Portishead sea lock is the somewhat daunting exit and entry point for yachts using Portishead Marina. Fortunately there is a floating pontoon inside the lock to make tying up and managing your ropes a whole lot easier. You are strictly monitored and controlled by the lock keeper far above!
Next, to lift the boats up to the level of the marina, just add water …
The first night after leaving Portishead we anchored in Oxwich Bay- no pics. Then onwards to Dale, Pembrokeshire, Wales where we called ahead and tied up to Dale Yacht Club’s anchored pontoon a little off-shore.
Then a quick motor ashore to meet up with others who took the plunge to retire early! Thank you for driving round S & D!
Nothing available at the yacht club this early in the season so we had to make do locally:
There is an interesting (for me) Welsh – Shona pun hidden away in there as beer in Welsh is Cwrw (said as Koo Ru) and Kuru is the short form of Sekuru (grandfather) in Shona. So if you have a Welsh grandfather, nicknamed Kuru, who likes beer… Be thankful you are not in my head!
This is a bit hard core, but it will make you feel just like a hobbit on a very long journey.
Turns out to be 28 kms of walking and 900+ metres of combined ascending. The vertical height difference being 500m between the school and Nyangani Park. 3.5 hours on the way down and 4 hours on the way back. The longest stretch was the flattish section of the whole valley, National Park and Bepe Park, which seems to take half-an-hour longer than it ‘should’.
Plenty of Shona stone work: terracing and walls all through the upper reaches of the valley, with one amazing find – an intact rectangular hole through to the tunnel underneath; just like the one in the poorly named ‘Shona Pit Structures’ in the main National Park.
After visiting in Nyanga you make the brave decision to walk back up!
The lesser visited, far more extensive and much wilder of the two forts on offer in the National Park. The path in is a bit of a bear – retract / pull in your wing mirrors (medium wattle encroaching the side of the track) and raise the suspension / use a high clearance vehicle (small wattle and scrub down the middle of the track will brush off the mud). The car park is a single track turning circle which could be awkward if more than one party or car want to leave early.
Recently trodden down human ‘pathways’ were the only clue to a tough-going, bumpy, wide circumnavigation of the obvious walls starting at the west side. Some loop holes remaining, with flat lintels above – see pics. Looked like additional walls or terraces submerged by vegetation or earth on this western side. Some exotic plants including an unavoidable manic succulent type thing underfoot and these yellow flowers everywhere.