PEMBROKESHIRE COAST PATH 2010-2014
What a difference a coupe of days makes. Geri's back feeling a lot better and the sun is out and the sky is blue - yup, and a small bit of summer has arrived.
We set off from Caibwr Bay just down the road from Moylgrove and headed north east along the path. It was noticeable that most of the hillside at this point is infested with Himalayan Balsam which although quite pretty to look at is quite a problem in this area.
Looking up Cwm Trewyddel from Ceibwr Bay footbridge
This section of the coast to Cardigan is quite benign and we found it to be relatively easy walking.
Ceibwr Bay looking south west
A lot of Himalayan Balsam here
Looking ahead to Pwllygranant bay
As we approached Pwllgranant bay we were struck by how close the coast path was to the cliff edge - not nearly as scary as the section of the path on the Lleyn peninsula we walked in May but when we looked back at the path - it did look a bit dodgy.
Above Pwllygranant bay - the path is very close to the edge of the cliff
A bit of a look back at the coast path and the nearness of the cliffs
At one point we came across what can only be described as a piece of trompe l'oeil. I spotted what I thought to be a small lake inside a cliff - what do you think? Here's that 'bay'
Cyfrwy - looking for all the world like a raised lake...
Then as we continued along the path the truth was revealed.
...until we moved along a bit..
...then we saw the truth
Then there was a beach that Geri was convinced was the home for a number of seals - incidentally in the 2 days we walked this time - dim dolphins and dim seals!
Traeth Godir-coch - Geri was convinced the stones were seals
Finally Cemaes Head came into view and we stopped for lunch in the warm sunshine and out of the breeze. Then it was time to walk down into Cardigan and complete another section of the Permbrokeshire and start into the Ceredigion Coast Path.
Cemaes Head comes into view
Start of Coast Path marker
8.7 miles complete and not a spot of rain. Thanks as always to Geri for her company on this leg and sorry we couldn't make it in time to catch the Poppit Rocket into Cardigan!
It was good to be back on the Pembrokeshire Coast again. We caught the bus from Newport to Lower Fishguard it being our intention to walk up from the harbour. However, the bus driver had other ideas - "Are you walking back? Well then you don't want to go all the way down there and walk up on the pavement do you? (true) - I'll drop you off at the top of the hill." True to his word, the driver did just that - braking quite sharply at the appropriate time which propelled us to the front of the bus in quick time.
Geri waiting to start
The Old Fort
We crossed the road to intercept the coast path and set off. Our first port of call being at Fishguard Fort which occupies Castle Point overlooking the harbour from the south-east. It was built between 1781 and 1785 and successfully warded off the French invasion force of 1797 with a single cannon ball, forcing them to land further along the coast of Strumble Head. Today the fort stands restored with four cannon facing bravely out to sea.
Interesting fallen cliff formation
Looking ahead from Carreg Tomas with Dinas Head in the background
The sun was making a brave effort to come out and we stepped out along the coast path - stopping to take photos as we went but the occasional brief and unpredictable shower had us performing the 'change into waterproof' dance a few times.
The balancing rock
We passed the headland of Coch y Celliog and was fascinated by a balancing rock near Penrhyn Ychen and stopped for a coffee at Penrhyn Mawr overlooking the peaceful bay of Aber Grugog.
The ferry approaches from Rosslare
It was at Aber Hywel that we first became aware of the approach of the Rosslare ferry and it was at about this point that the slippery nature of the 'downhills' became apparent, with Geri taking a tumble of 3 occasions and pulling a muscle in her lower back.
Pwllgwaelod bay at the neck of Dinas Head
Geri speaking to her sister from Dinas Head
We skirted the bays of Aber Bach and Pwll Gwylog and arrived at Pwllgwaelod bay - the neck of Dinas Head and it was here that I made a mistake.
Panorama of the neck of Dinas Head
use + or - key to zoom
I had originally planned to walk round DInas Head but Geri felt that we should reduce our mileage on the first day. Stupidly I hadn't loaded the track into the Garmin and I completely forgot and so we headed round Dinas Head stopping for lunch by the trig point having previously stopped above Pen Castell but was somewhat put off by the nearby muck-spreader!
Dinas Head from Aber Ysgol
After lunch the weather became more overcast, and about an hour short of Newport the rain set in making the last stretch rather uncomfortable and we were really glad to arrive in Newport taking a moment to walk along the sands to the road - fortunately the tide was out. About 10.66 miles, and thanks to Geri for braving it out in quite a bit of discomfort.
However, for me the walk was not over. I left Geri in a convenient shelter and took off for the car a further half mile or so up the road. The mother and father of all rain then fell on me to an extent that my hitherto reliable Berghaus waterproof gave up and let water in on the sleeves.