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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Sun at last


I headed into town early this morning, as I had a few bills to pay, and needed a few things in Wilkinson. After doing these errands, and grabbing a hot pasty from Gregg's, I headed to the bus station, to cut through to Tesco. I had my camera with me, and intended to head towards the promenade and the Marina, if the sun was still shining by the time I'd done all my errands. When I reached the bus station, just before 11.10, the first thing I saw, sitting on Bay 1, was a big green bus displaying a '118 Rhossili & Port Eynon' sign. I went on autopilot, clambered on board and purchased a day ticket. I didn't think about it for a second beforehand - sheer instinct led me, unquestioningly, aboard.

Luckily, I had wrapped up warm to go into town. Too warm for town, in fact, as I was boiling when I got on the bus, swaddled in a polar fleece top, super-thick winter coat, two pairs of thermal socks, a scarf and a thermal hat and gloves. By the time I got to Rhossili, I was glad I'd wrapped up so well. There was a vicious, biting wind, which made my eyes stream. However, the sun was shining and there wasn't a rain cloud to be seen, so I was damned if I was going to let the small issue of temporary blindness and ruined mascara deter me.

I made it down to the old coastguard lookout in record time. Whether I was moving faster to keep warm, or whether the wind blew me part of the way there, I have no idea. Luckily, the wind had calmed slightly by the time I got there.





The tide was out, revealing the causeway, and the multiple swirling currents as they started to reconverge on the area. As I watched at least three different currents pulling in different directions, I understood how pernicious their effects must be on any hapless person or vessel caught out there. I tried to capture the currents on this short clip, but I don't think I quite did the job - sorry about the low quality.



As ever, there were plenty of people around the cliffs, including hikers, dog walkers, mountain bikers, surfers and fishermen, so I didn't feel too isolated. After surveying the spectacular view, I decided to walk down the cliff path for only the second time in my life. Once more, I was amazed at how easy I now find it, to negotiate a path I found absolutely insurmountable a year ago. I had to take a little care, as the ground was damp, though not waterlogged, in places, but reached the grassy plateau just above the causeway, in just a couple of minutes.







As I looked up to where I'd just been standing, I saw a lone figure on the edge of the cliff. For a moment I thought, 'no, don't jump', until sense kicked in and I realised he was doing what I done a few moments earlier - just admiring the view.



I decided to follow this path for a while. I know there's a gully between these two cliffs, which is quite easy to climb, and comes out opposite a gate and footpath leading across the Viel or Vile, however you spell it. I considered tackling it, if it didn't look too muddy.



As I approached, I spotted a couple of guys sitting on the ground, in the lee of the cliffs. Something about them made me feel uneasy, so I decided to head slowly back the way I came. As I trudged along, I was once again impressed by how vicious these rocks look, like giant teeth emerging from the foreshore, ready to bite huge chunks out of any vessel unfortunate enough to stray too close to shore.



The wind had picked up quite a bit again by now, but despite its noise, and that of the pounding waves, I noticed a familiar, high-pitched birdsong - oystercatchers. I saw an occasional one flying past, but was unable to capture them on camera. However, I shot this short video, which although unspectacular in itself, allows you to hear a few bursts of oystercatcher song. You'll need to turn your speakers up a little to hear it.



Shortly afterwards, I made my way back up the cliffs and headed for the village, arriving with about fifteen minutes to spare before the 14.12 bus arrived. On the way home, I attempted a little bit of drive-by shooting - with my camera lens, of course, with varying results. I was especially captivated by the sun shining through some clouds, visible from the bus window all the way from Rhossili to Margam Corner, after which it was behind the bus.





I also attempted a couple of shots of Oxwich Bay, from just past the Towers, and Nicholaston. I don't suppose they look too dreadful, considering they were snapped through the very muddy window of a speeding bus.





When I reached town, I realised I couldn't get my usual First Cymru bus home as I had a Pullman's day ticket. However, there was a bus due in about 25 minutes, which would drop me off at the end of my street. So I headed for the market to grab some fresh veg, and arrived back at the Quadrant with about ten minutes to spare for my bus home. Within half an hour of that bus dropping me off, at about 15.45, I was fast asleep in my bed, and didn't wake until well after midnight. I only intended getting an hour or two, but forgot to set an alarm - hence me now being awake at this ungodly hour. Never mind - the sun shone and I got out and about. That's the main thing ...

2 comments:

The Pig's Lip said...

Great pics and vids. youtube certainly brings blogs to life.

Siani said...

Thanks, Chris. Uploading to YouTube would have been nightmarish without broadband. I'm setting up a wireless network soon, so I'll be able to retrieve some interesting vids off my desktop.

 
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