I have been looking forward to this section. So many people have told me I would love the walk along Cardigan Bay. I must admit, it was tougher than I had expected and there were quite a few times where I was longing for a bit of flat tarmac but all in all it is a breathtaking, spectacular walk.
Borth to Aberystwyth was one of the best short walks I have had for a long time. I chose to walk on my rest day as this particular Sunday was crisp and bright and would be perfect for cliff walking. Luckily for me, the forecast matched the day and I ended up with fabulous photos and memories of this.
Aberystwyth was a big marker point for me. Like Hunstanton, the forth Bridge, Cape Wrath, Blackpool and many more in-between, Aberystwyth was somewhere to aim for. I have broken this walk into sections and these maker points are a motivation point and usually somewhere I have always wanted to go. Walking down from the cliff railway and seeing the town below me had me once again in tears. I gathered myself together for a flat stroll along the beautiful arc promanade, listening to the waves crash to my right.
If Borth to Aberystwyth was as close to a perfect walk, Aberystwyth to Llanrhystud could be said to being as uncomfortable walk as you can get for me. With immensely steep, muddy climbs and thin paths cut into the cliff face with sheer drops to my right, the walk became a test of balance, strength and nerve.
I am still scared of heights. You would think having walked along some of the tallest cliffs in the country, across Britain’s biggest bridges and previous to this, had skydived from 10000ft, I might be curing myself but sadly it is not happening. The only thing I have achieved so far, is finding coping mechanisms when I find myself in these terrifying positions. I found out afterwards that “not many people do that leg of the coast path” and I wished I had read the Ceredigion coastal path website which said it was “not for those suffering from vertigo”
I slowed to a crawl for large sections, chanting “1-2-3-4” and “I can do this” with each step. The pictures below probably don’t do it justice but I was pretty scared.
The last climb was as steep as the first one and as I got to two thirds of the way up, my feet slipped downwards in the mud and I quickly grabbed hold of a bundle of grass to my left. I collapsed onto the mud, gasping for air and saw both legs shaking in front of me. As I sat there, I made a video log. This will not be published on here as it contains expletives but maybe at the end of the walk, I will bleep them out and do a compilation of scary bits and out-takes.
Obviously, I made it to the top and below is a video where you can hear the relief in my voice (and annoyance)
I made it off the cliffs and back to Llanrhystud but had to take the next day off for my wobbly legs to recover. It wasn’t the steepness that had made them shake, it was the excessive tensing when I was up high and didn’t feel safe. This is what caused the temporary injuries.
Llanrhystud to Aberaron was a better day. I parked my car in Aberaeron and went to get onto the bus to Llanrhystud. I tried my best to pronounce the village name but I failed miserable much to the driver’s amusement. He then said he wouldn’t let me on unless I could say it properly. Cheeky bugger. The walk itself was a pleasant one.
Aberaeron and New Quay are both beautiful coastal villages so its no wonder a few people I had met had said that this was their favourite stretch. New Quay to Llangrannog and then onto Aberporth were both lane walking. I do like coming inland to see the little farms, villages and communities.
Llangrannog had a lovely little bay with Saint Craggog looking over it and I found a lovely small cave to sit into to listen to the waves in the sunshine. The walk to Aberporth, however, was particularly wet and very windy though Aberporth itself looked gorgeous damp and weathered.
So most of Cardigan Bay done and I am nearly at the end of west Wales coast path.