Thursday, 1 July 2010

In which we intend to begin at the beginning...

Okay so we missed the bus. The plan was to meet at New Inn, drive to Moylegrove, hop on the Poppit Rocket start the path at the beginning and walk back to the car.

Except life isn't like that.  Especially after I was late to New Inn and Jo was later. Then we couldn't agree on the best way to Moylegrove which involved a "discussion" and  a U-turn and then we got lost.

We arrived at 10.58 am but the bus thoughtlessly left without us at 10.55. Helpfully it was teeming down with rain by then and blowing a gale. Also helpfully the toilets were locked but there was a young man in a National Park van nearby on his lunch break he said (at 11am) but he put his mobile phone down and unlocked the door for us.

There's no such thing as bad weather only the wrong clothes, so we grabbed the right clothes and decided to walk part two of the path from Ceibwr to Newport sands and catch the Poppit Rocket back to the car at 2.42pm.

Eventually we were under way and left Ceibwr behind in the rain.

A lone oyster catcher scuttled on the rocks above a boiling sea. His friends were around the corner.

Here we paused for a full body assessment to see which bits were still dry. The answer was none.

Jo heads down to the first landmark - Pwll y Wrach (the Witches Cauldron). According to our guide, Brian John's Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail Guide, this is a collapsed cave.

 Pwll y Wrach

Shortly after this we met our first fellow nutter walker, a young man carrying an enormous bin bag-wrapped rucksack and wearing a sun visor. We agreed with him, as raindrops poured off our noses and the end of his visor, that it was indeed a 'lovely day'.

Onwards and up and down, appreciating, as Mr John says in the guide: "This section of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path is a taxing one." We felt rather taxed by relentlessly steep climbs and descents and some rather alarming narrow bits with a 500 foot drop a nice stony landing on the beach below.

We ate what were undoubtedly the most delicious sandwiches in the world sitting on a stile in the rain. Then we met a second nutter walker who was delighted to tell us that he was nearing the end of walking the entire coastal path. We congratulated him and he immediately became our Expert. He had walked from Newport solidly for three hours. We had two hours in which to catch the bus. At Newport beach. He assumed a You're-Not-Going-To-Make-It face so we popped his smug bubble by informing him that a) we were local and b) we had Men who would Rescue if necessary. Then we got a wriggle on as the next bus was after 7pm and we didn't fancy a) confessing to our husbands that we had missed two buses on one day and b) the subsequent wait for the last bus.

It rained and the path got less taxing. We nearly stepped on a toad and then spent several minutes watching a Peregrine Falcon soaring around the cliffs. Little brown butterflies fluttered too, despite the rain, and there were various Little Brown Birds. Sorry for the lack of ID but it was raining, they were wet and who knows what they were!

Suddenly we saw this:

Traeth Mawr

Admittedly we had to yomp the final bit but the view of the beach as we rounded the last headland was fantastic. We arrived at the beach car park at 2.30pm. The National Park toilet chappie had beaten us to it and was parked up in his van with his mobile phone apparently on another break. Tea, perhaps.

The Poppit Rocket turned up on schedule and we fell into it gladly and scoffed our Whisky and Sultana cake as a reward for our efforts. Back in Moylegrove nutter walker Number One was waiting for the bus. We greeted him warmly and he complained he'd been waiting an hour and a half. We peeled off our wet clothing (with apologies to the residents of Moylegrove for the impromptu striptease - better that than hypothermia).

Next time we will begin again, at the beginning. As long as we don't miss the bus..