Walking Day 10 – Nash To Newport Transporter Bridge
Not only was there the hope of doing a bit of bird spotting, but we were also going to walk past the Newport industrial area. Now, as walkers, most people don’t want to hang out in industrial estates. But honestly, not only do they feel like they are film sets of ‘The Walking Dead’, but they also have some tremendously cool buildings with magnificent designs.
I am always in awe of the engineering and industrial design that goes with these buildings
The first part of the walk was through the Newport Wetlands, where there are (among other things) ostensibly Bearded Tits, Dunlins and Shovellers.
The reeds were so high that we weren’t able to actually see any birds at all. Lots of walkers with telephoto lenses and enormous binoculars strolled about, casually stopping to peer at the sea. We had a paltry pair of binoculars, which apparently I have no idea how to use.
‘I can’t see anything,’ I wailed. ‘My eyelashes get in the way.’
I fiddled with the various knobs, got cross and tossed them at Daddy Pants.
‘No….I didn’t know I was supposed to. Mostly I just blinked a lot and got annoyed.’ DP poked at them and handed them back to me. I peered suspiciously through them.
‘Now focus with the right hand one,’ he instructed. I obeyed and low and behold the Great Mud Flats came into view. I got a little bit giddy.
‘I never knew I was doing it wrong all these years!’ I exclaimed excitedly. ‘I still can’t see anything other than mud though.’
‘No, nor me,’ DP replied.
Dog was unmoved by his experience in the nature reserve. We didn’t realise that he was meant to be on the lead the whole time and other walkers kept giving us meaningful glares. Failing to realise our error, we just smiled and walked on by. In all fairness, he rarely leaves our side and just trots politely next to us. He’s not likely to go and chase birds as he’s far too lazy.
So most of the start of the walk consisted of us trotting along the path through the reeds and not seeing any birds. We didn’t even HEAR any. The path was lovely though and very accessible – there were lots of mobility buggies, wheelchairs and pushchairs taking in the morning air. It’s a great place to go with kids who aren’t too keen on walking as you can trick them into enjoying the fresh air by bringing their scooters.
And the whole time the massive structure of the power station loomed gloriously over the reserve.
About an hour or so later, we had turned away from the water and our stomachs were rumbling. ‘Is the view going change at all?’ I asked hesitantly.
‘In what way?’ DP replied.
‘Well, is it going to get…..better?’ DP laughed.
‘Oh ok, that’s fine! I just wanted to check that we weren’t going to suddenly divert to the left, towards the sea and have a long view of the water. I’m good with here if this is it. I’m starving.’
We sat on a bench and had another Weird And Unusual Picnic. This one was with the fabulous view of the power station directly in front of us. It’s got to be one of the strangest picnicking places we’ve had. Well, that’s not true. Just add it to the list along with the ‘Concrete Blocks Outside Go Outdoors’ and ‘M5 View With Stinging Nettle Bouquet’.
People stared at us.
I used my new found Ability and focused the binoculars on the power station. ‘Look, there are alien markings on it,’ I said with some enthusiasm. DP looked. He agreed that there wasn’t any possibility that they could be anything else.
Squares and wiggles dotted the outside of the main chimney in a particularly pleasing mosaic effect. There was no question in my mind about their origin. I want nothing to do with sensible thoughts of water pressure or brick discolouration.
I am only interested in Aliens.
When we finished out lunch and Dog had played Hunt The Scotch Egg in the grass (not bird grass, just scrubby grass by the path) we carried on with the walk.
The next part of the walk took us into the heartland of the Newport Industrial Area. It was so much fun wandering around the back of buildings that you’d never normally see or really have much interest in. It was deserted and a welcome relief from the somewhat busy Nature Reserve.
One of the most remarkable things about the whole adventure was the deep noise and mechanical bangs that emanated from the otherwise still buildings. With not a person in sight, I felt like the electricity pylons might come alive at any moment and claim this land that was so obviously theirs.
We didn’t rush through it, we savoured the unique experience.
Even Dog didn’t mind the bangs.
The worst part for him was when we had to cross over a metal, gridded walkway that crossed over a conveyor belt. There was no other way across and he had to be coaxed with More Scotch Eggs and Added Sausages.
Now I think about it, he might have us over a meaty barrel as he knows we can’t carry him. And if he lies down then there is a Scotch Egg to get him to stand up again.
The walk took us finally back to the car and the Newport Transporter Bridge. Sadly, we couldn’t walk over the bridge this time for two reasons. One we had Dog with us. And two, it was closed. We plan to go back for a day trip with Baggy Pants and walk across it together. I will update you on it when we do it, as we are all looking forward to it!
The Newport Transporter Bridge was built in 1906 and was designed at a time when two worlds collided. A world where there were still sailing ships going up the River Usk and the brand new motorcar also wanted to get across.
Only the Victorians would think that’s a good idea.
It’s a Grade 1 Listed Structure and is one of only 10 in the world that still remain in use. It’s quite beautiful and was a fitting end to our Industrial Adventure. I am so looking forward to going back and exploring it properly. It’s currently undergoing maintenance, so I think it’ll be in the summer.
Next stop – Newport Transporter Bridge to Peterstone.