Getting to Wales is definitely something that should be approached with patience. From here, it was two planes, three trains and a bus ride over the course of two days just to get to Cardigan. From there I started the 100 kilometre walk along the Wales Coastal Path to Aberystwyth. It was a great way to get over the jet-lag, take in the stunning landscapes and meet many kind and interesting Welsh people along the way.
Admittedly there are probably faster ways to get to Aberystwyth, but only slightly.
|Wales Coastal Path - near Llangrannog|
I confess that it was a bittersweet moment as we crested the last hill and looked down over Aberystwyth. Although with the rain threatening a proper downpour and after a long day of walking I was happy to be headed indoors to a bed and a shower. As we walked the long, last mile along the promenade below with the wind howling and the rain beating sideways a van pulled up along side the road and a group of kids poured out. Seconds later they emerged from an alleyway between two building with surfboards. They scurried quickly across the road and into the water for their surfing lesson. Another testament to the saying "There's no bad weather in Wales, only poor clothing choices." Ironically though, we were pretty well prepared for rainy weather on this trip. We were less prepared for the scorching summer sun and heat wave that was happening during our walk.
|Aberystwyth as the sun is setting.|
The International Ceramics Festival is a relatively young event, started in 1987. It's held every two years at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre, University of Aberystwyth.
|The Old College - Aberystwyth University|
|The "Eco-Kiln": a small wood fire kiln.|
|A pizza kiln/oven.|
|The Lual Kiln by Rita Gudino|
|Unloading the Lual Kiln|
|Sergi Pahissa's kiln from local reclaimed material|
I probably would have benefited from doing a second 100 kilometre walk just to let my mind digest some of the wisdom and creative spirit from the festival. Here are a few more photos of some of the gorgeous coastal path from the Ceredigion Region of Wales.
In my next post I'll talk about how the festival and the landscape is making me rethink how I work with clay.
|Aberystwyth Castle- photo taken around 11 pm (long summer days slightly further north) on the way back to my flat after the kiln firings|
|This section of trail on the hot sunny day required some focus on footwork.|
|Trail marker on top of another hill near the end of the day.|
|North of Aberystwyth|
|The extensive sand dunes of Ynys-Las|