A Week on the Gower Peninsula. Day 5. A Stroll Along the Beach.

The Worms Head from the beach.

Here’s the promised post about day 5 of our visit to this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. You’ll find day 1 here, day 2 here, day 3 here, and day 4 here.

On our fifth day in Wales, we woke to what looked like a day of variable weather. The week had been windy, and sometimes wet, as storms drifted across Britain from the Atlantic. But it was still relatively mild, and we’d managed a walk every day. This was no different.

The morning view from our hotel bedroom window.

We decided to explore the beach this time. No chance (or desire) for a swim in those rough waters. As we emerged from the hotel to make our way down to the sands, it quickly became obvious the wind continued to blow hard. Initially, we’d considered walking the 3 miles (5km) along the flat beach to the small island of Bury Holmes at the northern end of Rhossili Bay. Once down on the sands, however, it became clear the windblown sand would be a real problem further up. So, we went south first to have a look at the rocks and cliffs there.

The rock strata of the cliffs.
A rocky view.
The texture of the rocks fascinated me.
A scene I loved.
Barnacled cliff rocks.
Across the sands toward Burry Holms.
The sinuous snake of surface water caught my eye.
Wind blown sand.

It was a day for ‘art’ photography rather than the landscapes I’d mostly taken during the first part of the week. I enjoy making pictures (my mother was a talented painter and I imagine I inherited my ‘eye’ from her).

After we’d walked beside the cliffs, we turned back and approached the remains of the wrecked barque, the Helvetia. Only a small number of ribs and part of the prow now remain of this cargo vessel that, carrying timber, was blown on shore on 1st November 1887. It’s a picturesque wreck, much photographed, and I couldn’t resist the opportunity. Fortunately, Valerie has the patience of a saint when it comes to my photography, and she was happy to wait and enjoy the scenery as I wandered around the old timbers.

Approaching the wreck of hte Helvetia.
Across the wide sands.
The remains of the wreck.
A popular view of the timbers.
Valerie studies the wreck.

We sauntered further north for a mile or so but soon concluded our earlier fears regarding the windblown sand were justified, so returned up the cliff steps to the village.

Over the wide windy sands to the north.
Further down, the sands were still wet from the receding tide.
And the wet area stretched north, too.
As we returned to the path up from the beach, the weather improved.

We had a tasty lunch at The Bay Bistro again and returned to our room as the weather closed in once more. There was a brief spell of clear weather later and I took the final picture of the day from our bedroom window as sunlight glanced through a hole in the cloud and illuminated a patch of surf down below. Another lovely day.

The almost sculptural quality of the surf seen from our bedroom window in the afternoon.

Days 6 and 7, the end of this saga, will follow shortly.

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