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

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Go well!

 

Walking The Ceredigion Coastal Path 10

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 09:30
Location: Mariner’s Cafe, New Quay
Mileage: 26

I was off the campsite by 07:45 heading round the back of the beach and up onto the coast path. A steep climb to regain altitude and away I went. The rain mostly held off, nothing more than a light drizzle, I considered stripping off my waterproof trousers but before long they were soaked through by the long grass that grew over this section of the path. My feet were squelching in my no longer waterproof boots. All this time I was carrying my tent in my hands, swapping it from hand to other hand until finally with what looked like a vicious climb ahead I broke early for breakfast at 08:30 on a large rock just off the trail. I took this opportunity to empty most of my rucksack out and squeeze the tent back in. This I might regret later if it soaks my sleeping bag, but everything else is in my waterproof drybag, just my shirt and sleeping bag at risk. A small risk I say now.

Pushing on, the climb was vicious, steps cut into the hillside, but before long things eased out again. A mist rolled in slowly from the sea and the on-shore wind now buffeted my waterproof trousers inflating them like windsocks. An ominous sign suggested an alternative route ‘avoiding the cliff edge’ which I eagerly took. Passing a runner coming in the opposite direction I knew I must be nearing New Quay. It was still quite a trek through the clouds which had now rolled all around me, the view was limited to a few hundred yards in each direction now. The path eased into a relatively flat well prepared path that passed stone buildings on the left, lookouts and viewpoints and a stone circle in a field on the right, before the final descent into New Quay.

Stepping off the trail and landing in a built up area is an odd experience, after two days on the trail now I am starting to feel out of step and out of time with the realities of built up areas. I’m walking into New Quay with my world on my back after walking since early morning and yet the people I pass are walking out of their front doors and into cars to go wherever they go.

And so here I am now, two hours after leaving Cwm Tydu, contemplating the next six miles to Aberaeron which, at this rate of progress, should take another three hours. Hope the veggie health food shop is open on a Sunday and that I make it on time.

 


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 9

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 06:00
Location: Cwm Tydu
Mileage: 22

The heavy brooding sky has turned to rain, I didn’t fancy striking camp in the rain, so I’m going to have the tea I was going to have anyway and contemplate the rain drops. It’s getting worse. My washing from last night wasn’t dry but I rescued it from the rain, I’ve given it one last squeeze and stowed it in a bin bag. It feels like the rucksack is going to be a little heavier today with the extra weight of water. Ten miles to Aberaeron. The last forecast I checked said the rain was coming in later in the week and with no phone reception here at all in Cwm Tydu I can’t check what the latest forecast is. So I have to wait it out and make a run for it in the break. Time now to shuffle about with the contents of the rucksack and think about how to fill it with breakfast and lunch near the top and the tent, that I’m still sitting in, near the bottom all without getting it wet on the grass outside. The rain paused for the moment, let’s hope it’s done for the day.

 


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:

IMG_6119


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 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 Holidaymakers 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.

 


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!