Walking Day 8 – Chepstow To Caldicot
I’m a bit late and somewhat removed from writing this blog post. My notes have….erm….gone missing. So I honestly can’t entirely remember the details of it! But I’ll do my best.
We were deeply excited to be on the Other Side Of The Bridge. Having looked at the Severn Estuary for quite a few weeks, we were thrilled to be viewing it from a different direction.
We started at the lovely Mathern Church where the ancient King Tewdrig died after being wounded in a battle against those pesky Saxons. The story goes that a pure spring started to pour on the place where he died and although we couldn’t see any pure springs in situ we did find a statue of the fallen monarch which I was rather happy about. I wanted to take a selfie of myself with the handsome King Tewdrig but there was Marital Misunderstanding about my intentions and I ended up with just a bog-standard Picture With The King. I had ideas of climbing next to him and making funny faces but it was not to be.
We didn’t go into the church or investigate it much as we were keen to get walking. We’ve loafed about at the start of walks before and found ourselves rushing to not get benighted on a mountainside, so we are somewhat wary of dragging our feet at the beginning.
The path took us down to the Severn Estuary with deeply pleasing views of both the bridges. I love standing between them and trying to decide which one I like more. So far, I haven’t decided which I prefer as they both have their merits. The original Severn Bridge feels more elegant and has the wonderful advantage of when you go over it you feel like you are flying over the water (the barriers on the sides are pretty low down and you get a great view). My sister hates going over this bridge for this exact reason, suffering as she does from vertigo. The Prince Of Wales Bridge has the benefit of just feeling enormous, solid and gloriously magnificent. Plus I’ve stood under it on quite a few occasions now and I feel a great affinity with the clunking, chunking sounds of the cars overhead. Walking towards it, I was quite looking forward to experiencing it’s noisy enormity again!
The slightly muddy estuary path took us gradually closer to the Prince Of Wales Bridge.
We stopped for lunch on some rocks by the water. There was a sign next to them that reminded people that they couldn’t walk here during high tide and that they would be cut off. We were feeling reckless and took the lower path (we also check the tides so knew that we were actually fine – so not reckless at all….)
Dog did his traditional Roll-In-The-Mud dance and then begged for leftovers, as he clearly is starving. Can’t you tell?
After lunch, we did a spot of Geocaching (which always pleases me) and brought back some wee trinkets to add to the Geocaching Cupboard.
We also investigated a marvellous gun turret nestled just off the path and into the estuary. The opening to it was small and I wondered how anyone could spend long in there without feeling claustrophobic, cold, frightened and banging their heads. I imagine all of those things happened regularly!
There was an altercation with a large horse who was stoically guarding the gate and wouldn’t let us through without a bit of a tussle. I am a massive weed when it comes to large farmyard animals so made Daddy Pants go and shoo him away whilst I ‘kept the dog safe’.
Dog is terrified of ponies as he had some chase him on Dartmoor in his youth and he hasn’t forgotten their rudeness.
The Guardian Of The Gate did finally move out of the way and we could scuttle through.
Over the M48 and onto the station. We got the train home and back to the car. All in all a very successful trip and another leg of the coastal path in the bag! We are now starting to get into our stride and are starting to think about how we are going to do the bits that are further afield……..