I forgot to mention in my post for Day One that we ended the day in Oxwich Bay Hotel. We had an hour to wait for the return bus home. This fine watering hole has for many years provided us with drinks at the end of a sunny beach day. On Tuesday it was needed to help us recharge. Karen recuperated with a large glass of Pinot Grigio, real comfort wine.
Belgian Blue Moon
I scanned the bar for something original to choose for myself. There was a Belgian Wheat beer on offer called Blue Moon which was new to me. I love most wheat beers so decide to enjoy one.
“Do you want a slice of orange with it”
“No thank you, why would I want that?”
“It brings out the flavour of the beer.”
I must have been in euphoric mood or a bit tired but I accepted the recommendation from the barman. It was so exquisitely wonderful that I felt obliged to enjoy a second one before we left.
Our sense of achievement from Day One of our walk had us glowing this morning. We were eager to face the day. But having fallen short of our target of Port Eynon we decided to try and make up the miles on day two.
To this effect we eschewed the delights of the bus and drove to Oxwich arriving at 7.30. There is no early morning bus service to Oxwich. The car park was closed. The little shop opposite had also closed its gates. Oxwich doesn’t lack for yellow lines on its roads so we had a problem. Eventually we parked in the previously mentioned Oxwich Bay Hotel. Thanks to the receptionist who generously gave us permission to leave our car there.
And so to walk. Following the muddy incidents of Tuesday, we decided to miss out Oxwich Point. The initial climb up would have been quite treacherous in the wet. We walked over the point into Slade and then down to the coastal path. Our progress to Port Eynon was fairly uneventful other than to enjoy the crashing high tide waves and the incessant drizzle. We arrived at 9.15 and shared a portion of chips at The Captain’s Table.
The Many Bays
Then we took a deep breath, knowing that we were about to face the most arduous section of our walk around Gower. The sun also came out to encourage our progress. The walk over Port Eynon point led us to Overton Bay. The view was extraordinary. The sense of awe and wonder at the huge waves and the bustling wind was breath-taking. Why have we never been there before?
On rounding the far end of Overton Bay we caught a first distant glimpse of Worm’s Head. This view was to appear and disappear many times over the next four hours. As a target it was very motivating, but Worm’s Head seemed to be taunting us with its occasional glimpses. It never really seemed to be getting closer until we reached Fall Bay.
We trekked through hill and dale admiring the many bays, each with their own shape and character. Over the seven miles we must have met just a handful of people. We had South Gower to ourselves and revelled in the experience. This was until we reached Ramsgrove Bay and Mewslade Bay. We found this section of steep and extremely hazardous rocky climbs very difficult going both down and up. We met a lady coming the other way who was finding it just as hard to progress.
In terms of time this section probably added an hour to our walk time. I recorded the walk using Map My Run which showed the split times for this section as being very long indeed. It reported us doing a mile in 40 minutes which is embarrassingly slow for us.
Who knew that a coastguard’s hut would be such a welcome sight? It drew us in for the last climb and Worm’s Head hid itself for one more time before revealing its full glory and all its grandeur. I will never tire of seeing it. I always have to take photos of it from every conceivable angle even though I know I’ve done it before.
We had lunch at Causeway. We would rather have gone to the pub restaurant, but I had fallen in the mud at Mewslade Bay and was not looking my best. As we looked across Rhosilli Bay we both knew that to catch up from Day One we had to get to Llangenith. We were already quite tired and our bodies were creaking, but without words passing between us we knew we had to do it.
I asked a Causeway staff member how long the beach is and he said 2.8 miles. But he had been told this in a pub so wasn’t perhaps to be relied upon. I made the distance as 3.5 miles. We stepped it out as we knew the tide was about to turn. Our plan to round the far point at Spaniard Rocks into Brougton Bay was thwarted by the incoming tides. We were about 30 minutes too late.
Instead we got lost on Llangenith Marshes. A somewhat ignominious end to a glorious day. 16 miles of wind, waves and wonderful views. And we were back on schedule.