By: Emily Lovasz
So I may not have walked 500 miles, but I did walk about 16 miles by the end of the day Saturday. On Friday, our group took the train to Cardiff, Wales and checked into our hotel. Saturday morning we decided to check out the waterfront, or Mermaid Quay, which had a ton of shops, restaurants, music, but it was not easy getting there.
Our group started our walk going towards Mermaid Quay and we found a trail to follow. Before getting to the trail we crossed a bridge over the river, and that was our first mistake. Instead of a mile walk to get to the water, we walked for over two hours to get to Cardiff Bay. We had to go all the way around the bay to get to the Cardiff Bay Barrage where we could cross over to get back to Mermaid Quay. By the time we all got to the locks we were exhausted.
Across the barrage, Cardiff was hosting the Volvo Ocean Race. There was live music, games, a zipline, food trucks and exhibits about reducing plastic waste and saving the ocean. After taking in what the stopover festival had to offer, half of the group decided to go straight back to town and eat, but Rohan and I turned the other way and went back the way we came.
We found a small town on the other side of the bay called Penarth. There was a restaurant at the bottom of the hill and then the rest of the town was at the top. After walking over 5 miles and climbing the huge hill to get to the town, the view was worth it.
We found a small Chinese take-out restaurant where we ordered crispy beef, lettuce wraps and egg fried rice and took it to a park to eat. After dinner we walked up and down a few of the streets and found the main road of the town. We sat down and had a drink at St Fagans Castle Pub and then started our long walk back.
On the walk back, Rohan and I went back over the barrage and towards the downtown area (where we were supposed to end up about 10 miles ago) and stopped to watch the sunset. We even stopped at an ice cream shop to get a cone of ice cream and look over the bay.
But, probably our greatest accomplishment out of the entire trip of the day was that Rohan and I walked the entire 16 miles in flip flops.