Walking Day 9 – Caldicot To Nash
Dog wasn’t with us today as he had an attack of ‘Trolley Leg’ when he got out of the car. Trolley Leg is a terrible affliction that curses those who Don’t Want To Do Things. They then get a magically ‘hurty leg’, which stops them doing the thing they are meant to be doing, that they don’t want to do. (IE they are little fakers). He limped pathetically as he lumbered out of the boot and so we sent him to Granny and Grandpas for the day. He had a difficult day lying by the open fire and occasionally having his tummy tickled. There might also have been chicken. He was clearly gutted to miss the walk.
This stretch of the coastal path is possibly the bleakest to date. There wasn’t really a lot to see and therefore we got excited about the smallest of things. The landscape was flat and feature less of the most part. That said, the happy action of putting one foot in front of the other kept us occupied. It was also a bitterly cold start to the day and the wind that roared across the open estuary was biting. We were glad for hats, scarves and gloves.
We came upon a pillbox – or what we assume must be one – a little way along the path. A quick investigation of it showed it to be rather open to the elements and we wondered how anyone could stay in there for hours at a time, as they presumably would have done. We were frozen to the spot just standing there for a few minutes. As I said, the wind was unforgiving and walking was the only thing keeping us warm.
Llanwern Steelworks wasn’t far away and there were regular water sluices to let water into the estuary. It was tempting to trundle down them but honestly, there wasn’t much to see once you got to the end except mud and water. But then what does one expect?! The patterns in the mud were pretty pleasing though. As I said, there wasn’t much to see on this walk and we had to take our entertainment where we could find it.
Further entertainment came in the fashion of some friendly cows who I was more than happy to pet as they were behind a fence. As I’ve said before, I’m quite a weed when it comes being in a field with cows (not as scared as Dog I might add) but if they’re the other side of a fence then I am more than happy to stroke them if they’ll let me. Anyhow, these cows were seriously friendly and wanted lots of head scritches which I obligingly gave them. I did come away with a delicious bovine odour but what did I expect? Eau de toilette?
We eventually turned off the coastal path and onto the Newport Wetlands – a nature reserve that runs between the Severn and the River Usk – and tried our hands at some bird spotting. We saw some lovely dunlins and little egrets, not to mention a plethora of ducks. We spent quite a lot of time watching the birds get up to their feathery antics and I’m really looking forrward to going back on the next walk – which will start in Nash. We didn’t have binoculors with us this time but we will make sure we do for the next excursion.
Some of the paths to get back across country to the car were in a state of Serious Discouragement from the landowners. Luckily we didn’t have Dog with us or we would have had to throw him over several fences to get him through the brambles. My favourite Impassable Stile was the one pictured here, there were brambles growing in a thick mantle all through it. It was gloriously impetetrable!
This walk actually took place very near to our wedding anniversary, so we took the chance to make our way to a pub (where we’d parked the car) and have a celebratory drink by the fire. The weather had cheered up by the time we got there but it was still chilly in the wind. I have to say I am really looking forward to the next leg of the journey and invesetigating the Uskmouth Power Station and the transporter bridge. I love a bit of industrial exploration!