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]

Monday 16 March 2015

WCP: Port Talbot to Mumbles Head

Monday 16 March

Distance: 15.3 miles

Weather: Overcast with just a few drops of light rain

Having spent the night parked up on the seafront at Aberavon Sands, I was but a handful of paces from the beach when I set out this morning, giving me a lovely start to the day:


That dog walker is the only person I saw on this stretch of beach at 7.30am

Shunning the official route, I kept to the beach until it hit the River Neath and then took to its bank, as I suspected the marked route would involve soft sand followed by tarmac, whereas my way was (bar a few paces) firm sand followed by grit track.

The river (as so many of them do) called for a bit of an inland diversion, under the M4 and across the adjacent bridge which carries a dual carriageway. So noisy with traffic was it on that bridge that when Mick phoned me to tell me where he was, I couldn’t hear a word he said. The views at this point weren’t great either:IMG_8444

A path adjacent to another busy A road, followed by a bit of B road, took me to the Tennant Canal, which was far superior to the road walking. In fact, it was incredible to think that I was only 10 minutes away from the busy roads I’d just walked and that I was heading towards a city:


At the point this snap was taken the canal is so disused and covered with reeds that it’s not possible to discern that there was a canal there. Earlier then canal had been obvious.

At the point I located Mick availing himself of the wifi in a MacDonald’s, I was over half way through my day and it felt like lunchtime. My watch told me it was 9.40am! I declared I was going to walk slower for the rest of the day.

A short while later, upon rounding a corner and crossing some dunes just past Swansea Docks, it was a joy to see a huge expanse of sand which was ahead of me. Thus, instead of the expected route along the promenade, I took to the water’s edge, not appreciating for a while quite how far away from the prom I had strayed. By the time I spotted Mick about to stride past me at the top of the beach, I was over half a kilometre away from the prom! Funnily enough, I had that lower section of beach all to myself.

It’s not possible* to walk the beach all the way to Mumbles Head, so we were eventually forced onto the prom to walk along The Mumbles, before reaching Colin’s resting place at Mumble’s Head just after noon. As always, I’m tempted to carry on a few miles, but I’m already 6 miles ahead of schedule and there’s no real benefit in me getting further ahead; I’m not short of time on this trip.

Tomorrow, I’m looking forward to another change in surroundings, as the Gower awaits.


(*Actually, it probably is possible, but the underfoot conditions made it undesirable.)


  1. All good stuff to come round the Gower - I hope you get some decent weather for it. I have had to reinstall Memory Map after it crashed totally - it's been dodgy ever since I upgraded from XP to 7. That has meant I have lost all my overlays including my Welsh walk route. I think I had overloaded the system with thousands of undeleted waymarks, routes, tracks and markers. Memory Map say you should really housekeep.

    1. If only I could find an easy way to back-up some of my routes outside of Memory map, I would do a bit of housekeeping myself. It's so much easier with Anquet!

      Must do a bit of Googling to find out if there's a way. I'm noticing that it's getting slower and slower to open these days, and am wondering if it's the quantity of routes/tracks I have.

  2. Gayle, i think you will enjoy the next few days rather a lot, i will enjoy reading about them.

    Cheers J.P.

    1. You were right - I did very much enjoy the Gower. Couldn't have asked for nicer weather for it either.