After my exciting lunchtime encounter with a dead rabbit and a little weasel, the rest of the walk seems tame. The footpath doubles as a cycle path. I see more cyclists than walkers.
This area is designated at the “Millennium Coastal Park”. The sign has seen better days.
And just inland from here is a large area of wetlands. I was looking forward to walking among lakes and marshes, but it seems you have to pay to enter, and the Wales Coast Path takes a semicircle around the reserve. Shame.
The route has a good surface but isn’t particularly pleasant as it runs between a high fence with discouraging barbed wire, and a road.
On the other side of the road is an industrial landscape of pylons and chimneys. It’s all rather disappointing. I suppose it’s fine if you whizz along here on a bike, but not very scenic if you are walking.
A short distance later, and as the path curves around the other side of the fenced-off wetland, the view improves. I walk on a bank above the cycle path, past a golf course with new housing estates in the distance.
And then I am back on the coast again – well, maybe not the coast exactly. It’s still river and estuary, with plenty of mud and marsh. Across the water I can see Llanmadoc hill, and the dunes of Whiteford Sands. I remember my walk along that endless beach, and I wish I was back on the proper coast again.
I take a self-portrait. I’m trying to do one of these on each of my walks. It’s not that I make a particularly pretty picture (sadly), but my family seem keen to have a record of what I looked like, what I was wearing, etc.
I am getting closer to my destination, Llanelli, and I begin to meet more people on the path: walkers, joggers, and cyclists. A blue plaque catches my eye.
‘Near to this site stood the “lost” village and community of Bwlch y Grynt.’
Later, I learn of the deliberate depopulation of this area, which happened during the 1960s and 1970s following the closure of local tin-plate and steel industries.
Near to the plaque, I walk past this strange piece of sculpture. Tall and imposing. (I am to come across several more of these as I walked along the shore. It’s all part of the redeveloped Millennium Coastal Park.)
Now I approach an area of beach. Proper sand at last! The first I’ve come across since Whiteford dunes. Bordering the beach is a new housing development.
Past the houses, and the beach is interrupted by a waterway. I walk inland to join the road and find a bridge across the water. There are some impressive-looking sluice gates.
Then I follow the cycleway that runs along the side of the road, past an area of mud and marsh, towards the seaside area of Llanelli. On my map, this coastal outpost is called, simply, Seaside.
Another bridge takes me over the mouth of another river and into the Seaside development. From the bridge I take a photograph looking along the meandering water way. The tide is low. It looks very muddy.
Seaside seems to be a very modern development, dominated by this blue-glass and concrete building. Downstairs is a information area and toilets. On the first floor is a café where I decide to stop and have a cup of tea and a piece of cake.
I would like to sit on one of the balconies. But the wind has picked up and it’s too fierce for comfort. So I sit inside instead. The view is still wonderful, even through the tinted glass.
After finishing my tea, I go outside and take a photograph of the view across the mouth of the estuary. That is Llanmadoc Hill. And the long, low lines of Whitesand Burrows.
Then I turn inland, leaving Seaside and crossing the bridge again. This time I take a photograph looking upstream, towards the town of Llanelli.
Then I walk through residential streets and find Llanelli’s train station. Time to return to my B&B.
Miles walked today= 13.5 miles
Total distance = 1,825.5 miles