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Published: September 12th 2011
Our end goal ... worms head
it's the far bit on that little outcrop at the back of the pic
Last bank holiday of the year and as the days wind down to the chill of autumn it is obligatory to make the most of that last long weekend before Christmas as it’s a long, lonely stretch to the end of the year when you don’t have holiday left. August Bank Holiday is about the hiking trip and this year that meant the Gower Peninsula for a little hiking, dancing, seal hunting (purely in a failed photographic sense) and sea kayaking.
Accommodation was at the YHA Gower Bunkhouse just over the sand dunes from the beach at Port Eynon. Great location set in the heart of Gower and an easy commute to our 2 targets for the weekend - Rhossili Bay and the "beat the tide" run out to Worms Head (Day 1), a relaxed prance over to Three Cliffs Bay (Day 2) and a plan to pretend to surf (Day 3). Yes I know, Aussie trying to surf in the UK ... I'll never be allowed back!
Despite being part of a larger hiking group for the weekend we decided that friendship came first and that we should use the weekend as assist our good friend Thaik practice
his navigation skills in a warm, loving and supportive environment (we're good that way). So instead of heading off with the 20 or so others Blue, Del, Danielle, Karen and myself “sacrificed” our own personal ambitions to Plan B ... Thaik’s Hike!!
Wales in August is actually pretty good, reasonable temperatures, generally little rain (don’t blame me if it’s different next year) and glorious scenery. Best time of the year (ok, except maybe for autumn ... I'm split here) when the differing pinks of the heather mix with the yellow of the gorse and the greens of summer rain. The trip up over the Downs gave us a chance to immerse ourselves in the surroundings before a race to the headlands to make our way out to the tip of the Worm's Head at the South end of the beach before the tide came in and cut it off.
You have 4 hours from when the tide starts going out until it comes back in to get there and back without getting cut off by the tides. We decided getting there at proper low tide gave us enough time to scamper ... carefully ... across the super rocky
outcrops and mini summits (if there’s a hill go straight up). We even saw some seal heads bobbing in the ocean (no photo folks) and made it to the end in enough time for a proper 15 min break before racing back again. Well worth it folks, but watch your feet as we are talking serious ankle turning, joint twisting stuff here. After all that activity there was only one thing to do ... hit the pub for a late lunch (Worms Head Hotel surprisingly good food with quick service) then back for a nap before dinner, a quiz and a moonlight relax and chat on the beach with Blue. Well it was relaxing until a couple decided to have a domestic right in front of us ... get your own patch of beach love!
Day 2 we swapped an Emma and a Fanny for a Blue and indulged in more Plan B hiking up through the woods, fields and along the ridge behind Oxwich Bay and onto Three Cliffs Bay ... beaches to make Australia jealous (well would be if there was more sun!). A relaxed snack on the headlands overlooking the Bay and watching the clouds chase
swimmer along the beach was the perfect break before following a route less travelled back to our point of origin. Well to be more accurate, long deserted, overgrown with brambles and gorse and inhabited by mad cows ... this was an adventure folks. Thaik did a great job finding our way through and certainly got to practice his navigation skills as it is clear the local farmers see this as 'their area' and nobody has been down this path for a long time. Having said that it was a complete blast - crawling under trees, through barbed wire fences, over streams, through brambles, eating blackberries, facing down rogue cows to follow a path then running away when they decided to follow up, lost glasses, scratches and lots of backtracking - it rocked big time!! No more nicely tended country paths for me; I want the great overgrown wilderness! The evening was spent with everyone participating in a 'cabaret' which provided more hilarity than should be allowed and impromptu Bollywood and Dominican dancing lessons. Our attempt to share Nutbush City Limits with the world perhaps needed work ... sorry Tina didn’t appear to have been big in the UK.
3 surfing was off due to of all things ... nice weather! Instead it was off in the sea kayaks for a paddle and a swim off the headlands. I miss swimming in deep water and it wasn’t too cold, but probably the wet suit helped as this water isn't known to be the warmest. Unfortunately, missed the pod of dolphins that were playing behind us, but did find a couple of Life Guards for some obligatory 'see they do exist in Wales' shots!
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Looks like a beautiful day Jane, better day then when we were there last year. Great photos too.
Three Cliffs Bay
We did the other side of the bay and no soaking rain this time ... no mad cows last!