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5. Cil-y-Coed – Cas-gwent; Caldicot – Chepstow

5. Cil-y-Coed – Cas-gwent; Caldicot – Chepstow

Step Count: 24,462

Distance: 9.15 miles

Max Altitude: 61 m

Min Altitude: 1 m

Height Gain: 187 m

Height Loss: 182 m

 

It was another late start on the Wales Coast Path. I’ve never been much of a morning person and there’s something just nicer about walking in the evenings.

I returned to pick up the trail where I’d left off at Caldicot Railway Station. From there the path went straight to the side of the estuary. Unlike yesterday, it was a bright sunny day with blue skies, so I was able to walk towards the Second Severn Crossing and appreciate it in all its glory. The WCP takes you directly underneath it and for the first time I walked beneath it.

 

The WCP then passes through the village of Sudbrook before rejoining the side of the estuary. You are able to stand between the original Severn Bridge and Second Severn Crossing.

 

This was the last time that I saw the coast closely though, since the path veered inland through ploughed fields and meadows.

 

Shortly after the above silhouette self portrait was taken, I walked onto the fairway at St Pierre. I didn’t have a set of clubs, a pair of plus fours or lots of money in the bank, so was understandably stared at by nearby golfers.

It was just after this that the WCP waymarks went missing and I had to guess my way along. From a farmer’s field, I crossed a footbridge over the M48 only to land in a rather perturbed field of sheep. It couldn’t possibly have been the official route but I had no way of telling what was, so on I went. I ended up having to push my way through thick hedges and brambles before climbing over a barbed wire fence, and sliding down a slope. I was on the edge of the M48 now and this sign cheered me:

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Thankfully, the WCP waymarks reappeared and led me through a Chepstow housing estate where I bought a doughnut from a local shop (bliss!), before continuing into a forest on the edge of the Wye.

By this time it was getting dark, and had I been walking in a more isolated area, I would have quit walking by then. But I knew that the end of the Wales Coast Path was in reach, and so on I went. I badly wanted to arrive at this important milestone in my journey before the day was out.

Into Chepstow I went, following the waymarks through the town, and I was led to the side of the Wye once more, to a space near the Old Wye Bridge  The light had almost failed.

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I had reached the end of the Wales Coast Path and was delighted!

 

As you can see, darkness was upon me. So I shall be returning to the area tomorrow for a closer look and better photos.

 

1. Caerdydd i Llanbedr Gwynllŵg – Cardiff to Peterstone Wentlooge

1. Caerdydd i Llanbedr Gwynllŵg – Cardiff to Peterstone Wentlooge

Step Count: 27,158

Distance: 9.36 miles

Max Altitude: 31 m

Min Altitude: 5 m

Height Gain: 99 m

Height Loss: 97 m

Finally I am underway! Last night was spent packing and tying up all the other bits of admin that needed to be sorted out. Before I knew it I was on the steps of the Senedd this morning getting ready to go. As I was about to leave, it suddenly dawned on me that I was getting ready to walk more than 1000 miles. What on earth was I doing?? I asked Linda Reardon, a fellow pancreatic cancer activist and she confirmed that I might be slightly adrift. Who was I to argue??

It hit 10.56am and off I toddled on my way. I had weighed my bag before leaving and it came in at 44lbs but the weight felt comfortable on my back.

As I walked through Cardiff Bay towards the East Moors I was inundated with messages on social media from well wishers. So a big thank you to everybody who geed me up on my way! It must have been that which accounted for the blistering early pace I was setting (and which I soon reigned in when I came to my senses).

On the way past the sewage works in the East Moors, I met a man walking his dog who asked me if I was out hiking for the day. I told him I’d be hiking for the next eight to ten weeks and he was rather shocked. He asked me why I was making the journey, and was I on holiday. When I told him that I was doing it for charity, he reached into his pocket and gave me a fiver. He wouldn’t tell me his name, so he is now known on my donations page as ‘kind man and dog’.

I think it’s fair to say that this isn’t the most stunning part of the Wales Coast Path, but there is still beauty to be found. Parc Tredelerch is a fine spot, despite being so near to an industrial estate. While this meadow is opposite Lamby Way landfill site

I’ve walked 15km today. It’s not as much as I’ll be doing further on into the trek. But I’m going to take it easy for the first couple of days. Now though, it’s time to set Clark Tent up and get some rest.

Amdani!

Why?

Why?

The question I get asked more than any other when I tell people what I’m going to be doing come the 1st of June is – “why?”

And it’s a fair question.

Well, the idea first popped into my head on a Wednesday evening in early April. I had been needing a goal, something new to aim for. But what? I just didn’t know. And I had stopped thinking about it since before Christmas.

Then it came to me, BANG! I should walk around Wales. Wait, what? Yes, I really should walk around Wales! YES! From then on, the idea snowballed and snowballed until it became a reality.

The fact that I can use the walk to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer, just makes the journey truly purposeful.

Croeso – Welcome

Croeso – Welcome

On the 1st of June 2016, I will be setting off on rather a long stroll: a complete anti-clockwise circumnavigation of Wales. The route will take in the entire Wales Coast Path and Offa’s Dyke Path. In total it’s a journey of around 1047 miles, give or take a few. It’s not about getting around the route as quickly as possible; I think it’ll take me between eight to ten weeks to finish it though.

My walk is dedicated to those with pancreatic cancer, and my father, who died from the disease in 2012. Since then, I’ve been on a mission to raise money and awareness of this little known yet deadly cancer. All donations are going to the charity Pancreatic Cancer UK.

Walking Wales is a pilgrimage.

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