Some like it hot! Gower Chilli Festival 2015.

Gower Chilli Festival

The sun finally came out for the first day of Gower Chilli Festival 2015. This two day event runs 18th & 19th July 2015 at South Gower Sports Club, Scurlage, Gower (SA3 1BA). So what is Gower Chilli Festival?

Chilli Festival

It is a loosely specialist food festival based around chillies and chilli based foods, that incorporates food & craft tents, BBQ completions, a chilli cookoff, gormet food stalls, family activities, bands and a bar. Here is their website.

Cool Heat

It is based in South Gower Sports Ground so includes access to their bar and clubhouse. There was a bit of chaos as the only real ale, the legendary Gower Gold was off on one pump and foaming on the other leading to a queue at the bar. But no one minded in the relaxed atmosphere and there was plenty of food to destract and engage you.

Relaxed Chilli Festival

It is free to park but costs £5 to get in (£8 for both days).

Cool Heat, Gower Chilli Festival

There are sauces to try for every pallet from smokey BBQ, limes and pickles to nuclear tastebud disabling red hot chilli sauces. When there say XXX hot here they mean it!

Estelle's Gower Goodies

So did I get anything? Of course I did, and as this was Gower Chilli Festival, I had to get some Gower sauces. ‘The Gower Scorpion’ and ‘Under Neath The Counter’ from Estelle’s Gower Goodies’ stall pictured above. You can find out all about her sauces at the Estelle’s Gower Goodies’ website here.  I am a little bit nervous about using the ‘Under Neath the Counter’ it looks like a tongue battering firestarter!

Gower Scorpion

Gower Chilli Festival was a relaxing and tastebud tingling day out today, and there is still a second day tomorrow for you to go to, DimExcuses.

Mentro 14, Sker gets Scarey. Kenfig, Bridgend 17th July 2015.

Keeper of the Dunes

What a strange day, today was in this unusual July. The weather didn’t know what it was doing and the surf didn’t know what it was doing. Very unsettled and changeable. With a big swell and some onshore wind it wasn’t going to be nice surf anywhere so I went in at Sker Beach, the far end of Kenfig Sands within Kenfig National Nature Reserve. I wrote about #MyGreenSpace Kenfig Nature Reserve here. This was the fourteenth session in my #Mentro21 surf project.

Kenfig

This was the third Friday evening that I surfed Sker Beach, Kenfig on my own. This time there was not a soul there. Not a good sign as there is usually a couple of other surfers braving the half hour walk to get a wave on this massive uncrowded wild Beach.

Kenfig Nature Reserve Parking

No photos of the Beach again as you have to leave everything at Kenfig National Nature Reserve Centre before making the long sandy walk through the Dunes. On the plus side there is loads of free parking at the Centre and it is easy to find from Junction 37 of the M4.

Signpost to Sker Beach

The large oak Keeper of the Dunes will point you on your way to the Beach.

Kenfig Keeper

The surf was messy, windy and a good three foot. On your own that is big dark and scarey. The surf was as wild and raw as the the scarweather Sker beach is itself. It is a long hard walk to that beach, but if you get there you get a wide wild Bay pretty much to yourself. There might be one or two other surfers there, and one of them might be me, DimExcuses.

Mentro 13, like surfing in laverbread. Caswell, Gower July 2015.

Caswell Bay

I needed a good day surfing, last Saturday at Rhossili I had a poor session and needed to get back on the horse. With similar if not bigger surf and wind this weekend, I roped in Darren Green and we headed for Caswell Bay, Gower.

Darren Green

Caswell is the most accessible Beach on Gower. It has an car park just off the Beach, bus routes from Swansea City Centre and concrete surfaces almost to the top of the Beach. Toilets, cafe and shops means it caters for everyone, especially learner surfers with a consistent medium wave pushing into a safe sandy beach.

DimExcuses Caswell

It doesn’t offer epic surf that often but is pretty much assured of a good fun session all year round. We caught it two hours before low tide and loads of small jellyfish were everywhere. Those little scotch pancake looking ones with the four little pink squares inside (sorry I am no marine biologist). If you like scoping up four of those little guys on every paddle stroke, today’s surf would have been right up your street.

Like surfing laverbread

Also as the tide pushed everything into the smaller and smaller Bay as it was funneled by the rising tide, seaweed was everywhere, like surfing in laverbread (the Welsh delicacy, look it up or order a Welsh breakfast to try it).

Caswell Gower

But every Beach has its day and today was Caswell’s day. A consistent two foot swell pumped in, with a much needed gap between sets. This has to be in the top five times I have surfed Caswell, and I will put up with jellyfish and laverbread for that, DimExcuses.

Mentro 11 Kenfig Sands & Mentro 12 Rhossili. A tale of two beaches.

Kenfig NNR

Not really a tale more of a quick update. No #Mentro21 project updates for over a week, and then like buses two come at once. The #Mentro21 project to go surfing twenty one times this year is going really well, I am half way now.

Rhossili Head

Just like the week before last, I got a surf in at Sker Beach, Kenfig Sands (Mentro 9) on Friday night after work and then made it to Rhossili Bay, Gower (Mentro 10) on the Saturday. The long walk from Kenfig National Nature Reserve Centre to Sker Beach I have been doing on my own, bare foot and in my wetsuit. It takes half an hour and means I can’t take my camera for any beach shots. You will have to make do with Kenfig pool and its famous tree.

Kenfig Pool Tree

To find out more about Kenfig National Nature Reserve read the #MyGreenSpace post from a couple of weeks ago.

It was quite small at Sker Beach and overcast, but I got a few waves. It was interesting to see the pebble beds at low tide so that I now know where they are and can avoid them. Sker isn’t a totally sandy beach and walking over the peoples underwater can be tricky. But what a difference a day makes! The next day Rhossili was a bit on the big side with a horrible onshore wind messing everything up.

Rhossili Bay

The sun was out and it was the National Trust Big Beach Picnic so the carpark, headland and Beach were really busy. The Trust have been really making the most of Rhossili since buying the car park. The pinic looked like a great event and these four got the prime picnic spot!

National Trust Big Beach Picnic

A great day but not the best surf. Well at least I ‘mentro allan’, ventured out. Twelve surfs down, nine to go, DimExcuses.