Monday, 2 January 2017

Bank holiday Penarth

A bright sunny day with clear skies, if a little chilly, but worth making the effort to get out of the house for a walk, so we went to Penarth by bus. It was colder than we'd anticipated while we were waiting for the 92 bus in Wood Street, so we bought a warm snack from Gregg's to keep us going. We walked from Penarth town centre, down through Alexandra Park to the promenade, then along the busy clifftop path to the point where it becomes a track through trees, and the Coast Path proper. That was as far as I could manage, as my leg started playing up as we walked down the steep slope through the park. I may not have been warmed up enough, and had a few unpleasant unexpected joint pains to deal with until we reached a level surface. Yet, no trouble walking uphill. It's a strange affliction, and may suggest that a nerve is getting pinched as the knee joint slowly gets back to normal.

We stopped in Cioni's clifftop snack bar for another warming drink. I wasn't precise enough in ordering a coffee, and was served with a capuchino sloppily made with instant coffee powder that didn't fully dissolve. That's the first time I've had a milky coffee in several years. Instant black coffee is just about tolerable. I can't imagine now how I put up with milky coffee for so many decades of my life, when the unadulterated taste is so good. But it's said that your taste buds change as you get older - for better and for worse.

On way back, I noticed for the first time a gateway and lodge leading to a linear park about 30 meters above and behind the promenade, a traffic free alternative, frequented by far fewer walkers, offering a good elevated view of the shore below. This is Windsor Park, and it links up with Alexandra Park at the north east end. Amazing to think that in the many years we've been visiting Penarth, we've never noticed this feature before. Both the Marie Curie and Holm Towers hospices are located on the road above Windsor Park, and both have back gates providing access for still mobile residents and visitors. It's an impressive apect of their location, a way in which this marvellous coastal townscape ministers to its most special sojourners.

Buses running today, as Bank Holiday, were supposed to be on the Sunday timetable, but it didn't work out like that where buses out of Cardiff to the Vale of Glamorgan were concerned. There was an early football match at Cardiff City stadium, causing traffic chaos with immediate impact on Penarth buses. We had to wait three quarters of an hour for ours, and the temperature was dropping below 4C, as the sun bathed the street in shadow. We managed to get warm once we were on the bus, but soon got chilly waiting ten minutes for a local bus to get us back to Pontcanna. A cup of tea and a couple of mince pies proved a perfect remedy, plus a hot curry, which I cooked for supper later. There'll be frost tonight.

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