This was more of a beach walk than Wales Coastal Path: the challenge was to cross the estuary of the River Ogmore at low tide. A while ago, we crossed the stepping stones, upriver by Ogmore Castle, from the Merthyr Mawr side and saw how fast the river can rise as the tide comes in.
This time, we parked on the Ogmore side and walked out towards the sea as the tide began to turn (tide times are easily found online). The undercurrents and cross-currents can be deceptive.
The river runs swiftly in the deeper channels: it is stony underfoot and the water power is unexpected, despite the river being spread out over the sands. As we walked west, the wilderness dunes of Merthyr Mawr were to the north. The car park is wisely on the far side of the dunes which keeps this beach for the more adventurous, horse riders and the birds.
I do like to get the sand between my toes and it was all barefoot. Once through the water, we looked back to Ogmore village.
Then we carried on beside the dunes towards Porthcawl in the distance as the tide started to come in.
There were lots of birds including avocets, I think – very cute and delicately picking over the wet sand.
There was a patch of rocks, overed with coral-like barnacles. Rock pools slowly revealed their life of shrimps and winkles.
On the way to Porthcawl, we went through the well known resort of Trecco Bay and had a wander through. We walked over to the slipway up to the lifeboat at Porthcawl – not recommended because of the slimy mud beyond the firm sand.
Our bus back to Ogmore via Bridgend wasn’t due for a while, and we walked towards Rest Bay, past handsomely renovated and old seaside houses, white and glass in the sun. In the distance are the faint outlines of the Tata steel works at Port Talbot, where Open Spaces Society helped, a little, the local campaigners Save Morfa Beach to keep the path on Langlands Lane in 2013.