Strumble head invasion!

Sept 14th Strumble head to Carregwstad point

9,687 steps, 6,781m 4.2miles

Circuit to get back to the car!

13,074 steps 9,192m, 5.7 miles

Slightly ethereal light as I began at the car park at Strumble head. The touching point was set up as one of the smart new stone signs. It was a good temperature and I hoped it would stay dry (and underfoot was getting drier which makes things easier). The first mile of so wound along nicely, and then the path narrowed and the ups and downs set in. The scenery was completely stunning with plenty of seal sightings but it was getting increasingly difficult. There were two short steep dips down to footbridges. After yesterday’s tumble I was particularly careful on each of the 10 I crossed in the entire walk. The dips however involved a degree of rock climbing – which I am much better at going up than going down!

Eventually I had a brief coffee break by one of the short dips to give me inspiration and then a longer one when I finally reached the Carregwstad point memorial – which I was suddenly upon. I have to say this seems the most ridiculous place to try and mount an invasion. The terrain is challenging to put it mildly!!! This was also overlooking yesterday’s very seal filled bay – Aber Felin.

I could see but did not quite get back to the touching point from yesterday – And it seemed a long way round as I had a longish inland stretch ahead, so forgive me I didn’t go back to it. I started an inland loop, which slowly went up to the road. This started ok, but soon became a track used for milking cows and was rather squelchy and not a little smelly (as it was fully sunny by this point). I finally walked through Tre-Howell farm yard. First I was woofed at by Maria (an adult black Labrador) and then rather over enthusiastically greeted by Darcey (a growing puppy black Labrador). I was already a muddy mess from the track (see trousers below) so a few puppy paw prints were the least of my problems.

A section on the road that leads down to Strumble head followed, with nice views down to the coast. After about ¾ of a mile I took a track down to the coast path again (thus avoiding the bit with the rocky dips!). This started well but soon deteriorated. There were issues (much to the amusement of some bullocks) with a stile.  The first step was very high and it was all leaning towards me making it very difficult to assail. After some minutes trying to work out a cunning plan (and getting an electric shock off the cattle fence) as I explored the options. Eventually I moved a spare fence post to give me a few extra inches and then I managed to get over. Thankfully the bullocks were very well behaved!

Then the path seemed to be confused about whether it was a stream or not and I got even muddier! Eventually it came out on the coast path, and after a short distance, I found a beautiful lunch spot for much needed rest and sustenance!

I walked the path back to the car, and helped a couple with a small child in a carrier about the delights of the bus service – and lo one arrived (which was very lucky as they are only 3 times a day) – and they were whisked off to Fishguard. I touched the starting touching point for completeness to complete the loop!

I took a bit of time to recky the next bits of the bus service in the car and found that Tregwynt Woollen Mill – was near to a place I stayed for a week a long time ago (June 2004!). Eventually I drove back to Fishguard via Tescos near the ferry terminal and set too to wash my very muddy trousers!

In the evening I watched Andrew Cotter in conversation at Bath pavilions with Olive and Mabel online. Just fabulous!!!

Sept 13th Strumble head to Tregwynt Woollen Mill

21,435 steps , 15,005m, 9.4 miles

I drove back to Strumble head and set off shortly after 9am and the conditions were pretty perfect – sunny and a manageable temperature. The path wound around the cliffs with good views of the lighthouse for quite a long way and then more occasionally as I got higher and higher. It was quite challenging, with a couple of rocky climbs. There was a boggy area (which I hadn’t seen for a while) and I appeared to be climbing a stream at one point to get to the path. I also saw some lovely white horses (with the inevitable child of the 60’s ear worm of the signature tune of the White horses TV programme in my head for a mile of so).

There were several ups and downs and the terrain was getting more rocky underfoot. We started to ascend as the Pwll Deri Youth Hostel emerged on the horizon. Whilst circling porth Maenmelyn, it became apparent there were a huge number of seals in the sea and on the beach. Taking pictures was difficult for a variety of reasons (here is my best effort!).

The path was not easy either, and there was another very dippy bit with steps and a rocky climb up (which I was jolly glad to be climbing and not descending). Shortly after that I found a rocky area with a good view for a coffee break, before a stiff climb up to the youth hostel and out briefly on to the road.

The next section started well as the path maintained height to reach Penbwchdy headland. There were three rocky outcrops to contend with, which were increasingly difficult to navigate, and find the path. I was quite glad when I started to descend to lower levels stuff on the path ahead. Again there were a couple of ups and downs, and time was pressing on (I had a deadline to catch the bus at the mill). I decided to cut in land on a path at Pwllcrochan and then did just over a mile on the road, rounding the corner to be confronted with the mill and some giant knitting needles. I found the toilet, and contemplated the gift shop (lots of lovely things!) I arrived with time to spare (and ate my lunch before The Strumble shuttle bus arrived to schedule at 14:46!). I used the bus stop as a touching point to finish for the day. There was just me on the bus and it took nearly 20 minutes to get back up to Strumble head, which was very satisfying to think I had walked that far!!

Having said that I have resolved to do the bus first tomorrow from Porthgain back to the Woollen Mill, so I don’t have a deadline to meet on the walk!!

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