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.

Wednesday 12th June 2019 16:30
Location: Camping on the Farm, Aberaeron
Distance: 3.82 miles

I’m back here again, we’re wending our way back out of Wales now and we are perhaps one of a handful of campers on the site. Today I ran up past Aberarth and back again, I didn’t cover any new ground but it was interesting to tread the path again. My belly was still full of chips from lunchtime and I’m not feeling 100% fit which was evident from how hard the run felt. This time last year I was chasing a 22 minute 5k, yet at last Saturday’s Park Run I only just scraped in under 26 minutes. The decline has come fast and I’m not sure what the primary causes are, too much Winter perhaps, not enough Spring.

The path was very much the same, along the back of the beach across a heavily pebbled beach and then up onto the grass and the ground rose perhaps ten feet with the beach and crashing waves below. A couple of times the path passed close to the edge where perhaps small landslides had stolen some of the path’s edge. Through Aberarth, where the stream now roared through under the footbridge heavy with the last few day’s rain and up onto the hillside where the sheep grazed. I ran through a field or two until I hit the 3k mark and turned round and ran back again. This time I could see the van in the field ahead and romped home knackered and happy.

I feel next time we’re up this way that a run to Llanrhystud would be a good way to start laying some of the demons of the walk to rest.

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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 14

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

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!

 

Walking The Ceredigion Coastal Path 13

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 11

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.

Sunday 26th May 2019
Location: Camping on the Farm, Aberaeron
Mileage: 32

14:40
I blasted on from New Quay following the road for a bit then onto Traeth Gwyn beach for a bit, rounding the corner of Llanina Point in the rain, and took a break on a patch of that dead, dry ground you get under some pine trees as I got off the beach at Cei Bach 45 minutes from leaving the cafe. That was then my new pace, 45 minutes walking and 10 minutes rest. The next burst took me up and down the headland, over the Afon Drwyi waterfall and back up, up again.

The next hour brought me to the holiday village Gilfach yr Halen. The path had changed significantly since my guide book was printed as the route, described as ‘confusing’, was really clear on the ground now. Later still new sections of path and fencing guided me around horse paddocks and down onto a wider track or bridleway. I stopped here for a Huel lunch and to wring out my socks. My shrivelled feet looked as though I had been in the bath for hours, which I suppose they had, and a blister had formed, burst and the skin mostly dangling off now on my little toe. Oddly this didn’t hurt at all, but the larger blister on the pad of my forefoot did.

I determined one final push down into Aberaeron. The rain had now stopped so I slipped off and stowed my waterproof trousers and jacket and made for town. The route was really straight forward now, the only hitch were the kissing gates that were a real squeeze to get through with my pack on. I did get through them all today, only one having defeated me on this journey a couple of days ago. I thought it better/easier to climb that one instead of removing my pack and was rewarded with a thigh cramp as I lifted my leg over and a grazed shin to boot as my reflexes drove my leg down to avoid the cramp.

So now I am checked in to Camping on the Farm at Aberaeron for a couple of nights to rest and ride out the forecast rain storms. The tent is up, clothes out of the bin bag and drying in the wind on the wire fence, I’m pretty dry and on my second cup of tea. The veggie shop was shut and so was the chemist, I was hoping to get some Compeed blister plasters but that will have to wait until tomorrow now. I’ve used Compeed plasters occasionally to deal with running or walking blisters and find them really effective and allow me to continue walking or running whilst protecting the skin. The big question of the day now being whether I can physically walk back into town now and find a takeaway for dinner later. The pain of blisters can feel disproportionately intensely painful compared to the size of the problem. Vegetable chow mein and chips is sounding real nice about now.

2019-05-26 17.56.07

18:00
It’s all starting to feel like a bit of a dream now. The late day’s sun is warming, the tent is warm and my belly is full of curry and rice. I’ve spread all my clothes around to catch the last of the rays, today’s sweat soaked ones and the ones I washed yesterday in the shower. My burst blister is throbbing and weeping and my thoughts are that enough is enough with this walking. The last three days, thirty odd miles of walking with a pack that’s too heavy and a pair of leaky boots.

The boots are a liability, when they get wet my feet get shredded. The pack is uncomfortably heavy, like that scene in ‘Wild’ where Reece Witherspoon as Cheryl Strayed tries to put on her pack in the hotel room for the first time. I’m going to blame it on the tent, more specifically the poles and the pegs, old school heavy fibreglass and steel. I don’t know how much it weighs as the scales at home only went up to 5kg and it was heavier than that. Other than the first night where the campsite was £22, the campsite at Cwm Tydu was good value at £12 and now here at Aberaeron where the owner’s discounted me to £15 a night. It’s half-term and it should be £20 for a pitch this week but they’ve squeezed me in for a couple of days.

Carrying my own food turned out to be essential for the first two stops, but having reached Aberaeron it is burgeoning with places to buy food or eat out even on a Bank Holiday Sunday. The Chinese take-away was closed for refurbishment, hence the curry from the Indian take-away opposite it. the Cost-Cutter convenience store now sells Co-Op products, did I miss the buy-out or takeover? I haven’t found anywhere to charge my phone yet, the man in the curry house only has a Samsung so I couldn’t blag 15 minutes of charging while I waited for the curry and read last week’s Mail on Sunday.

So at the moment I can’t face shredding my feet anymore in leaky boots, so the question is how much does the walk mean to me if it’s going to cost a new pair of boots, and where can I get boots? That’ll take a bus ride to Aberystwyth and at the moment my feet don’t feel like walking anywhere.

 

Footnote Friday 14th June 2019 – typing this up this morning it seems to me that I know the cost of everything and the value of nothing – the camping cost this, new boots will cost that etc. Whilst I believe it’s prudent to understand the value of where the next pound is coming from, there is also value in believing in the concept of the abundant universe. The theory being that you attract that which you create with your thoughts, whether this is true in a literal sense ie in a deeper philosophical meaning in the universe being energy or our perception of the universe being created from our thoughts, or from a more sociological perspective of seeing more of what we think of and filtering out that which we are not interested in. The example being when you buy a new car and you decide to buy a green one because you never see green cars out on the road, yet the act of thinking about or buying a green car changes your perception and suddenly you begin to see all the green cars that had previously been of no interest to you and were outside of your perception. So if one is always looking at the cost then one never sees the abundance. If I focus too much on the leaky boots and cost of camping, how can I hold the memory of the pod of dolphins arching their way up the coast that morning?

 


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!

 

Walking The Ceredigion Coastal Path 8

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 17:50
Location: Cwm Tydu
Mileage: 22

A chance encounter with a couple of guys tipped me off to a campsite in Cwm Tydu. The middle to last part of path from Llangranog to Cwm Tydu was cut from the edge of the Hirallt cliff face, the highest point along the Ceredigion coastline. It rose sharply up and in some places I had to mind to watch my footing as a mis-timed trip with the weight of my rucksack on my back would surely have been the end of me. I rested once more at a National Trust farm or estate that I didn’t catch the name of, before making the last effort for Cwm Tydu. The lure of showers and water was greater than the lure of the open sky and so here I am, tent up, clean, clothes washed in the shower, with an ample supply of water and ready to heat up a can of vegetable curry.

Tomorrow is 3.8 miles to New Quay and then a 6.5 mile push to Aberaeron. And then maybe a day at leisure. It’s then 7.4 miles to Llanrhystud for another stop and then 10.6 miles to Aberystwyth then a final 10 miles to Borth and Ynslas. Is there a bus back from Borth? Where can I get it back to? Aberaeron maybe, for a post walk rest and when is the last bus? And how will the coming rain affect my plans?

Saturday 25th May 2019 20:30
Location: Cwm Tydu
Mileage: 22

I’ve been down to the beach, watched a guy teach his son to beach fish, patted a Jack Russell and read all the signs on the beach. I took a selfie, found there was no mobile signal and watched the waves for a bit. The cafe here closed at 5pm so nothing happening there, it opens again at 11am so I’ll miss it on the way out too.

I’m trying (dw’in ceisio) to figure out if I’ll make it to Aberaeron at a reasonable time tomorrow, depends how well I sleep, I guess. I’ll probably breeze through New Quay too early for lunch, hopefully I can pick up a sandwich or something, maybe some oranges too, otherwise it’ll be Huel for lunch again. It’s then another 6.5 miles to Aberaeron which I want to reach before the shops close so I can pick up some fresh supplies from the Health Food shop. I’ll need a couple of cans for the next few days, ideally it’s chips night and then a couple of cans to get me through to Llanrhystud. It seems to have taken me all day to cover the ten or so miles today, but some of those ups and downs were pretty hardcore. So I need to make a note of how long it takes to get to New Quay tomorrow, to cover those 3.8 miles and get some good lunch to carry through.

Cwm Tydu is a popular spot for seals to birth and raise their young in the autumn and are common visitors to this cove although I didn’t see any this time. Last time I was here this fella came visiting:

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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!