emergency cans of vegetable curry.

The rough plan is to walk from Cardigan to Borth / Ynyslas over the next week. It’s about 60 miles, so if I walk 5 miles in the morning and 5 miles in the afternoon it’ll take 6 days. It sounds entirely achievable even with stopping to swim in the sea at every possible opportunity and there’s a bag of chips with my name on it at both Aberaeron and Aberystwyth. Maybe some chocolate too.


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.