Thursday 28 April 2016
Barry to Cardiff/Newport border
Oli and Laura’s house
I caught the train from Cardiff Central to Cadoxton, a suburb of Barry. I still had to walk through the suburbs and around the chemical works to Sully Bay.
The coast path ran past the edges of suburban gardens and was way marked by stones with various little mosaics telling the story of Sully. The beach was made up of vegetated shingle, which is apparently quite rare.
At Swanbridge I stopped for a 2nd breakfast overlooking Sully Island. The tide was in so no chance of walking to it.
On the way to Lavernock I passed an old WW2 anti-aircraft battery; unsurprising set in a location with great views.
At the church in this tiny village there was a plaque commemorating the first radio transmissions across water that were made by Marconi, who was based at Lavernock. In 1897 he received a message at Laverock that was sent from Flat Holm.
From Lavernock Point it was a short walk to Penarth, with its big houses on the cliff top and a pier on the small sea front.
Back up the hill to Penarth Head and some great views across the Bristol Channel, taking in the islands, and also over Cardiff Bay.
I dropped down to Cardiff Bay and walked across the Cardiff Bay Barrage. What a feat of engineering. It was built 1994-99 to create a freshwater bay and it certainly seems to have created a busy and well used environment.
One of the barrage sections was drained for repair and the South Wales Fire Service were carrying out some training.
The East side of Cardiff Bay was busy, with people and lots of fantastic buildings. I walked past the Welsh Assembly and along Roald Dahl Plas.
Cardiff Bay very much celebrates being the home of Roald Dahl (he was Christened in the Norwegian Church) and being the start point for Scott’s voyage to the Antarctic in 1910. I was mildly amused to note the lovely mosaic memorial to Scott and his colleagues is located directly in front of the Norwegian Church!
From Cardiff Bay the coast path wends its way alongside a small canal flanked by houses and apartments (I saw grebes and coots with their chicks). After that the walk was best forgotten.
I spent a good hour walking alongside a busy road through a series of industrial estates and then, when I reached the water’s edge, it was only to walk past a sewage works and various other nasty sites. I walked past 2 landfill sites, although it seemed more like I was walking through and over them. It wasn’t pleasant walking and the smell was horrible. There was one small settlement of chalets that I walked past and they were surrounded by rubbish and various animals, including horses standing in muck and mud. It was all very sad, and smelly.
I had to walk up and down the banks of the Rhymney River to escape, and even the river was muddy and filled with rubbish and tyres.
Finally I reached the sea wall, just as the wind picked up. Walking along it reminded me of Essex all that time ago; walking atop a big grassy bank designed to hold back the tide.
When I reached the Cardiff/Newport border I phoned Oliver (who had offered to pick me up) and headed into the road. I had seen 2 sides of Cardiff today.