The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Sunday, 15 March 2015

WCP: Ogmore to Port Talbot (Aberavon Sands)

Sunday 15 March

Distance: 20 miles

Weather: dry but overcast

On the north side of the River Ogmore lies a large area of sand dunes (some of which are positively towering), and those dunes were the first notable section of my day. I couldn’t see a way marker in the car park at the road-end which precedes the dunes, so I followed my nose and the general direction of the line I had drawn on the map. On reflection, perhaps I should have followed the river, but looking at my GPS track, I did take a straight line back to the coast, even if I did feel like I was wandering around, going up and down. I was rather pleased finally to reach the beach, not just because it offered some easy walking, but also because it’s the first proper beach I’ve walked on this section, and I do like a nice beach walk:


I did have to return to the nasty soft sand of the track through the dunes for a short while, where the combination of tide and rocks suggested that further progress down the beach would be difficult, but once back on the sand I was so merrily skipping along that it completely escaped my notice that I was approaching Porthcawl and that Mick would be heading towards me.

It’s a good job he was paying attention, or we would have passed like ships in the night (not for the first time on the Welsh coast!), as he stuck to the marked route and I stuck to the water’s edge.

On the far side of Porthcawl the surfers were out in huge numbers (and those in the car park were rather more modest in their changing practice than the trio we encountered yesterday). Today’s observation is that I’m yet to see a surfer walking towards the surf. They always leave their cars and immediately break into a run.

People were out in force on this not-sunny-but-not-bad-weather day, but they soon thinned out as the distance from the car park increased and by the time I got to the dunes at Kenfig Burrows I was on my lonesome again.

The way from the dunes to Port Talbot was unattractive and blighted in places by trail bikes, and there’s not much to say about the route through the residential areas of the south side of the town, but once on the riverside, to the north of the docks I was happy again with my surroundings. The big industry of this area was evident, but (to me) interesting:


Around the corner, where the river meets the coast, suddenly the surroundings changed in the space of a pace. Ahead of me now was a beach and a large promenade. Also there was Mick, once again walking towards me. We continued another mile and a half up the prom before calling it a day – and another good and interesting one it was too.

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