PEMBROKESHIRE COAST PATH 2010-2014
Our final day and the car park at Caerfai Ganol is deserted this morning. We resumed where we left off and carried along the cliff path heading east towards Solva.
As we rounded the headland called Sterling Hock we we greeted with the pretty harbour and village of Solva and, after a short descent, took advantage of a bench to perch ourselves on for a spot of coffee.
We continued to descend to the quayside and walked into the car park; crossed a bridge and started to climb Gribin hill the other side of Solva then round St Elvis Rock (I didn't know he was THAT famous in Wales) then along the cliffs again to Porth y Bwch bay.
Porth y Bwch
Climbing near Dinas Fawr
The rocks of Dinas Fach
We were now starting to think fondly of lunch, and Mike found a nicely sheltered spot not far from the bay of Cwm-bach where we settled down for a snack and a snooze. After a pleasant zizz in the sun we eventually got to our feet for the final stretch.
photo courtesy Mike Starr
Cwm Bach bay
As we approached Newgale Sands we saw a number of kite surfers streaking along the surf well below us at an impossible speed.
One final climb before the end
Pwll March just before Newgale Sands
One final descent and we were walking towards the car at Newgale Sands - sudden;y our 5 day adventure was over, but we'll be back to carry on the walk as soon as we can. The final leg just 8.9 miles making a total for the 5 days of 46.95 miles.
With many thanks to Beryl and Mike for their companionship, and apologies to readers who have to read all of the place names I've looked up to caption the photos!
We happy four at the end of the 5th day
Day 4 - my how quickly the time has flown by. Tomorrow we go home!
Getting ready at Whitesands Bay
Anyway, we set off from Whitesands Bay - still very windy and headed south west along the bay and started the climb up onto the coast path.
Porthselau at the southern end of Whitesands Bay
We now had a decent view of Ramsey Island and as we continued our walk towards St Justinians we could see the Bitches, a line of rocks extending east from the island, and which have claimed both lives and ships in the past.
Remarkable rock formation at Ynys Dinas
After rounding the headland at Ynys Dinas we came to St Justinians.
The lifeboat station clearly dominates this tiny bay, with a number of pleasure craft (mostly RIBs) attached to buoys (a word we had started to mispronounce in the American way for some unexplained reason).
We moved south to Treginnis-isaf and my attention was drawn to the rock colours in this small bay.
We rounded the headland turning our backs on Ramsey Island (and also the wind) and started heading generally in an eastwards direction.
Pen y Cyfrwy from Chanters Seat
We were now at St Non's Bay and had to take a minor diversion to visit St Non's Chapel St Non (as we all know) was the mother of St David.
St Non's Bay - not all arches are shown on the OS maps
St Non's Chapel
St Non's Chapel interior
The site of the original St Non's Chapel
Rounding the next bay we arrived at our destination for today. Just 8¾ miles today, but a reward was waiting for us in nearby St Davids.
I said to them
"Don't sit near a rubbish bin!!"
Day 3 and all four of us set off from Porthgain, The first obstacle was a long flight of stairs up to the cliff path - just the job to sort out those knee joints! I should also explain our walking technique on the coast path. As the path itself is frequently very narrow we tend to walk in line astern taking in turns to lead. Beryl informed us that this meant that the front person was acting as a useful wind break for those behind, so from time to time one could hear "x's turn to break wind" - just thought I'd share that with you.
So we're up on the cliff path and the prospect of early sun is looking good as we head west from Porthgain when suddenly it started to rain - just a few spits and spots and so we hurriedly get out our waterproofs - too hurriedly in my case as I had a zip malfunction of my overtrousers. As we continued the walk it absolutely fell down in torrents, but within 5 minutes it stopped as suddenly as it had started and withing a few minutes it brightened up and we started to dry off in the strong wind.
Arch/bridge at Porth Egr just before the rain hit
Our first port of call was Abereiddy - the site of a coastal slate mine. Part of the workings are right on the cliffside and a 25 metre deep pit, now flooded, makes the spectacular Blue Lagoon.
The Blue Lagoon & mine buildings Abereiddy
We climbed down to the beach and crossed it only to climb back on to the cliffs again.
With the sun now well out we continued to walk along the path to Aber-pwll where we stopped for a coffee.
Looking back towards Abereiddy
Coffee and a chance to dry stuff out
Refreshed, we were soon doing some more of those 'down-and-up' things, some of which are quite steep and require careful placement of feet.
Mike on the far side starting his 'run' down the path to rejoin us
The view along the coast with St David's Head in the distance
Carreg yr Afr
The descent at Carreg yr Afr
We were getting close to St David's Head, a huge presence on the landscape, so much so that it's quite hard to tell when you're actually there. We stumbled upon the neolithic burial chamber called Coetan Arthur dating to about 3500BC (so much for my observation at the time that it was something done recently by the army!) a large flat capstone supported by a vertical rock.
Geri & Beryl exploring
We eventually arrived at Whitesands Bay and had a much needed ice cream. Another good day covering to 9.7 miles.
We just love our ice cream
photo courtesy Mike Starr
Day 2 and our longest walk on this trip. We started at yesterday's finish point in thick mist. Beryl went and looked at the view from the cliff path and announced that the view was cancelled for the moment.
We put on our waterproofs and got ourselves ready, and in that short time the mist had started to lift and so with a degree of optimism we set off heading south west beside Pwll Deri, one of the favourite beauty spots which sadly was shrouded in the lifting sea mist.
We eventually rounded the headland at Penbwchdy and headed south east passing Pwllcrochan bay amd three further smaller headlands until we reached Aber Mawr where we stopped for a coffee break.
Hmm - so we're just..er...
Beryl consults the map at Aber Mawr
Aber Bach beach
Aber Mawr bay ahead
Aber Mawr bay with the weather improving all the while
The weather was still misty but about 20 minutes after getting to our feet the sun came out and the views became SO much more picturesque.
Looking north from near Castell Coch
Looking back at Aber Mawr
use + or - key to zoom
Trwyn Llwynog headland
We rounded Trwyn Llwynog headland and headed towards Abercastle with the weather now starting to change once again with clouds rolling in from the west. We soon rounded another point and the small village came into view.
Looking west along the coast towards Abercastle
Having passed through this sleepy village we looked for a suitable spot for our lunch break. We settled on a sheltered area near the island of Ynys Deullyn and settled down. After a while we kept hearing a shrill call. Beryl pronounced it to be a peregrine and so Mike went to investigate. Sure enough he spotted 2 peregrines on the island which we surmised to be a mother and youngster (quite why we said that I have no idea). Having finished our break we now headed for the end of this days track - the village of Porthgain.
Small arch at Pwll Olfa
Mike contemplates an impossible stile on the cliff edge
The unmistakable Porthgain harbour
We dropped down into Porthgain to be met by Geri who sadly was unable to join us today. Our walk today was 11.2 miles and we rounded off the day by having fish and chips in a local restaurant called The Shed - probably the best fish and chips I have ever eaten!
Once again the weather changed as we returned to Garn Fawr to collect our car
This was day 1 of our walk south along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path from Goodwick to Newgale Sands.
It was rather a dull day to start our expedition as Mike, Beryl, Geri and I set off from the parking area in Harbour Village above Fishguard Harbour.
Getting ready for the "off" at Harbour Village
We soon passed Anglas Bay followed by Porth Maen, Pant Dwr and Aber Felin - all interesting bays with rugged cliffs. At Cwm Felin there was a pleasant wooded valley which provided a sudden change of scenery.
The Rosslare to Fishguard ferry makes its approach
It was round about this time that Mike spotted our first seal which the rest of us dismissed as a buoy. However we were soon to be proved wrong as within a short distance several beaches had pups and their mothers.
A secluded beach at Cwm Felin with seal pups
At Carreg Goffa and Carregwastad Point is the location of the last "invasion" of Britain in 1797. A simple memorial stone erected on the headland in 1897 commemorates the landing by Colonel Tate with his 1200 followers.
A distant view of Carreg Goffa and Carregwastad Point
The memorial stone at Carreg Goffa
Two more headlands followed by the bay called Pwll Bach brings Strumble Head and its lighthouse into view.
Strumble Head and its lighthouse
The path now changed from it's westerly direction to south west and as we passed Carreg Onnen Bay we had our first sighting of choughs. These distinctive birds with their red beaks and legs were to feature in every one of our 5 days.
The weather started to make a brave attempt to clear up, but the wind remained strong and fortunately, as it was coming from the west, did not threaten to blow us over the cliff path.
Penrhyn Byr headland with
Porth Maenmelyn bay in the foreground
Eventually we came closer to our finish point for the day as we passed the Pwll Deri Youth Hostel and, after a short walk along the road, we arived at where we had parked earlier. 8.4 miles of beautiful countryside and we are very much looking forward to the next 4 days.