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..


  1. I wish I had the time to join you to make it three, but if you ever do a weekend jaunt let me know and perhaps I can tag along. But not in the rain...

  2. What a jaunt!! You make it sound positively fun! Seriously, I am sure it is beautiful on a warm, sunny day! Thank you for the funny anecdote. I look forward to more!

  3. This is a lovely walk and you describe it so beautifully - the rain didn't spoil your enjoyment, did it?

  4. This sounds seriously funny and beautiful. Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase, "Take a walk." This is, perhaps, your warm up for climbing the Matterhorn?

    Eagerly awaiting the next segment of your travelogue.

  5. I've never walked (well not intentionally anyway) any of the PCF. But you inspire me. There's a similar path here in the Vale of Glamorgan (though I am sure not as rugged or lovely) but still wonderful, whatever the weather. If only the sea would go in circles.

  6. That brought a smile to my face...I am a fellow (nutter) walker, and have also been caught in heavy rain, you captured it so well, and so typical that it had to pour on the first day.

  7. Well you started at as good as spot as any I can think of on the path. Isn't Ceibwr magnificent?

    I hope you have fun - the nice thing about doing long walks in sections is that you can pick god weather and always feel fresh. And if you get the chance and can get away for a night, try staying at the hostel by Pwll Deri just South of Strumble - fantastic place to drink some wine and watch the horizon.

    Maybe see you on the path.

  8. Glad to see you are doing this from North to South - it will be easier going downhill all the way!
    (There are people who have believed me when I've said this!)

  9. Beautiful pics and descriptions! One of these days before I'm too old to climb those hills, I hope to make it there!


  10. the picture are very nice! i like it:)