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Diaries from my Wonderful Walks in Wales

March 16, 2012


The March Winds do Blow



A wild and windy day!

Perfect to see the sea at it’s powerful best!

A short drive south to Ynyslas today, the road wending its way through Borth Bog, designated an SSSI because of its wonderful wetland flora. Modern day farming has meant that so many of our wetlands are drained, and this rare and fragile habitat is increasingly lost.  The trees now stunted and bent by the prevailing winds. Low spiky gorse , blooms bright yellow beneath the trees.

The houses scattered here, sited on the rocky outcrops lifting them above the marshy land. The old houses sensibly tucked behind the rock, protected from the prevailing winds; often built from the rock itself: the new houses facing the views, and the wind!


The road winds over the tidal Leri river , with its little boatyard , soon opening onto the estuary, then the first glimpse of the open sea beyond.

The colourful kites of the windsurfers appear on the horizon, dipping and diving in the spray.


The sky full of heavy clouds , scudding across the bay, patches of blue appear and dramatic shafts of sunlight spotlight the dunes in golden light, intensified by the indigo blue of the mountain backdrop.


The marram grass whipped by the wind, etches perfect circles in the golden sand, the ever changing fore dunes  sculpted into wonderful symmetry.

Looking across the flat open sand of the estuary, Aberdovey is bathed, as usual, in sunlight. Its houses looking prim and pristine in their sugar almond colours . The sailing boats anchored in the harbour, bobbing in the waves. Now the tide is low, and it appears for all the World, that we could walk the mile or so across. But, not so, the Dovey river still flows deep, and patches of quicksand make it a treacherous journey.


Looking up into the Dovey valley, towards Machynlleth, the clouds gather dark grey blue. The rain clearly visible streaming from below. But the wind blows the cloud east and keeps us safe from a soaking.


We walk around the point, feeling the full force of the wind as we go round to see the whole stretch ofCardigan bayin front of us. The open sea a frenzy of foam , the wavecrests topped with ‘white horses’ galloping up the miles of empty ,wide sandy beach.

The sky a dramatic backdrop, huge clouds, some white, some indigo, rays of light heralding the sudden re appearance of the sun.


The exhilaration of wild sea and the wind, facing the elements in all their awesome glory, makes man seem almost insignificant.

The surfers brave enough to challenge the sea, perform amazing acrobatic feats ,tossed like driftwood by the towering waves.

The solitary walker, his head bent against the wind, followed by his twoLabradors, playing tag in the breaking surf.


We climb the shingle ridge, over to the boardwalk and up to the viewpoint on the summit of the dunes. The whole sweep of Cardigan Bay visible , up to Snowdonia in the North, rockyClarachBayin the South, past Constitution Hill to Aberystwyth and beyond .

Turning East, the beautiful Dovey Estuary, with Cader Idris as a dramatic backdrop, cloaked mysteriously in a haze of blue –grey . The gulls circle above, soaring on the wind, looking brilliant white against the dark clouds.


Time to return, our faces glowing , and lungs bursting with fresh, cold , pure air.

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