Caldicot to Newport Wetlands

Walk 4 – and having checked train times and wind direction we decided to walk from Caldicot (the end of our very first walk) to Newport Wetlands. This is one and a bit walks from our book and about 12 miles in total,but very flat. We chose to walk with the cold north easterly wind behind us rather than in our faces – a wise choice.

So off we set at 10.30 with a frantic run to Newport station for the train to Caldicot – £11.20 for 11 minutes on the train!!! – I need to get into this train driving lark.

And at exactly the spot the train stopped was the post which marked the end of Walk 1 for those of you following our tale:

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Remember this – the end of walk 1 is the start of walk 4 but less muddy!!

Our first dilemma – Sharon was certain we needed to turn left – I was equally certain it was right (given that was the direction the Newport train had come from) – eventually I won, but I could sense that Sharon thought we would be turning round in a while.

The first part of the walk was quite noisy, alongside the M4 on country lanes, but eventually we crossed over the M4 (legally) and headed for the coast:

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Over the M4
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The exact spot the speed camera van sits in above the 50 mph tolls

And when we reached the coast we could see the Severn bridge off to our left and Newport to our right:

So having concluded we were going the right way we set off along the coast. It was a cool but bright day and in the sunshine it was quite warm – our pace was good at between 10 and 11 minutes per km in walking boots, and soon we made it to our lunch rock.

Stopping, as always, was a mistake and we were quite cold and a bit slower after the lunch break, but we continued along the coastal ridge, all the way past Redwick and on to Goldcliff.

There is a famous pink house with equally famous angry occupants along the way, so we obeyed the sign – apart from the photos bit and carried on our way.

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Shadow snuggle

At GoldCliff we were met by a nice surprise – The Seawall tearooms, where we sampled the hot chocolate and a piece of carrot cake and a piece of lemon cake – the cake was delicious, and Wendy, the owner was very welcoming and friendly – well worth a stop if ever you hit this bit of the coast. Cleo even got some doggie biscuits

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Along the ridge
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During cake
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Post cake
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The Cake

 

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We then headed inland a bit as we started across the wetlands, past the Farmers arms (a pub) through countless gates, and besides some bird spotting hides:

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Here birdy birdy

The pace slowed as the old war wounds of 2 weeks ago surfaced, but we made it on to the wetlands site and round to the lighthouse for the end of walk 4:

Just time for a selfie before calling for Mum taxi to pick us up and take us back to our car – 12 miles in total in just under 4 hours, and a walk well worth doing if you find yourself in this area. 43.5 miles done, 826.5 miles to go!!

Cardiff to Newport

It’s been a while since our last walk – but after some debate we decided to do our longest walk so far yesterday – from Cardiff to Newport.  Yes, yesterday, we were in no fit state to write up the blog when we got back last night!!

So, the 11.10 train got us into Cardiff for 11.35 and we headed off to the starting point on Tyndall street for a 14 mile walk to the roundabout just past work in Newport, and about a mile short of the transporter bridge.

The first couple of miles were all roads and industrial estates…

Our starting point
Our starting point
Not so coastal here
Not so coastal here
Less than a mile in and Sharon spies a Greggs
Less than a mile in and Sharon spies a Greggs

After walking along Ocean Way and Rover way we finally cut right and found the coast and walked for a mile or so behind the water treatment plant, and the traveler site.

The coast
The coast
More coast
More coast
Our biggest ascend of the day
Our biggest ascend of the day

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Ex RAF base
Ex RAF base

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Traveler site
Traveler site

We then passed very close to Tescos at Pengham Green but decided that walking across the whole car park to get food was a trek too far – a decision we would later regret. A bit more road walking followed before we again headed towards the coast, and a nice quiet canal on the way…

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The first of many swans
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Looking back to Cardiff
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A good spot for lunch

And now it was lunchtime – well I say lunch but all that was left in the bag were 2 bags of pickled onion monster munch and a coffee, and even stopping for 5 minutes made us quite cold – but Cleo got acquainted with the new member of our team – Mr Stickman

Lunch please
Lunch please
Mr Stickman
Mr Stickman
Fetch
Fetch

And off we set at a faster pace to warm up, meeting some horses on the path

Excuse me please
Excuse me please
Is this Peterstone or Marshfield?
Is this Peterstone or Marshfield?
Lots of coast
Lots of coast

And on the walk went – the rain started falling lightly, and the path was muddy under foot – we started debating where to ask Mum to pick us up from – but she will never find us by here.  Then we found the West Usk Lighthouse Inn – right on the coast – success – unfortunately the chef had a “family emergency” which coincided with the Wales match so we made do with a coffee and crisps again.

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Mud Mud
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A welcome warm up by the fire and a brief watch of France v Ireland before on we went

The signs still said 6km to go, the feet said to stop, but we were averaging 5km an hour so the end must be in site – another 1.5km brought us to the lighthouse, and over the river we could see the wetlands, the site of a future walk.

The lighthouse
The lighthouse
so close to the wetlands but a few mile to get there
So close to the wetlands but a few mile to get there

And with the transporter bridge in our sites we carried on, until the path turned us away from the bridge and on towards Duffryn. Then we hit our big snag of the day – the bridge we were supposed to cross was closed, well gone actually, as part of the railway Electification work.

Left and right are the bridge, in the middle isn't a bridge
Left and right are the bridge, in the middle isn’t a bridge

Turning back would add 3 or 4 miles to the day, so we don’t let little things like that stop us and we carry on the walk – although at the other side of the bridge there is a useful sign…

If only this was on the other side
If only this was on the other side

A short work on the bike path concluded today’s walk at just before 5pm, 23.4km, 14 miles completed, 4 hours 58 minutes.

Our finishing point IMG_1092

And we have big plans over the next couple of weekends to join up the parts we have done so far and complete this section – once Andrew can walk again that is!!