The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Saturday, 24 September 2016

WCP: Wooltack Point to Sandy Haven

Sat 24 Sept
Distance: 18.2 miles
Weather: overcast and very windy

With the weather forecast for today telling of 30mph winds (+/- 3mph) gusting up to 45, and with heavy rain due to be added to that by early/mid afternoon, I was out before dawn had broken. The first couple of miles were on road, so with a red light flashing on my head, off I went at quarter to seven, knowing that the early start would see me done well before the rain struck.

The first three miles were in a generally southerly direction, against a southerly wind. Few places were really exposed, but where I did feel the full force of the gusts, it did feel like a combination of hard work, exhilarating and madness, as I fought my way along. Of course, the coast never heads in one direction for long without throwing in a wiggle and the side winds were the worst. Oh, how I staggered, leaning at what felt like 45 degrees. (For my sister's peace of mind, I should clarify that the winds were onshore. Had they been blowing offshore then I wouldn't have even contemplated tackling the clifftops today.)

The white blobs either side of the path are foam off the sea, which is a way down to the left. It looked like it was snowing at one point.

foamy seas

Faster than expected, I reached Wooltack Point (yesterday's end point), at 10am, in the company of Mick who had staggered out to meet me. When I planned this walk, I had intended to do a circuit of the headland, but given the conditions I contented myself with following the official coast path, which cuts across. Far more appealing was a cup of coffee and a crumpet in Colin.

The eagle-eyed may have noticed that the last line of yesterday's post said I was only going to walk 11ish miles today and at the top of this post it says I covered 18.2. Perhaps predictably, with my miles walked by 10am I thought I may as well squeeze in a few more before the really awful weather hit, so over to Sandy Haven Mick drove me.

Sandy Haven has a crossing of an inlet which is only possible for 2.5 hours each side of low tide, and today's low tides were inconveniently timed, but by getting dropped off on the Dale side (Dale being where we are currently staying) I got around the problem for today.

Alas, I'd failed to notice, until we were on our way there, that there’s another tide-dependent crossing on the way to Dale, so I asked Mick to go and recce that one. The news came back that it wasn't going to be crossable until a couple of hours after high tide - and I was on course to hit it about 20 minutes before the tide peaked. Bugger!

I contemplated having Mick pick me up from the nearest road, and going back out to walk it once the tide had receded, but in the end decided that, as the high-tide-detour was only 2 miles, I may as well walk around. That also gave Mick a stretch of the legs as, once I told him that I didn't need a lift, he walked out to meet me.

I was all done by half past one and at just after 3pm the rain started lashing. I was glad about that - I'd have been miffed if I'd cut short my day (I had intended to reach Milford Haven today) unnecessarily (such a fair weather walker, me!).

A particularly interesting information sign as my current audio book is Part 2 of the War of the Roses, although I'm only in 1460 at the moment

1 comment:

  1. Looking forward to your impressions of Milford Haven. I thought it had an attraction all its own with all the infrastructure.