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. 

Sunday 26th May 2019 18:00
Location: Camping on the Farm, Aberaeron
Mileage: At rest

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 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!

 

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

Sweet Potato Saag Curry

Another of my favourite meals at the moment is Sweet Potato and Spinach curry, very simple to make on a one or two ring burner, it provides a quick and healthy dinner.

Ingredients

Sweet Potatoes
Spinach Leaves
Onion
Garlic
Light olive oil
Curry Powder
Rice

The Curry

Slice the onion and garlic and fry in a little oil until soft and caramelised, if it starts to burn add a drop of water to the pan.

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Add some curry powder (a few teaspoons per person) and a little more water and simmer for a while.

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Dice the sweet potatoes into 1cm cubes and add to the pan, mixing them in to cover them in the curry sauce paste.

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Top the water up to maybe half or three quarters of the way up the sweet potato and bring to the boil.

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Turn down to a simmer and place the lid on, this will boil the potatoes in the water and steam those on top – you can experiment with how much water to add to balance the boiling / steaming of the potatoes to how thick you like your curry sauce. Less water equals a thicker sauce.

The cooking will take somewhere between 10 and 20 minutes, turn the curry occasionally scooping the potatoes from the bottom of the pan to the top, they are cooked when you can easily push a knife through them.

At this point start piling spinach leaves into the space at the top of the pan, replace the lid and let them wilt in the steam.

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As each batch wilts down, stir them in and add another handful to the top and repeat.

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The Rice

For speed and taste use white basmati, 80g per person. I always rinse with running water first and then add to a pan of boiling water.

In about 8 to 10 minutes the rice will be soft and fluffy and can be drained and then rinsed with boiling water.

Carrot Curry Recipe

One of my favourite meals at the moment is carrot curry, simple to make at home or camping, on a one or two ring burner, it provides a quick and healthy dinner.

Ingredients

Carrots
Onion
Garlic
Curry Powder
Rice

The cooking doesn’t take long so you can either prepare everything up front, or if you are cooking on a one ring burner then prepare each step as the former is cooking.

The Curry Sauce

Chop / dice the onion and garlic and fry until soft and caramelised.

To make this more of a Katsu curry add sliced ginger, soy sauce (1 tbsp) and honey (1 tsp)

Add a little water and curry powder (a couple of teaspoons per person) and simmer for a while.

Take off the heat and put to one side, optionally blend to a paste if you have a blender available.

The Rice

For speed and taste use white basmati, 80g per person. I always rinse with running water first and then add to a pan of boiling water.

In about 8 to 10 minutes the rice will be soft and fluffy and can be drained and then rinsed with boiling water.

For the camping version I forgo the after rinse but still rinse a little before cooking.

The Carrots

Slice the carrots and place in a large covered pan

Add a centimetre or so of water and place on a high heat

Stir through occasionally, the carrots should steam in 5 to 10 minutes

You can add variety by adding other veg into the steamer at the same time, perhaps sweet potatoes, asparagus or broccoli as you prefer.

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There’s a lot of different ways you can experiment with this recipe, everything is open to substitution ie completely replace carrots with sweet potato to make a sweet potato curry. Use mild or medium or stronger curry powder or paste to change the flavour. If you have more time you can add the vegetables to the curry sauce, add more water and boil them in the sauce instead of steaming them separately. Go wild and see what different combinations you can come up with.