The weekend was set to be gorgeous and my new Hoka’s had arrived so at 3.30pm, after ploughing through a shedload I got my pack together and headed out.
I walked down the Ely Trail, a trail now made safe not through the diligence of Cardiff Council but through my six month one man campaign to have Cardiff Council actually do what by law they must. After months of being ignored and lied to I finally had the response that they would make good a barrier between the trail and the A4232 link road, a very fast and busy dual carriageway.
But my mind wasn’t on the hassles with Cardiff Council, but on the Plassy Fish Bar where I intended to stock up on a belly full of chips to keep me going well into the night. Chips done, and my god they were good, I was once again on the Wales Coast Path and heading West.
Penarth to Dark
Of course there was not much light left but behind me a near full moon rose and provided me with easily enough light to navigate the cliff top path. This section I always intended to walk at night, not wishing to see much of Barry or of the rather long busy roadside walk through that town. Once at Barry beach though things improved. A bit further on I was at Porthkerry where I intended to camp but there were several groups with fires and music and so I wandered on until I finally stopped at Rhoose Point.
Sunrise to Aberthaw
The night was cold. My tent froze. But I was OK. I’ve got some useful kit. And I wandered on to Aberthaw Power Station and then St. Donats, Nash Point, Dunraven Bay until I arrived at my camp for the second night, in the dunes at Merthyr Mawr.
The walk along the cliff tops of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast was easy enough but I can’t say stunning as a sea mist came in at my second breakfast and cast it’s shadow on the day until almost at Ogmore Castle. I was happy to but surprised to find the cafe and car park at Nash Point open. Nice for some to be able to continue to work despite there being absolutely no actual locals who could service the business. In fact at Llantwit the police were hassling a couple in a camper who were stating that they live in their van and it’s better for them to be away from cities whilst there were day-trippers galore lining up at the open cafe there.
I have found the police to be extremely arbitrary in the approaches made to people. Cliff top at Southerndown and a lone car with a young man in and he’s questioned. Multiple people driving to and taking part in / watching surfing at Portchcawl ignored…
Atlantic College to Ogmore
And then it was descend to Ogmore Castle and over the footbridges and into the dunes. Here I cooked up a superb fresh veg and brown rice curry of my own devising and made a tucked away camp and got some sleep. Some being the operative word. I was woken twice by arsehole helicopter pilots, once at about 2pm and again at about 3.30pm. Essential journey I’m positive… The sunset however was memorable and once again, day three, the weather was as forecast and stunning!
Sunset to sunrise
The final day, it feeling like this was the third but in total it was no more than 44 hours, was a walk to Porthcawl and then out the other side to Kenfig and on to Pyle station for a return to Cardiff.
Surprisingly to me this was my favourite section, despite the appalling state of repair of paths, signage and any visitor services at Kenfig. I’ll be writing in due course to Bridgend Council about that.
Ogmore to Kenfig
That final picture is not Kenfig Pool, no it’s a Kenfig Pool path. Disgraceful!
The duckboard out of Porthcawl is very well made indeed and then there is a section of open but gorgeous countryside abutting the path to the right with cliffs and beaches to the left. This then opens up to a long stretch of golden sand making it’s way to the steel factory at Port Talbot.
I turned right into Kenfig Burrows but the lack of signage and poorly maintained paths meant that I got wet feet for the first time on this trip! I’ll be writing in due course to Bridgend Council about that.
And that’s it, 58 miles in 44 hours with hardly a sole spoken too and social distancing maintained throughout!
I’ll be picking up from Swansea station on my next leg of the trip which will see me walk from there to Carmarthen.