141. Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen) – Cydweli (Kidwelly)

141. Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen) – Cydweli (Kidwelly)

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Distance: 16.8 miles

Max Altitude: 135 m

Min Altitude: 5 m

Height Gain: 351 m

Height Loss: 363 m

I left Carmarthen somewhat reluctantly. It had been too much of a flying visit for my liking. However, I needed to get going. I had started to have an idea of a finish date in my mind. Despite not wanting to put pressure on myself, I was beginning to work towards it subconsciously.

I aimed towards the Afon Tywi and crossed the impressive King Morgan footbridge.

Finally I was crossing the river having been on its shoulder for miles.

I couldn’t have asked for a better day for it either. I had a crisp blue sky above me. The Tywi was like a pond.

 

I followed roadsides and farm tracks set way off from the estuary. I let my mind wander and listened to music to ease the repetition. I caught a glimpse of the Afon Tywi at one point.

 

Shortly after the above photo was taken I came to a Wales Coast Path way mark which was pointing precisely half way between two different tiny country roads. Which one should I take, the left or the right? Naturally, I chose the wrong one and ended up walking up and down a couple of random roads for a couple of kilometres. But I eventually found my way back to the path.

I arrived in Glan-y-Fferi (Ferryside) and stopped for snacks. I crossed the railway line down to the shore.

Opposite me was Llansteffan, my starting point yesterday. There was once a ferry running between here and Llansteffan. Incredibly, it was used by Gerallt Gymro (Giraldus Cambrensis / Gerald of Wales) way back in 1188. Now there is no such service nowadays of course, and you have to drive or bribe someone with a boat.

From Ferryside I followed a tiny country road which hugged the coast tightly.

These burgeoning pumpkins were set out on the side of the road to entice people into a farm shop and cafe. I wanted to go in so badly but on the other hand I needed to push on in order to get to Cydweli. Look at them though. Just beautiful.

To my right was extensive marshland as I snaked away from the Tywi estuary and further up the Gwendraeth Fach estuary. So many estuaries, so little time (and energy).

Finally, I was on the outskirts of Cydweli.

I followed signs to the castle. This is one that I had never seen before today, to my shame. I was intrigued by the bizarre scarecrow standing in the field in front of it.

 

This was built by the invading Normans as a defence against the Welsh. However, it fell to the Welsh several times during the twelfth century. When Owain Glyndŵr tried to take it with help from French and Breton forces, he didn’t do very well.

Centuries later, it was invaded successfully by ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ and used as a filming location, proving that the pen is ultimately mightier than the sword maybe.

My day was at an end. By tomorrow, my estuary walking days would be at an end and I’d finally be back on the true coast once more.

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