Friday 23 Sept
Distance: 21.6 miles
Weather: mainly sunny, but breezy
I spent the first half an hour of this morning mentally defining a scale of energy levels, where (I decided) 1 is the energy level when suffering from proper flu, when even thinking about moving from bed to sofa is too much, and 10 is being on top of the world, feeling like it’s possible to go on walking for ever and no hill is going to stop you (I did also define the numbers in between, but I’ll not bore you with those). The reason for this line of thinking was that yesterday afternoon my energy level was somewhere approaching 9. First thing this morning is was wallowing at 4.
It had just about clawed its way up to 6 when the path decided to throw in a ‘Pointless Down and Up’. Usually, there’s a good reason for a descent and re-ascent: the land falls away because of a stream/cove and the path also drops down, because it’d be an awful long way around (and no doubt create all sorts of access issues) to contour around. Every now and then, however, the path descends for no apparent reason, only to come back up to the original height a very short while later. Here’s an example (although I concede not a clear one), where the path had been following the fence line for quite a while, before suddenly dipping down. At the point where I took the photo, I’d just climbed up almost back to the fence line, and the only thing that had prevented me from maintaining my height was the fact that the path didn’t go that way (though gorse and brambles):
It’s probably not the best mental attitude to coastal walking, as dropping down the hill does, of course, put the walker closer to the sea. Personally, however, I can live with being those few yards further away for an easy life (see, I always said I was lazy at heart!).
After I’d exhausted (no pun intended) the line of thinking about my lack of energy, I popped my audiobook on and got on with it, and was happy when I saw this beach coming up:
Photo taken later, looking back. I didn’t take one on my approach.
That looked like a chunk of flat, easy walking! Seeing the car parks along the beach, I then rued not having asked Mick to meet me there, rather than five miles further on. He must have read my mind as not very long later I saw a familiar figure walking towards me. He’d seen the car parks too, realised they were on my route and thought that maybe I’d like a quick cup of coffee. A top chap, that Mick, you know. He met me again in Broad Haven, per the original plan too.
Like yesterday, my afternoon was unexpectedly easy (and my energy levels had bounced right back). This path may not look overly inspiring, being completely hemmed in by greenery, thus giving no views, and a bit muddy to boot, but great sections of it were level and stride-outable and those hedges completely shielded me from the wind.
Even when I broke out of the tunnel, the balcony path continued, as can be seen in this snap:
And, of course, there were lots more good views to be had today:
I’d initially toyed with finishing my day early at St Brides, but the weather forecast is awful for tomorrow afternoon, so I asked Mick to meet me a couple of miles beyond. He duly did so (walking out to meet me for the third time today), but, predictably, when we got to the turn inland towards Colin I opted to continue on to my originally intended end-point of the day, at Wooltack Point.
In view of tomorrow’s weather forecast, I’ve shortened my planned day to just 11 miles-ish), and we’ve also driven south for me to walk it backwards, so at least I’ll have the wind mainly behind me.
(Nose update: It’s still quite remarkably swollen, right from my eyebrows to its tip and from cheek to cheek, and the scab is far from attractive, but the bruising is feeling much better today.)