Distance: 10.3 miles
Max Altitude: 83 m
Min Altitude: 2 m
Height Gain: 358 m
Height Loss: 308 m
Today I was joined on my walk by a friend of mine, Becca. Two and a half years ago we had tackled the Inca Trail together. So I was delighted to be walking alongside her once more, though this time at lower altitude and much closer to home. We had a lot of catching up to do so naturally we talked so much at the beginning of the walk that we missed the waymark directing us off the beach and onto the Wales Coast Path. When we did rediscover the waymark, somebody had balanced this Edvard Munch-esque stone on top. Apt.
We walked past some big and expensive looking homes. The owner of one was in his garden and invited us in to take photos from his lawn. He was very proud of his garden so it would have been rude not to.
We continued along the trail. In a while we spotted a rope lying across the path and dangling over the edge of the cliff.
Naturally we had to investigate in the hope of discovering a smuggler’s cache or pirate’s gold…
But the only thing we discovered was the view. Lovely isn’t it?
There has been a lot of coastal erosion on this section of the path.
We noticed this discarded child’s dummy hanging on a plant.
But there was worse to come. In the distance we spotted a huge white object. When we got closer we saw that it was a huge pile of rubbish bags, just heaped up on the shore line. We were both disgusted. The amount of rubbish I see on a daily basis on our coastline is nothing less than a disgrace.
Anyway, after rounding the headland, we ended up in the thick of Oxwich Woods where the trail became a punishing series of climbs up never ending steps. Back in 2013 I walked between Port Eynon and the Mumbles during a day’s hike, and it’s funny how I had forgotten how hard this section is. Or maybe I had just blocked it out of my mind…(!)
Huffing and puffing, moaning and ranting, we ended up in Oxwich and made a beeline for the beachside cafe. It was open. Apparently.
The shop next door was open too.
Disheartened, we headed for the swanky Oxwich Bay Hotel for lunch instead. We walked in and were given a frosty reception by the waitress. Maybe it was because we were in our hiking gear rather than our ballgowns at 12pm. Looking around, it didn’t look like they got a lot of passing backpacking trade, but nonetheless, we were there to eat.
“Yes, girls?”, was the welcome we got. Staggered by her greeting, I held my hands up in an ‘are you kidding me?’ way.
“Oh you want a table?”, she responded, as though she thought we were there to clean the guttering rather than have lunch.
Begrudgingly, she showed us to a table and we ordered food. It was delicious and that the fact that we were getting dirty looks from for our attire didn’t diminish the taste one bit. In fact, it made it even better. So good in fact, that we indulged in our lunch for two whole hours. Easily, the longest lunch I’ve had on my travels.
By the time we got back on the trail, we were stuffed to the gills. But we had a beautiful beach stroll ahead to get rid of the bloated feeling.
What we hadn’t considered was that the tide was coming in while we were gorging ourselves. By the time we got to the eastern end of Oxwich Bay, we had no choice but to ascend up through the dunes of Oxwich Burrows to the top of the headland rather than just strolling around on the sand. We huffed and puffed through sinking sand once more.
Here was the prize when we got to the top.
We descended to Three Cliffs Bay where we walked through woodland and next to the tidal creek.
Pennard Pill has 26 stepping stones across it for walkers to get to the other side.
And neither of us fell in.
In the distance was the stunning Pennard Castle, built in the early 12th century during the Norman invasion of Wales. It now lies in the grounds of Pennard Golf Course.
What stunning scenery……and we didn’t look too bad either!
Another ascent to the top of the cliff gave us a view of where we had come from during the day. It was quite a distance.
Our day ended in Southgate. It had been so wonderful to have company during the day and to have a long chat and catch up with an old friend. Diolch, Becca.