Thursday 22 Sept
Distance: 21.2 miles (including 0.9 off-trail)
Weather: Mainly sunny, but a bit breezy
I woke up this morning with a swollen and bruised nose with a weeping wound, a stiff neck and a sore right arm, all as a result of yesterday’s tumble. None of that seemed to suggest that I shouldn’t go for a walk, so I
sprang eased myself gently out of bed and just before 7.30 I was off.
As I finished yesterday some miles short of my intended end-point of the campsite, I had a gap to fill, and to save Mick from having to get up to drive me, I decided to walk it in the opposite direction, ending in Abereiddy.
A road walk of a smidge under a mile took me back down to the coast, where two early-bird swimmers were having a good time off the lovely beach at Whitesands. It’s the nicest beach I’ve seen on this section of the walk to date, and accordingly rather than the free or nominal-fee (50p or £1 per day) car parks we’ve encountered to date, this one charged £5.
The walk around St David’s Head was as lovely as you would expect the Pembrokeshire Coast to be, but I was struggling to see what was ahead of me with the rising sun in my eyes. Worse, the margins of lots of sections of the path I walked this morning had recently been strimmed, with the off-cuts left in the grove which is the path. The problem with that was that what looked like a nice level grassy walking surface (as shown in the shot below) was anything but, with soft greenery of varying depths covering the exact line of the path, so I kept either falling into the grove, or (when in the grove) discovering, in an unpleasant way, all sorts of hidden dips and rocks. Plus it was all too easy to step on a piece of old bramble with one foot and cause it to grab onto the opposite calf. Much high-stepping was done.
Spying a person coming towards me way over the other side of a big dip in the landscape (the only big dip I had to visit today) I suspected that I might be about to have the best sort of company, and I was right. Here’s Mick striding ahead of me on the approach to Abereiddy:
I had intended to continue my reverse-direction walk, by having Mick drive me to the end of my day for me to walk back to the campsite, but as I couldn’t decide how much further I wanted to go, I took the gamble on having a phone signal later in the day to summon Mick and set out from Whitesands for the second time today.
What a joy the path was this afternoon! I hadn’t expected there to be any easy sections in Pembrokeshire, but this one was just that. The 12.5 miles to Solva were almost entirely of a ‘stride out’ nature, in gorgeous surroundings, such that my only complaint was an incredibly selfish one: whilst I do like to see other people enjoying the outdoors, I’d rather they weren’t all on the same path as me. This section was just too busy for my liking.
Porth Clais, where I bought a can of pop to solve the ‘ooops, forgot to refill my water bottle’ issue, and ate a piece of cake in place of having remembered to pick up something for lunch.
I only had five miles to go after lunch and they passed quickly, which was good as I’d kept up a fast pace all day, with only two breaks, and by the time I was a mile from my end point my feet were ready for a rest.
This waymarker post in Solva complained it was cold, so someone crocheted it a cosy
I only had a few minutes to loiter at the far side of Solva before Mick appeared, whereupon I accidentally whacked him with a walking pole before we headed off back to the same campsite as last night.
(As an aside, whilst I was out today Mick did a bit of laundry, including the tea towel which was involved in the milkfest incident the other day. That tea towel has now been washed three times today and it still smells of milk. The carpet has so far been washed twice and also still has a strong aroma, such that it’s currently living rolled up in a plastic bag.)