Wednesday 30 March 2016
Aberaeron to Llangrannog
Highbury Guest House, Cardigan
A fairly chilly start but it was bright. Deb kindly sent me on my way with a packed lunch, including her homemade cake. I climbed up the hill onto the cliff top heading South.
The theme of today’s walk was ‘up and down’. I lost count of how many cliffs I climbed only to drop down to the next little cove, across an outlet stream and then up the other side. It was incredibly beautiful and rather tiring.
It was such a clear day that I could see Snowdonia and parts of the Lleyn Peninsula all the way to Bardsey Island. It was beautiful.
I reached New Quay at lunchtime and stopped to enjoy my picnic sat on a bench overlooking the beach and the sea wall. The sun was bright, it was warm and the town was busy; there were plenty of people on the beach and some brave souls taking a dip.
Another pretty town, brightly painted. There were plenty of references to Dylan Thomas as he made New Quay his home from 1944 and it was the inspiration for the town of Llareggub from Under Milk Wood.
It felt like summer had arrived and, if I hadn’t been so muddy, I would have put shorts on. I had to break out the suncream. To celebrate I had my first ice cream of the year, and it was a good one.
Another climb out of New Quay, up and around New Quay Head.
Suddenly the Irish Sea stretched out for miles, with varying shades of blue and green. It was a lovely sight.
I saw plenty of people on the coast path, some on several day hikes (they always ask me the same question: “are you doing the whole thing?” I must just look like I am) and some out looking for the Cardigan Bay dolphins.
It was wonderful to be on the cliffs in the sun, listening to the sea and the birds; a real sense of freedom and I walked with a permanent smile. The views were amazing at every turn (and every up, and every down).
There was a nice little beach and caravan park at Cwmtydu, where cargoes of coal, limestone and salt where landed in the 19th Century. It was also used by Siôn Cwilt, a famous smuggler. I carried on, up yet another steep climb.
The tiny island of Ynys Lochtyn, jutting out at the base of the Pendinas Lochtyn hill fort (stone-iron age) had been visible since I rounded New Quay head and was my destination.
I followed the coast path around the hill fort and admired Ynys Lochtyn but had no energy left to walk the extra mile onto it. Just around the corner was Llangrannog; another picturesque town. This one was tiny so probably more like a village, although it did have 2 pubs, shops and a couple of sandy beaches.
The beaches are separated by a big rock called Carreg Bica. This is the tooth belonging to the giant Bica.
Bica suffered from toothache and a dwarf called Lochtyn told him to stand with his feet in the sea to cure it. This he did, one foot creating Llangrannog beach and the other creating Cilborth beach. His tooth fell out and as a reward he ran his finger through the headland just above Llangrannog to create an island as it was Lochtyn’s wish to live on one.
There were people on the beach and surfers in the sea. I decided to get fish and chips as an early dinner while I waited for the bus. Unfortunately the bus never came (the timetable was confusing and the bus only runs twice a day, but not every day, in summer). The nice locals in The Ship Inn called me a taxi after advising me that was my only option to get to Cardigan (which I was lucky to get after only 45 minutes as apparently it’s common to wait 3 hours!). So much for staying in Cardigan to keep the cost down!