PEMBROKESHIRE COAST PATH 2015-
A change of plan today brought about by the Endurancelife competition. We parked one car at Nolton Haven and returned to park the other in amongst the chaos of the arrivals for the event.
The runners gather at Little Haven
We headed up the hill and then down into Broad Haven with lots of folks about enjoying the sun. We headed along the footpath beside the bay before climbing up onto the cliffs once again.
Broad Haven sands
The (now) sandy cliffs were showing much evidence of landslips causing one two diversions onto newly created stretches of coast path.
Sandy cliffs en route to Nolton Haven
As we approached Druidston Haven, a secluded long, sandy beach enclosed on three sides by steep cliffs, our attention was taken by the unique eco house overlooking the bay.
On arrival at the beach we discovered a red navigation buoy that had been washed up on the beach during Storm Imogen in February this year. It looks like it might now become a permanent feature.
Back up onto the cliffs again via a long set of giant steps before the final stretch into Nolton Haven.
Looking back to Druidstone Haven
We now had to decide on somewhere to have our lunch. I suggested that Stack Rocks might be just the place as we were staying at East Trewent tonight. Upon our arrival we were just stunned to see so many guillemots on the stacks with fulmars and kittiwakes also in evidence - but the huge number of guillemots was just amazing.
Stack Rocks as we'd not seen before
Finally, the Green Bridge of Wales
We had already decided to bring our long walk forward to today as we had been made aware of the Endurancelife run which would be taking place tomorrow. With the prospect of some 800 runners travelling in different directions actually on the coast path, we decided that it would be best to avoid that section this time.
So today we drove to Martin's Haven and set off to return to our bed and breakfast. I had 'done a Mike' today and promised a walk of about 8¾ to 9 miles, but in the event it turned out to be just over 10 miles. Humblest of apologies to my three walking companions who, bless them, did not complain at all.
We hit the coast path, pleased to find that the strong and cold wind was behind us today (we needed all the help we could get). The sun was out, but large clouds loomed nearby and threatened to give us a soaking. As we got going we looked back to see a heavy squall envelope Skomer and Martin's Haven. Initially Stu stopped to put on waterproofs, and a little while later with the threat ever closer the rest of us followed suit. As it turned out the heavy rain never materialised, and soon the sun came out.
...soon the sun came out
We were on a relatively flat section of the path heading towards Tower Point and Nab Head. As we approached Nab Head we spied 3 white horses which looked very much like the ones we saw 3 years ago. We sheltered in the lee of a stone wall for a coffee break, after which we followed the wall to St Brides.
We continued away from St Brides commenting quite excitedly at times on the variety of birdlife we were seeing. So fat today e had seen: stonechat, gannets, wheatear, Black Back Gulls etc, and up ahead of us just on the coast path we spotted a number of curlews. Our progress became ever slower as more and more frequent stops to view birds took over our walk. It was now becoming hot and for the first time, we started shedding waterproofs and fleeces.
The geology was quie stunning and worthy of comment. Layers of harder rock sandwiched between bright red sandstone. One sandstone cliff looked for all the world as if someone had carved chevrons on it.
Chevrons in the sandstone
We passed Halfway Rock at 5 miles, and headed for our lunch stop at Mill Haven near to the lime kiln. I had often wondered what two locations Halfway Rock was between - I now realise that it's halfway between Martin's Haven and Little Haven - maybe this should have givne me a clue as to the mileage we were going to complete today.
Mill Haven and a place to stop for lunch
Once we got going again and climbed out of Mill Haven we were soon at Borough Head when the terrain changed once again to woodland with plenty of bluebells to come in the weeks ahead. Chit Chats were in evidence here and Sue and I managed to spot one perched conveniently close to the coast path.
At last Little Haven came clearly into view, together with the large marquee on the hill above the village ready for the Endurancelife participants in the morning.
Broad Haven sands with Little Haven in the foreground
Little Haven with our B&B dead centre
A good journey down from Bucknell this morning, stopping for the 'usual' at Haverfordwest Morrisons en route before pushing on to Dale. After leaving Morrisons we followed a familiar route which took us to Tower Hill. As I rounded a corner I was faced with an oncoming white van coming the wrong way down the hill. I reversed out of his way and, believing that the one way system had been reversed, set about finding an alternate route. This caused Emily, my satnav lady, considerable concern, and after driving around for 4 or 5 miles we found ourselves back at the bottom of Tower Hill, but this tme following another car which went straight up the usual way. So presumably the white van was in the wrong!
We arrived at the Gan just north of Dale and settled down for lunch in the car park by the lime kilns. We were somewhat alarmed to see that the tide appeared to be well in, and so, after lunch I pottered along to where the crossing was to reassure myself that the crossing was possible.
We drove to St Ishmalels and walked in to the coast path and headed back to Dale. As we decided to do just a short walk today, we took our time as we headed west. The sun was out, yet we could feel the effects of a bitingly cold north west wind.
Wild flowers set into the walls alongside the path
The weather was slowly getting better, in spite of the cold wind and we approached Watch House Point. Then continued towards Monk Haven, 'guarded' by the old Victorian folly.
Approaching Watch House Point
Looking back towards Sandy Haven
The Victorian folly at Monk Haven
We rounded Musslewick Point and got our first good view of Dale. Then we came down to Musslewick village and along the beach to the wooden bridge crossing over the Gan - pausing briefly for a quick group photo.
Dale from Musslewick Point
Variety of stone types on the beach
Heading back from the Gan