Hello everyone and welcome to the latest blog on the Olivia Rose Diaries on September 17th 2021.
This week we have been on the coast in west Wales, staying in a small campsite with friends just outside the charming, immaculate, expensive and very touristy village-come-small-town of Newport. We arrived on a grey and wet day but since then the weather has been more than kind and Wales in the sunshine is hard to beat, as you will see from the photos below.
Newport has a small harbour, with just a few fishing boats moored on buoys in the estuary, spending part of their day beached and rather ungainly on the mud as the tide recedes and the other half bobbing away far more gracefully as the tide rushes back in.
September 14th was an auspicious day as it was my birthday and I like to delude myself that the sun always shines on this important day. As my memory is definitely not what it was, this may not always have been the case, but this year there was no doubt. It was a glorious day and I have the photos to prove it. We began our day slowly, enjoying a leisurely breakfast sitting outside and catching up on all those months of not seeing each other. Then we had coffee and cake and more catching up, but eventually we put on our walking boots and set off to Dinas Head.
The coast path hugs the cliffs, skirting round bays and inlets, plunging down into gulleys and back up again to the cliff tops. You spend more time going up and down than you do moving in a forwards direction which occasionally caused the birthday girl to have a little grumble, but the views were worth the effort.
The next day saw us heading off to do a circular walk along the cliff path to the lighthouse at Strumble Head and then back through the single track winding lanes. On our way we were lucky enough to see a large group of seals and their pups on a sandy beach way down on at the bottom of the cliffs. As you can see the sand is almost black on this particular stretch of the coastline, and the pups with their white coats stand out clearly. From a distance they looked like a collection of slugs, for the most part not moving at all and looking so clumsy and heavy on the sand that we half- wondered if they were still alive. But then one of the adults would heave itself out to the water, morphing into another creature altogether as it slipped into the sea and became an acrobat, a dancer, a magical creature of power and grace.
They were a noisy old bunch, reminding me of lambs when they’re calling for their mothers, and their bleating and yelling echoed round the cliffs, drifting up to us as we stood mesmerised on a precipitous perch way above them.
So that is it for this week. Next week we shall be heading away from the coast, and spending a week in the Brecon Beacons. This is a different Welsh landscape, one of mountains and clear, tumbling streams. We lived here for seven years, a record for both of us, and if anywhere has ever felt like home, then this was it. A trip down memory lane awaits us, as well as a chance to catch up with yet more friends.
Hope all is well with you. See you soon.