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Swansea and Gower
Date & start time: Saturday to Monday, 2nd to 4th October 2010.
Location of Start :Sandra & Jackie's, Mount Pleasant, Swansea, Uk ( Map Ref: SS 646 930 )
Places visited : Rhosili bay, Crawley Woods and Tor Bay, then home to Loweswater.
Highest point : Good company, good food, good weather.
Walked with : Sandra and Jackie, Gill, Gareth and Kathryn, Ann and the dogs, Harry and Bethan.
Weather : Overcast Saturday, fine Sunday, glorious Monday.
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A few days in Swansea to end our short Autumn break.
After yesterday's wet first day for the Ryder Cup and our journey round via the Severn Bridge
the weather today is a lot drier but still very cloudy.
We're visiting our friends Sandra and Jackie, staying in their house which overlooks Swansea Bay.
Over the roof tops and beyond the clock tower of the Guildhall is Mumbles Head with its pier and lighthouse.
Across the Bristol Channel we have a distant view of Foreland Point, Lynton and Lynmouth where we were yesterday morning.
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Saturday morning and time for a Gower walk.
This is as far as the road goes, the car park at Rhossili.
From here there's a popular walk out along the cliff top towards the island known as Worms Head which can be seen in the distance.
Joining us today are Gareth, our son, and his girlfriend Kathryn.
On our way round the M4 yesterday we stopped off at Bridgend and had the pleasure of meeting her parents for the first time.
Also on our walk . . . Gill, former colleague of Ann's from teaching days and a great friend.
and in subsequent photos, Sandra and Jackie. Gill has a dog like ours . . . Oh . . . it is ours !
The three mile long sandy beach stretches from Rhossili at this end across to Llangenith and the smaller Burry Holms island at the far end
and it's fine yellow sand all the way. It faces west and provides excellent surf following windy or stormy days
Rhossili Downs, the hill behind is also a popular hang-gliding location.
Today is no exception
and the small black dots down there in the water are about fifty wet-suited people in search of that magic ride.
Worms Head at the end of the Gower Peninsular.
The three guys have been sitting there for a while and one has a big lens on his camera.
If they were watching the surfing, surely they would be down on the beach . . . they must be looking at something else.
We stop to have a look too.
I hope there's something there or we are going to look slightly foolish.
Sure enough there's a black dot in the water . . . then another . . .
At the end of the headland is the old Coastguard Lookout.
With the centralisation of services at Mumbles this building became rather redundant, but it has taken on a new lease of life
as a Coastwatch Volunteer Station following the increase in the number of leisure craft and holiday-makers locally.
A great view of The Worm from here . . . but it's cool in the strong breeze.
The path down the end of the headland leads to the bay and out onto the low tide causeway to the island
which becomes available to walkers for about five hours each tide.
Two photos in the Coast Guard window point out the difference between high and low tide (fairly obvious)
but they are actually trying to make the point about the dangerous tides in a basic pictorial way.
A close up view of the archway that forms a bridge to the far end of the island. Five hours is enough to get out to the end and back
but don't delay as the sea has claimed several lives of people that mis-judged the time and got swept away by the strong incoming tide.
Back here on the headland, Jackie goes for that " French Lieutenant's Woman " look . . . all that's missing is the pier.
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After a meal for seven at Sandra and Jackie's on Saturday night we took a walk out the following day to Crawley Woods and Tor Bay.
More beautiful sand and the two headlands of Little Tor and Great Tor.
Gareth and Kathryn are with us again today.
Crawley Woods Beach extends west and becomes Oxwich Bay, with Oxwich Head in the distance.
Jackie and Harry want to play stick throwing but her dog Sally has different ideas.
She doesn't want to let go at all.
Same stick and still playing as we walk over towards Tor Bay.
The sunshine is out but the tide is still in.
Just far enough to stop us walking round the smaller headland yet still keep dry feet.
Time for a photo call as we wait five minutes or so for the tide to clear the rocks.
They are not saluting the photographer . . . it's just that the sun is in their eyes.
Time for that artistic close up of Great Tor.
Everyone is around dry shod.
A panorama of Tor Bay
where two other visitors are entertained by Harry.
Ann places her foot on the bubbling sand and it goes down further than she thought !
Climbing up above the bay, we head back along the top path of Nicholston Burrows
In the distance the weather has cleared sufficiently to see North Devon and Dunkery Beacon where we walked a few days ago.
Group Photo by Ann . . . pay attention Jackie !
On the headland another example of a Lime Kiln, similar to the one we saw at Heddon's Mouth Bay.
Climbing up I got a view down into the kiln.
It was stacked with wood and limestone rock and set alight, so converting the stone into quick lime for agricultural use.
Sandra points out our path back to the car as we walk back above the sand dunes of Nicholston and Oxwich Bay.
Group photo time again . . . this one with Ann but taken by Jackie.
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So ends our brief stay in Swansea and our Autumn break to Camberley, Lynmouth and North Devon.
The sunniest day of all was reserved for our drive home.
Rather than take the motorway all the way, we headed up through central Wales, heading for Brecon, Builth Wells, Newtown and Welshpool.
Our route would take us close to the Brecon Beacons.
I wonder if the sheep has a Welsh accent ?
Into "Lance's walking country" now as we pass the Talybont reservoirs.
Looking up towards Storey Arms and our route north.
We took to the side roads between Newtown and Welshpool, looking for a pub lunch
but actually ended up with refreshing home-made soup, tea and scones at the Lychgate Tearooms in Berriew.
Chance here to exercise the dogs with a brief walk along the Montgomeryshire Canal.
This is the Berriew Aqueduct over the River Rhiw.
The canal was originally built in 1796 but the bridge has been repaired and rebuilt several times over its 215 year history.
The fast flowing River Rhiw from the aqueduct . . . the recent rains adding to the water in the fast flowing rapids.
That looks like a more familiar sight . . . back home after a great ten days away.
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Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon 75 or my Canon G10 digital camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . the satisfaction of seeing familiar sights once again.
Previous walk - 30th September 2010 Dunkery Beacon and Porlock
A previous time here - 10th to 18th May 09 Our Pembroke and Swansea Holiday
Next walk - 7th October 2010 The High Bank Lorton track