Sept 8th – Circuit of Dinas Head
11,000 steps 8,000m, 4 miles!
Decided to have a much less ambitious plan, as I had a few achy muscles and the perils of yesterday were very much on my mind!!! I wanted also to make sure it didn’t happen again, and I was relieved to find the temperature was closer to 70 than to 90 when I stepped outside.
I took the car to Cwm-yr-Eglwys (with a suitable remains of a church in place) after a leisurely start to the day and then tackled the circuit round Dinas head/island. I used a coast path sign as a touching post to start. I took the lower option to get a better view of Needle rock, but was rather underwhelmed, and height had to be gained of course a bit further on. Once I had warmed up, my aches and pains seemed to drift away. It was quite busy with lots of other walkers of all abilities too (and some in MOST unsuitable footwear!).
All the way round I was looking carefully at the cliffs either side of the headland/island to see how it looked (and were there precipitous sections?). It all looked lower than the exploits of yesterday so I decided to do the section from Newport Sands round to Pwllgwaelod tomorrow. I got to the top – with a suitable marker and drank in the view once I had got slightly away from the milling throng! Had a coffee sat on a rock with magnificent views in either direction – was a bit troubled by flying ants but all was well with the world.
The descent down the other side was slow on the rocky stretches but generally went well. My map suggested there was a lower route option (but clearly part of that had fallen) and it was no longer available. I found a sign to be the touching point to use on another day and settled on a bench overlooking the bay at Pwllgwaelod for my packed lunch. This was in sight of a very busy pub and there was a definite whiff of fish and chips in the air. I used the convenient toilets and sussed out the bus stop arrangements for picking up the poppet rocket from here tomorrow.
I strolled back along the very convenient flat path between Pwllgwaelod and Cwm-yr-Eglwys, that takes about 15 minutes. Pretty uneventful but nice to see some trees, and a bit of excitement was a diversion around a caravan park at the far end! For completeness I touched my starting touching point and headed off to the Co-op in Fishguard to get some provisions.
Running total 24 miles
Sept 9th – Newport Sands to Pwllgwaelod
21,000 steps 12,970m, 8 miles!
Had a leisurely start as I was aiming for the 10:16 Poppet Rocket from Pwllgwaelod to Newport Sands as my start to the day. This was only about 6 miles from base camp too. It was cooler and raining! I had plenty of time at Pwllgwaelod before the bus came to do all the necessary. It took about 20 minutes to get to my destination, which was enough time to feel queasy! I availed myself of the facilities at Newport Sands (as well as marvelling at the crowded car park of the Cat Rock Café!). I used a rock as a starting touching point and set off!
The first stretch was round the mouth of the river Nyfer including a stretch across a deserted golf course. There was a steady drizzle so I was bedecked in all my waterproof stuff. The tide was well in and I was quite near the bridge over the river when I was startled by a seal! I crossed the bridge and then walked the other side – which was prime dog walking territory. By this stage it was raining a bit harder. I reached Parrog (and by this time it was very heavy rain) and in a very wet state I diverted into Morwellyan café. When I got it the coffee was excellent but there was a long, long wait to be served.
I had an interesting conversation with a couple from Cardiff, whose church was preparing to have a refugee family. They had also seen Michael Portillo (and film crew) the day before as he is doing a walking programme in Wales. I hope he enjoys his welsh coast path experiences as much as I have. Nice to think of him following in my footsteps!
The rain had eased, and I set off initially through the edge of Parrog (Newport), a little stretch on the beach and then up on to a low level cliff. After the rain I had a few issues with my boots and paused to do some adjustments. I was concerned about blisters with soaked boots (and had spotted something heading in that direction on my big toe) which I did not want to get any worse. I wound around the cliffs, and the bracken was beginning to look particularly autumnal.
I stopped for lunch on my first stony beach lunch spot on this holiday. The rain fell heavily but there was lots to watch, a family of gulls, another very persistent seal and finally a bit of a stand off between the gull parents and a heron who tried to settle. They successfully scared it off after about 10 minutes.
I carried on, there was another descent to a further stony bay with a lime kiln and stone stacks (plus a heron probably the one I saw earlier!). A final section up on the cliffs included a wide grassy path. This led out into the road and the descent into Cwm-yr-Ergwys. I had a brief sit on a bench (but sadly it rained again!) – so I walked back to Pwllgwaelod on the flat path I had used yesterday – I connected with the touching point and was pleased with how it had gone and all was well!
A quick trip into Fishguard to get some compeed plasters followed (as I had not managed to pack my supply!)
Running total 31 miles (-1 for mile repeated)
Sept 10th – Pwllgwaelod to Lower Fishguard
18,700 steps, 13,100m, 8 miles on the route!
Set off a little earlier than really necessary, so I could park the car at the old fort above Fishguard and walk down to the bus stop at lower Fishguard (establishing a touching point on a flower tub near the bus stop) and then waiting for the Poppet Rocket. It was running a little late and I was the only customer for the ride from there back to Pwllgwaelod. I had a chat with the driver about my plans for the day, and he discussed his experience of the walk I was going to do. Thankfully it was a shorter bus ride today – so not enough time to end up feeling queasy!
I availed myself of the facilities at Pwllgwaelod, touched the touching point established there on Wednesday and set off up to the cliffs. Whilst I was climbing some horses were being exercised in the bay – which was interesting to watch. It was quite an up and down route but mostly reasonably easy going. I had a coffee on one of the beaches sat on a rock. Lovely views continued as the path continued round the ‘crenulated’ coastline described in my Welsh Coast Path walk book.
It was overcast with occasional drizzle, but as I progressed it got drier. The views were fantastic, and I saw the Irish ferry arrive and leave as I was making progress. There was a short stretch through a caravan park, and then the going suddenly got a lot rockier and more tricky. I took my time over this stretch which turned out to be about ½ a mile of more challenging terrain, until it settled back into an undulating grassy path. The path wound its way around the coast line and I saw my first bull (from the path with a good fence between me and it!).
It ended at the fort above Fishguard – with splendid views and cannons (and a view showing the path travelled! One final slope up to the car park and mission accomplished!!!
Running total 39 miles.