Saturday, 18 April 2015


I have now consolidated my blogs, which can be found on


Thursday, 17 July 2014

Newgale to Caerfai and St Davids


I had been thinking of walking a tretch of the coastal path to take in Dale but because of weather and timings decided to change the route and walk from Newgale to Caerfai Bay on day 1 and then continue around the coast to beyond St Justinians and back to St Davids to catch a bus back to Newgale.

Route Day 1

Route Day 2

Our first day was very hot but at least there was some sea breeze to help.As I live in West Wales I am biased but the Pembrokeshire coast is stunning and today the sea was perfectly calm.

This stretch of the coast includes my favourite coastal town where I have had some excellent family holidays and you will have to agree that Solva is a jewell.

We continued on around the coast and ended our first day in Caerfai where we spent the night at Glan y Mor campsite. I can recommend this site, flat, quiet and with good facilities. We never did see the owners but left our fee in the honesty box.

The next day was not so good weather wise, with on and off rain and high winds.. We packed up and walked on past Porthclais and  around the corner where we spent  some time looking at the sea running between the mainland and Ramsey Island with the impressive Bitches causing huge waves.

As we walked towards St Justinians I was a little perplexed to see a huge crane adjacent to the lifeboat station. A ranger explained that a new lifeboat station was being built to house the recent addition of a brand new lifeboat and to help with the installation of an experimental generator which would use the tides to generate electricity.

He also told us an amusing story of a  recent visit by a chap from the body which lists various buildings. The current station took over from an old stone built station which is hidden from view under the cliffs.  Apparenty the official gentlemen only saw the current station and listed that!  They are now going through the process of de-listing and re-listing  the correct building. You couldn't make it up.

Still chuckling we continued our walk along the coast and cut back inland at Porthselau. The rain had now forced us into full wet weather gear and embarrassingly we accepted a lift from a bus whose driver took pity on us! This was a lucky break as when we were dropped off in St Davids the bus to Newgale pulled in, result.

We celebrated the walk with a coffee and cake in a cafe in Newgale.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Lower Fishguard to Poppit

The week commencing 14th July was to be a "boys week" for my brother in law and me where we hoped to walk, canoe and cycle. Amazingly the forecast was for sunshine all week.

The plan for Sunday and Monday was for a backpacking trip from Fishguard to Newport. The car was parked near Poppit Sands on Allt y Coed camping site where a small fee was charged.. I had left Andy at the cafe where he consumed two ice creams!

We caught the Poppit Rocket Bus for the trip to Lower Fishguard via all the small coastal villages. We had lunch before setting off on our route north

A sculpture of herrings - Lower Fishguard

Lower Fishguard

The Fort

The weather was clear with good views all day.

Aber Bach

Pwll Gwaelod

Which way does the wind blow?

The headland of Dinas Head eventually came into view with a decision to go around or through the neck which joins Pwll Gwaulod to Cwm yr Eglwys. No decision really we took the long way.

Pen Dinas

Cwm yr Eglwys

Cwm yr Eglwys

At the summit we could see Newport and near there was our overnight stop at Ty`r Canol. As we walked to the site the owner told us to set up wherever we liked and he would come around later.

Tents up and food consumed we had a welcome shower. About 1000pm the owner came around and offered us a a few fingers of a very nice whiskey! An excellent end to our first day.

5 star accommodation

Carn Ingli

Newport Bay

I was awake early on Monday and the weather looked good - it was not to last. We packed up and headed down to the beach and with the tide just starting to come in we decided to wade across the river to avoid the long walk to the bridge.

Good idea

A novel idea

Crossing the Nevern

Almost dry boots

As we headed around the golf club and to the north side of the bay the sea fog came in and stayed with us until just before Poppit. As you start this stretch of the coast there is a warning sign about the difficult territory to come. Take notice as it is correct. Lots of up and the path is overgrown in lots of places.

Dinas Head

Did we take a wrong turning?

Sea fog coming in

We had lunch at Ceibwr Bay and shortly after walked past the magnificent "Witches Cauldron", a collapsed cave. I have canoed into this on many occasions. 

Witches Cauldron

Witches cauldron

Ceibwr Bay

Slate bridge

From here the path seemed to go up and up. As we rounded Cemaes Head the visibility cleared with cloud inversions and with views of the Teifi estuary. 

An inversion?

We loaded the car and headed for the cafe and a celebratory ice cream.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Two Days on the Wye

I am hijacking my own blog site to describe two days open boating on the River Wye - I was carrying everything in the boat, so boat packing.

Canoeing was my main outlet for the outdoors for a long period but in the last 12 months or so it has taken a back seat, partly because my canoeing buddies have not been available and also because of the dodgy knee.

Route Wednesday

Route Thursday

Thankfully a phone call from Ray invited me onto a trip he was planning to celebrate his birthday.

Old but bold
The venue was to be the River Wye.  I was not able to join them for the first two days and joined them at Lucksall Camping site near Holme Lacy. This is a first class site with flat manicured grass, frankly too good for scruffy canoeists! The staff are friendly and the price is pocket friendly, more than can be said for some other sites.

\My abode

I rolled up just as the evening meal was being talked about and I was supplied with a tasty curry and rice. I only used one breakfast out of my meal plan for the whole period.

A new use was found for tabasco sauce when Cas was suffering from a back problem and the only hot solution was the sauce. It seemed to do the trick and was used on a number of occasions.

We had an early night and were up and about the next morning and on the river by 0900 after I was fed again by Ray,s team.

About to depart
A lot of pictures follow as we headed for Wilton just down stream from Ross on Wye.

Cas in the stern and Lisa in the bow

Ray trying my boat (he,s not good enough)

Typical downstream view

Hard work this canoeing lark

Welcome sight of Ross on Wye

Our overnight stop was the small site on the banks adjacent to the White Lion. Tents erected and a few cuppas sunk and then off to Ross for pie and chips!

Wilton at the White Lion

It was a lovely evening and I slept with the tent door open with views of the river.  No monsters entered during the night and I was up early enjoying the peace and a cup of coffee.  Today was Ray's birthday and he kindly treated us to a full English in the pub.

0600 hrs all is peaceful

Morning brew
The trip today was to be a little shorter with our destination at Wyedean Camp site at Symonds Yat.

Although the day started well with sunshine it changed to rain by the time we reached our get out. During the paddle Cas and Lisa paddled Ray's open boat and their skill levels visibly increased as the day wore on, selecting lines and mostly avoiding problem areas.

Cas and Lisa setting up line

This stretch of the river seemed to have a lot of notices telling us "No mooring, no trespassing, no camping" The sooner that Wales and England adopt the Scottish attitude to access the better.

At the Wyedean site we quickly emptied the boats and tents were soon up as the shelter was a welcome break from the rain.

Artistic boats - but noisy brutes to paddle

Fancy carving at Symonds Yat

Saracens Head

My food cache remained intact once again as cas had booked a meal in the Saracens Head to celebrate birthday boy. An excellent meal it was as well.
By the time we returned to the tents the rain had stopped but it came back during the night. On Friday morning I was up early and actually ate breakfast from my own store!
All that was left was to pack up, arrange the shuttle and head home.
Many thanks to Ray for arranging the trip and letting me keep most of my food.