Day 258 Dylan Thomas and the Afon Taf

Sunday 17 April 2016

Laugharne to Llansteffan

17 miles

Pant Yr Athro International Hostel

It wasn’t even 7 am when Sally dropped me off at Laugharne (pronounced Larne) and it was freezing; there was frost on the ground. Still, that’s not a good enough reason not to wear shorts, especially as the sky was bright blue and the sun was rising.  

Laugharne Castle
 I stood at the base of Laugharne Castle and ate my breakfast (egg sandwiches) while shivering and admiring the wonderful view down the Taf Estuary.  

looking down the Taf Estuary from The Boathouse
 Laugharne makes much of being the home town of Dylan Thomas and his family 1949-53. I was completely alone wandering around early on a Sunday morning. I checked out The Boathouse, where Dylan Thomas lived, and his writing shed, which has been decked out as it might have been. I even found his grave in the churchyard.  

Dylan Thomas’ Boathouse
Dylan Thomas’ writing shed
If he experienced such beautiful mornings as this, in such a wonderful, peaceful setting, then I’m not surprised he was inspired to write poetry. It was a magical moment in time.  

St Clears Boating Club, based on one of the Taf’s tributaries
 By the time I reached St Clears I had just about thawed out, removed my fleece and added sunglasses and suncream. I crossed the Afon Taf and headed back down the other side, mostly following (albeit backwards) the pilgrimage route from Carmarthen to St David’s. 

following in the footsteps of pilgrims
looking across the Afon Taf to Laugharne
 Wharley Point stands at the confluence of the rivers Taf and Tywi, and the views from this point were magnificent. Pendine Sands was just across the river Taf and I could see all the way SW to Caldey Island and SE to Worms Head.  

the corner of Pendine Sands from Wharley Point
looking out over Carmarthen Sands to Pembrey Forest and the Gower beyond

the Afon Tywi
 I had been fighting a hangover all day and so, when I walked into Llansteffan at 2 pm I stopped at the Inn at the Sticks (named after an area of woodland called the sticks where locals used to meet to sit on benches, gossip and enjoy the view across the Afon Tywi). Their roast beef dinner was just the ticket.  

Llansteffan Castle
 It was only a short hop from Llansteffan to my budget accommodation (there aren’t many campsites around here).  

looking down on the Afon Tywi
 The International Hostel at Pant Yr Athro was an interesting place. It was within a cluster of dwellings that included a posh hotel, stables and a chalet village; an eclectic mix. The hostel was dressed up as a Mexican bar…I couldn’t work that one out. The manager was very nice but I’m not sure he’s very good at cleaning. Lucky I was too tired to bother.  


One thought on “Day 258 Dylan Thomas and the Afon Taf

  1. Chris Frazer April 20, 2016 / 9:51 am

    17 miles hung over….respect! Total respect! Ending up in WWII Nissan Huts thinly disguised as a hostel. Beautiful pics and the back of 2000 miles broken. Well done Jiuce.


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