There wasn't much room to park outside the church so I pulled in by a field gate across the lane; hopefully the farmer wouldn't want to use the gate any time soon but judging by how peacefully the cows and sheep were grazing I thought it highly unlikely. It was a pleasant walk down the lane from there and I emerged onto the shingle at the side of the bay; to my right was a wide expanse of sand flats with the Afon Goch river cutting through on its way out to sea, and somewhere to the left was Portobello beach. Not far from the end of the lane I came to the seaweed-encrusted carcass of a long dead fishing boat, its ribs looking very much like the remains of a large prehistoric bird, then a bit further on the shingle finally gave way to a very small sandy beach backed by a high retaining wall to some private land.
The little beach was dissected by a creek a couple of yards wide with a very shallow stream running through it and with a crossing point made out of a pile of stones; I was glad about that as I had my trainers on so didn't want to get my feet wet. From there the beach was stony for quite a distance then all at once, at the point where the river met the sea, I came to a wide expanse of clear flat sand - I'd found Portobello beach. A little way along the seaward side was a rocky outcrop across the sand and at the other side of it, set back off the beach, was the large Mediterranean-style Portobello House. That part of the beach was more stony but it still looked nice and was certainly worth a photo.
With just a couple of shots taken I didn't linger and within a few minutes I was heading back the way I'd gone. All went well until I got to the little creek; although it was still a long while to high tide I hadn't realised or noticed just how quickly it came in along the Dulas estuary - the river had widened, flowing into the creek, and the shallow stream of only twenty minutes before was now well over ankle deep. Even the stepping stones were under water and there was no way I could cross without getting my feet wet so it looked like my trainers were in for an unwanted soaking.
As if that wasn't bad enough there was worse to come after I'd crossed the creek. The river had widened so much that the water was right up to the retaining wall at the end of the little beach - I was cut off, and to get to the next section of beach a few yards away would entail some serious wading. It was fortunate too that I was wearing cycling shorts as the water came above my knees; the dogs had to swim, and while Poppie was quite happy Sophie wasn't impressed at all and was obviously glad when we finally reached dry land. When we got back to where the old boat lay the water was already creeping up round one side of it; fortunately the beach at that point was backed by a grass bank with a footpath which made a good escape route, so I was able to get back to the bottom of the lane without any further mishap.
Back at the van I dried my feet off and changed into my spare trainers; the weather may have been very warm but I didn't really want to spend the rest of the day walking round in wet shoes. With the comfort factor sorted I gave the dogs a drink then turned the van round and headed off for the next part of my day - and hopefully it wouldn't be as eventful as the last half an hour had been.