The Usual Suspects. DimExcuses Big Gower Walk 2015.

DimExcuses Big Gower Walk

It has taken me a month to get these photos up. Every September we take the first Gower bus to Rhossili Bay, and then walk 19 miles on the South Gower coast to the finish in Bishopston. It is like a end of summer ritual, and it is great to see all the usual suspects on the bus each year.

Gower Bus

The starting line up for the DimExcuses Big Gower Walk 2015.

DimExcuses Usual Suspects

You can read about the DimExcuses Big Gower Walk, 2013 by clicking here.

And the following years’ DimExcuses Big Gower Walk, 2014 by clicking here.

Big Dogs

Starting in Rhossili the sun was low and Rhossili Down cast a long shadow across the bay. A lovely wave coming in too.

Morning Gower Sun

A quick toilet stop, and we head off across the fields towards Port Eynon, soaking up the morning dew in our running trainers. This distance is a bit far for hiking boots. Unless you are really used to your boots, blisters are inevitable. I also advise having two changes of socks.

DimExcuses Dire Wolves

The dew wasn’t a problem for Huw and Sarah in their Gortex Trail Shoes. They also brought their massive Dire Wolves straight out of Game of Thrones.

The Wolves

We were lucky with some lovely sun all day. By the time we powered in Port Eynon the sun had burned away the early morning mist.

Port Eynon bound

An essential full cooked breakfast stop at Port Eynon and then it was back onto the Wales Coast Path.

Wales Coast Path

Making our way to Oxwich Bay along the Gower Coast. It wasn’t long before we were in the Oxwich Bay Hotel, checking in with family and picking up some more walkers.

Oxwich

We waved good bye to Huw, Sarah and the Wolf Pack at Oxwich, and gained Tony and his dog Ness. Of course we also picked up Molly the French Bulldog.

Molly on the Big Gower Walk

It was only a matter of time before Molly was at the front, giving advice as we approached Three Cliffs Bay as she knows it so well.

DimExcuses Walk

This is a fantastic walk, and the huge Oxwich Bay section just has to be barefoot all the way in the Gower seawater.

Ade on the Gower Walk

That Oxwich Bay walk seems to go on forever.

Oxwich Bay Walk

The tide was out at Great Tor for once, so we were just able to splash around it and into Three Cliffs Bay itself.

Splashing around Great Tor, Gower

From Three Cliffs it was a short walk into Pobbles Bay. Molly never more at home than when she is in Pobbles Bay, but a herd of cows on Three Cliffs was a new one even for her!

Cows at Pobbles Bay, Gower

A quick liquid refreshment stop at the Southgate Club and then it was onto the final section of Pennard Cliffs and down into Pwll Du Bay.

Pennard Cliffs

By this point we have seen nearly all the South Gower Coast and its great Bays.

Wales Coast Path Pwll Du

We are a weary bunch at this point, before the final finishing leg.

DimExcuses Walk

But once out of Pwll Du, we arrive in Bishopston and the finish at the Joiners Arms. Good thing the Joiners is a micro brewery, because we deserve a pint of Three Cliffs Gold after nine hours and 19 miles walking.

DimExcuses Walk Finish, the Joiners Arms

Another year gone, another summer ended, the seventh Big Gower Walk completed. I expect to see you all there next year, DimExcuses.

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Mentro 19. Sunset Dreaming, Rhossili, Gower 11th October 2015

Wormshead Sunset

On Thursday I surfed Rhossili Bay as the sun started to set.  Three days later I was back there, slightly later in the day and with the days now a fraction shorter. The result of which was surfing even closer to the Autumn sunset. This was the 19th surf in my #Mentro21 project to surf 21 times this year.

Surf Colt Sunset

Surely the west facing Wormshead at Rhossili has to be one of the best views that you can frame with a sunset. This time I was joined by regular DimExcuses surfer Darren Green, joining me for some one foot glass with a slight breath of offshore wind.

Rhossili Glass

Two hands on the camera meant that some pre-surf selfies could be taken.

Darren Rhossili

Darren above and myself below.

DimExcuses Rhossili

We got an hour and a half in the water making the most of glassy sets that rolled into Rhossili Bay. Large gaps between sets made paddling out an ease.

Blue Lines Rhossili

The shortening Autumn evenings meant that we made our way out of the surf as the sun started to set, producing some fantastic photos after we had changed and packed up.

Rhossili Bay Sunset

We weren’t the only ones taking in the fading light and sunset dreaming.

Sunset Dreaming

A spectacular sunset, even better than last Thursday. Now though we are wearing winter suits and boots surely won’t be far behind. Tomorrow the first frost is forecast and it will be a return to coldwater surfing as I face my last two #Mentro21 surfs, DimExcuses.

 

Mentro 18. Autumn Warmth, Rhossili Bay, Gower 8th October 2015.

Mentro 18 Rhossili

Autumn is like one great big sunset on the year. Surftember moves into October as leaves brown and fall from the trees. It hasn’t been the best summer and even Surftember didn’t live up to its name. El Nino has ruined the party like a drunken ex-boyfriend crashing an engagement do.

Surf Rhossili

But today on Gower, October offered up some post storm swell and some Autumn sun. So I headed for my usual break, Rhossili Bay. The air is cooling but the high thermal inertia of the sea means it is still a summer 14 degrees C. Air and water almost becoming the same temperature. So I notched up my eighteenth (Mentro 18) surf in my #Mentro21 project to surf 21 times this year.

Mentro 18

Having the day off for my birthday, celebrating 42 years since I came kicking and screaming into this world, I decided to spend it kicking, paddling and screaming into some clean two foot sets in the October sun. I either saw a Portuguese Man-o-war type jellyfish or an inflated plastic bag pretending to be a Portuguese Man-o-war jellyfish. Either way I gave it a wide berth. I also got a scare from a large bass that decided to jump a couple of feet out of the water right next to me, as I sat on my board out back.

Clean Rhossili

There was not a breath of wind. A great change for a usually wind blown Gower.  These two had the best seat in the house to watch the waves.

Best Seat in the House Rhossili

The best thing about October surfing is that by late afternoon everything becomes a sunset.

Rhossili Sunset

I had the sea and pretty much the car park to myself, “after the boys of summer have gone” as Don Henly would say.

Gower Sunset

So the sun sets on Mentro 18, leaving three sessions to go to complete the #Mentro21 project, DimExcuses.

 

 

The Keri Caves by Speed Boat. It is all Greek to me 7. Zante 2015.

Keri Caves Zante

It has taken some time , but this is my final post on my recent trip to Zante, Greece. I have already posted-

It is all Greek to me 1 – Zante Dawn

It is all Greek to me 2 – Jump in the Pool

It is all Greek to me 3 – Banana Beach

It is all Greek to me 4 – Pedalos and Planes

It is all Greek to me 5 – Things we saw in the Sea

It is all Greek to me 6 -Things we saw on the Reef

It was a great holiday, as you can see from the posts above, but I have left the best until last Keri Caves.

Kapetanios Bretania

One of the best ways you can see Keri Caves in Zante is by chartering a speedboat. We chartered two, one with a local pilot so we knew where to go, and one piloted by Mark Crimmings from our party (or as the official pilot called him Kapetanios Bretania).

The last journey of Katetanios Bretania

I was on the official pilot’s boat. He knew the caves so well, zooming in and then back throttling so that we stopped inches from the cave walls.

Cave Exploring

It was really thrilling and the caves are fantastic.

Keri Caves

The water is so blue against the white rocks.

Cave Zante

We anchored up on a shingle bank and explored those blue bays a bit more. The water is really salty which gives you great buoyancy but makes it difficult to dive deep because of the pressure of that denser water.

DimExcuses Snorkel

Here I am, doing the Nirvana Nevermind cover again…

DimExcuses Nevermind

…and Sharon giving the thumbs up.

Sharon Keri Caves

We did actually see some fish after we finished messing around.

Keri Caves Fish

A load of the Saddled Seabream we saw in the earlier post. They seem little bothered by us splashing by.

Saddled Seabream

We only had a short dip as there was still a lot to see on our boat trip.

Keri Caves Boat Trip

You can get up really close to the cave walls with these small speed boats.

DimExcuse Zante

Plenty of caves to explore…

Keri Caves

…and sunny sea to sail…

Danielle Keri Caves

…nipping in and out of the Keri Caves.

Keri Caves Zante

From the Keri Caves it was then a short speedboat trip to Turtle Island. It even looks like a turtle!

Turtle Island

Once on Turtle Island, landing is a bit of a challenge, but we got there in the end.

Turtle Island Ahoy!

Forget the Caretta Caretta turtles on Turtle Island, it has a floating ice-cream van!

Turtle Island Ice Cream Boat

The obligatory beach selfie.

DimExcuses Turtle Beach Selfie

Some arty driftwood shots.

Driftwood Turtle Beach

I guess everything bleaches white in this sun eventually.

Bleached white driftwood.

Sightseeing done it was time to return our speedboats to their moorings and wave goodbye to our guide.

Dolphin Speed Boats

What a great way to end the DimExcuses Greek Odyssey with such a fantastic boat trip.  So there it is my final photos from Zante, Greece, basically it was all Greek to me, DimExcuses.