Day 081: Port Eynon to Llanrhidian
Distance: 21.23 miles
Ascent: 2721 feet
Weather: Sunny SPells
Accommodation: Culver House, Port Eynon
I was a little distracted this morning, with Dad and Brigitte in the flat but after a lovely breakfast and finishing yesterdays diary, it was time to set off not long after 8. It was decided that Dad would join for the first 7 miles or so of the day to Rhossili, where we would meet Brigitte.
The sun was trying to come out as we headed up through the quarries, and onto the cliffs as we left Port Eynon. The path climbed up and down a fair amount, though for the first few miles never too steep. We met two very friendly small ponies as we passed Overton Mere, who gently strolled up to us before charging around playing with each other.
The path started to have a fair few climbs in and out of valleys and at one-point Dad was crawling using his hands to get up one muddy slope and was beginning to get very tired, which at almost 75 you can’t blame him. It was nice to see an old boy fixing a large drystone wall near Mewslade Bay, though at the pace he was going could take a few months to complete it.
Dad was getting very tired at this point but we only had one more hill to go, taking us up to the coastwatch hut where there were stunning views over to Worms Head Island which can be reached by a tidal embankment at low tide. From here Rhossili was only a short flat walk away where Brigitte was waiting, and Dad was very glad to reach the end of his walk, though it had been a beautiful stretch. We arrived around 11:30 so had an early lunch together before I headed of alone for the last 14 or so miles.
The sun had come out, and I headed down the path towards Rhossili Beach firstly along the dunes and then further along down on the beach. This beach was stunning, flanked at one end by the cliffs and the other by Burry Holms, with the inland dunes. Barring possibly Three Cliffs Bay yesterday definitely the best large beach I have seen on walk so far.
At Burry Holms, the path headed up onto the high dunes, winding its way through the narrow sandy alley ways, before I joined the beach again at Broughton Bay. Due to it being low tide I was able to walk along the beach all the way to Berges Island, which is an ex military area. It is strange, on the side I approached (West) it was miles upon miles of sand, whereas as you headed around Whiteford Point and back down the East side it became salt marsh almost immediately.
From a fair distance I could see that there was a fairly massive breach in the seawall near Llanmadoc. On arrival the seawall was closed, and a large diversion in place, but I had seen a dog walker who had got to the other side so I decided to head along the wall. The breach was at least 20m, and I had to climb around the fence blocking the drop, clamber down the mud, across some stones to a mud bank and then back across stones before a mud scrabble back onto the other side of the seawall. In fact it was not too hard, but I wouldn’t have attempted it if I hadn’t seen someone else do it in front of me.
From here as it was low tide, I could follow the low tide route which was actually quite fun, if a little muddy. It crossed stepping stones, bridges, and was literally at the same level as the mud flat/salt marshes. I soon reached Landimore where the path headed into farming fields, where I was accompanied by my best friends SHEEP. I cannot believe how anxious I now get every time I see a field of sheep, but I got through the 4 or 5 fields of sheep and lamb without any incidents.
I finally arrived at Llanrhidian the finish point for the day where I met my Dad. It felt weird to be driving back to the same place as last night, in a weird way it felt like cheating, but as my dad was only here for two nights, I felt it would be nice to stay with him and altering the rules just slightly on my 30th birthday felt acceptable.
Today had some stunning scenery, it is definitely a contender for the most beautiful day of the walk so far.
NB - I couldn't choose which photos, so for first time on the walk went for 16 instead of 12.