It is another gorgeous day as we set out in the opposite direction from yesterday to do a walk via Aberaeron to Llanon. It is an easy start past the small leisure boats bobbing up and down in the harbour, along a long stretch of sand/mud where a few families are paddling, children playing with their own small plastic boats.
No-one is swimming and this is probably the reason why………………I know they can’t kill you but they can inflict a nasty sting.
A short while later the path turns right away from the beach and up into a patch of woodland which then joins a minor road.
We come to a junction – a camping site in one direction and back up onto the Ceredigion Coast Path in another. It is easy walking along the top of the cliffs – time to appreciate the crystal clear sea below with its myriad hues of blue and green.
Not so in the water we encounter running down through the next valley. There does not seem to be an obvious culprit, no industrial buildings in sight and when I check the map all I see is an activity centre at the top of the valley. Hmmmmm………….maybe they were having a mega clean up with some sort of disinfectant. Whatever it is it doesn’t look healthy.
A little later we are approaching what looks like a holiday village named Gilfach yr Halen on the map. There are stables at the entrance to the village where a horse stands wearily in the midday sun ……………why is it not inside in the shade?
Down the hill is an outdoor pub/restaurant, a playground and a tennis court. The place is completed deserted so I take the opportunity to sneak into the toilets and douse my cap with cold water – a short lived pleasure.
Further up the hill is a smattering of ugly bungalows which we had the pleasure of witnessing twice as we went the wrong way and had to retrace our steps to get us back onto the cliffs.
From here on the path dips down into two small valleys and soon we are able to see Aberaeron in the distance, our lunch stop. However, we are by now, dangerously close to melting point so before we explore the town we rip off our clothes apart from the boots and trudge over the pebbly beach into the cold water. Bliss…………………..
Boots now soaking wet we leave them in the car and change to trainers for the rest of the walk. I think I have been telling myself for at least two years that I need summer walking boots but I’m very attached to my old leather ones and anyway what if I should suddenly have to cross a muddy field?
Aberaeron is a pretty old fashioned town with no sandy beach. This is probably why it is not swamped with tourists like New Quay and still manages to retain its Welsh character.
I visited the town before when I was 15 or so – my best friend and I came to stay here in her auntie’s caravan. As we leave the town we walk past a caravan site – maybe it was here? I cannot remember a thing……………….
Onwards we go, now bouncing merrily along in our trainers, past the groynes, on a path running parallel to the shingle beach.
It doesn’t take long before we reach Aberath where the path runs up into the village.
Here we have a few minutes of indecision before plumping for a narrow street running down past a row of cottages overlooking the river.
Back on the cliff path again we make good progress until we catch up with a flock of bewildered sheep that have escaped from their field somehow and now too scared of us to turn back. The path is too narrow – there is nowhere for them to go.
Finally the path opens up and they scamper off to the right …………………………
The landscape now changes and opens up into a wide flat valley – we can see Llanon in the distance. After losing our way for a while where we can be seen contemplating crawling through a small hole in a fence, we cross a small wooden bridge and find a straight narrow path running parallel to the shingle beach. This brings us into the village.
I have no photos of this last part of the walk as we are both too hot and tired to take them. Let’s just say that the uphill slog to the pub was trying but the pint of Carling divine.
Distance: 12 miles