With our mountain marathon and Snowdonia well and truly conquered, our thoughts and our journey very much turned to home. However, although the end of our walk was in sight, and our legs definitely felt like they were coming to the end of something, our hearts and our thoughts were now well and truly turning to the future, and how that would begin once we arrived back at Tresaith.
September was ebbing out by the time we hit the Ceredigion coast path again at Aberystwyth. Having set out in blistering heat at the beginning of July, the temperature was much more bearable, but still hot and humid. We were running more now – my epiphany on Hay Bluff had been just the start of my running adventure, and one that I was keen to indulge, running with Alex whenever possible as we continued to journey around Wales.
The steep climb (one of the steepest!) out of Aberystwyth rewarded us with amazing views and then a fairly flat path to Llanrhystud before New Quay came into view. While not all journeys require a clear destination, it’s fair to say that the curve of the coast which allowed New Quay to be an ever- present beacon spurred on our tired legs. Walking familiar geography, seeing places you normally only pass by road is a great way to gain a different perspective. We walked through a couple of villages that are far prettier on foot via the coast path than they are flashing through on the coast road. The tide wasn’t always with us, meaning we did less beach running than we would have liked, but it was exhilarating to tackle the coast path knowing we were getting closer to home and to the start of the rest of our lives together.
And then it was upon us – our final day on the Welsh coast path. After nearly 1000 miles and a wealth of experiences we could only have dreamed about, home was only a day away.
A path Alex had run many times, I am ashamed to say that in all my time living at Tresaith, I had never fully walked from New Quay home – but was relishing the opportunity. We may be biased, but it’s truly spectacular – the little coves of Cwmtydu, Cwm Silio, the beaches of Llangrannog and sweeping Penbryn.
As if the sea was trying to encourage us, to tell us it had all been worth it, we saw seals and dolphins for the first time of the journey here – we were particularly privileged to spot seal pups in both Cwm Silio and the neighbouring bay. This section of path includes ups and downs as many of the other coastal sections. Steep climbs up cliffs, gorgeous flat beach walking. We passed Carreg y Ty (sugar Loaf bay) accessible only by boat or a scramble on foot down from the coast path, deserted and still; ate our lunch under the gaze of St Crannog at Llangrannog, and onwards to Tresaith.
Before we started this adventure we went on a practice walk from Tresaith to Penbryn and we stood at the top of the hill looking back into to Tresaith. I remember saying “I wonder what it will be like to see. Tresaith from the coast path in three months” and the answer is …overwhelming. After being away for such a long time, seeing and experiencing the things we had, pushing ourselves in so many was, seeing my home village on such a beautiful day gave us both the most uplifting feeling. Such a special way to unofficially end this part of our adventure together.
We arrived in time for a paddle in the sea, a drink at The Ship down on the beach, and dolphins playing off the Aberporth headland. What could be more perfect a homecoming?