XCVII – Portmeirion to Pwllheli

Hasteful MammalI AWOKE at an unearthly hour in Portmeirion, which was not entirely unconnected to the discovery that my phone’s alarm clock remains active even if the phone is turned off.  Its beeping and warbling thus ate up any charge it had managed to recover overnight. Still, this meant that I was awake and, after a light snooze, I was able to watch the sun rise and to amble about the village in its first rays.  It was lovely.

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XC – New Quay to Llanon

Hasteful MammalAS I sit and write this, the rain intermittently pattering at my window, a steady stream of news articles is indicating that most of the coastal towns and villages that I have visited in both Wales and the West Country are, to varying extents, underwater.  We knew that more storms were coming, combining rain and gale force winds; flood warnings had been issued.  And then they combined with the pull of the moon to coincide with high tides.  The results look spectacular but are disastrous for the communities involved.

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LXXXVII – Newport to Cardigan

Hasteful MammalBETWEEN Newport and the PembrokeshireCeredigion border lie some truly stunning cliffs with some quite unnerving cliff paths clinging to the top of them.  This walk therefore threatened to test my head for heights and so it did. Mostly, I passed, although I admit to feeling unnerved in some places.  It was worth it.

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LXXXIV – Whitesands Bay to Strumble Head

Hasteful MammalTHE plan was simple. Get up at the crack of dawn and leave before breakfast, giving myself plenty of time to amble slowly and leisurely around the coast to Strumble Head. And then, if time still allowed, to continue on to Goodwick.  It was a good plan. It was doomed.

The enemy, contact with whom no battle plan survives, was in this case me. As evidenced by my getting up somewhat later than intended and then taking time out for breakfast. 

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LXXXIII – Newgale to Whitesands Bay

Hasteful MammalFOR one reason and another — partly that I was busy and partly that I wanted to wait until the trees had stopped trying to have sex with my nose — I allowed six weeks to elapse between my previous walk and this one.  It was probably a little too long.

I was feeling slightly out of practice as I arrived back in Newgale (Niwgwl) and looked at the path climbing up out of the village onto the clifftop. Certainly, it was long enough to miss a window of several weeks’ worth of glorious weather; it was overcast with threats of drizzle when I finally returned.

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LXXV – Kidwelly to Carmarthen

Hasteful MammalONE week ago (as I write this), I awoke sprawled across a bed in the descriptively named Kidwelly B&B to realise that the previous evening I had just sat down for five minutes, ahead of getting food, and accidentally slept for twelve hours. I guess I was running a bit of a sleep deficit; too many late nights and early mornings will do that for you.

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LXXII – Rhossili to Llanrhidian

Hasteful MammalWITH flood warnings in place for much of Wales and heavy rain predicted for most of the foreseeable future, I had almost resigned myself to postponing any future walks indefinitely.  But when the Met Office predicted that last Thursday would be one clear day amid the ongoing deluge, I seized the opportunity with almost reckless abandon.

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LXVIII – Merthyr Mawr to Port Talbot

Hasteful MammalI WOKE up early on Sunday morning, stretched, yawned, turned off my alarm and got out of bed, ready to do some more walking. As I stood up, I almost swore under my breath but I didn’t, mostly because that breath had just exhaled itself involuntarily. I had, it turned out, most definitely got blisters on the balls of my feet.

Clearly I wasn’t going to be walking all day. Or if I was, it was going to be with pain accompanying every single step.  And that would just be silly. Right?

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LXIII – Avonmouth to Severn Tunnel Junction

Hasteful MammalMY MOST recent walk was plagued by annoyances which failed to dent my enthusiasm.  For instance, I specifically delayed my walk by a fortnight so that various others would be able to join me and none of them did.  Now, I’m quite happy to walk on my own but had I known I’d be doing that, I’d not have postponed it. I think in future I’ll just plan for myself and not for the benefit of others.

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LX – Highbridge to Weston-super-Mare

Hasteful MammalI WAS joined on last Saturday’s walk by Alice, who has been patiently waiting for me to embark on a walk within easy travelling distance of where she is. I forewent breakfast in my hotel in favour of a café on the high street and then set about finding a bus back to Highbridge.

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