An early start (which is not easy on New Year’s Day – Happy New Year to you all by the way!!) as the rain was forecast from 2pm, and we got to Caldicot train station by 9.30, for a quick journey to Chepstow. Cleo’s first ever trip on a train as well.
We decided to walk from Chepstow back to the car in Caldicot and, after stopping off for a Costa, we headed for the Bandstand which starts the walk (we had been advised that wellies would be more suitable than walking boots for today’s leg of the journey).
There isn’t really much to say about the first 2 or 3 miles – once you get out of Chepstow town centre it is all suburban streets, industrial units and woodlands, following the signs but not seeing much coast at all, as the sign explained…..
But once on the coast proper we found a fish, and had our first casualty as the water bottle dropped to the floor and shattered.
A church and a nice statue of King Tewdrig soon followed and the walk then took us across a few very swampy fields some of crops and others of animals – including, according to Sharon, some very pretty sheep (she has been living in Wales too long!!).
After stopping for a wee, crossing the golf course briefly and then the train tracks we finally started to see the coast and some lovely views of the Second Severn Crossing, before having a paddle at Black Rock.
At Black Rock we also got an update on our progress – 6 miles completed and just 864 to go!!
The last part of the walk is the best for views of the Severn Estuary, and for landmarks – we crossed under the Second Severn Crossing, then walked along by the motorway (the famous windsock you see as you drive over the Severn bridge) and then we crossed over the M4 on a footbridge.
And the end was in sight – 9.5 miles, in just over 3 hours, the wellies and swampy conditions didn’t help but we beat the rain, and boy are we shattered – I bet even Cleo sleeps well tonight after a well-earned bath.
And off now to plan the 2nd leg of our mammoth journey. This morning Sharon said we should try to do all 870 miles during 2016, let’s see if she is sticking to that plan tomorrow.
Andrew and Sharon