November 20, 2018

Trip Report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles

I had a plan. And plenty of doubts whether or not I’d make all the connections.

8am breakfast at the Manorbier Youth Hostel
8:33am bus to Tenby
9:37am train to Fishguard

That all worked! I was pleased.

I wanted to continue my hiking on the spectacular northern end of the Coast Path.

I studied the litter by the train tracks. Mostly drink containers. Some fast food wrap. Cigarette packages.

There was no trash can available on this platform. No wonder, Wales.

I headed for Fishguard because it had a train station. From there I hoped to catch one of the much promoted coastal bus lines.

Wanting to head in the direction of St. Davids, locals sent me to catch the Strumble Shuttle. Starting Oct 4th it went on winter hours. Only two days a week: Thursday and Saturday.

I checked my watch. I’d arrived Friday, Oct 5th.

… Oh well. I started walking instead in the other direction. Towards the north end of the Coast Path. The best and most difficult section.

I picked up some provisions (including 2 litres of water) in town before climbing up and away towards headlands.

It was 1pm. I had about 6 hours of daylight to get as far as I could … wanting to shorten tomorrow’s final, most difficult day. I left Fishguard as quickly as possible.

There’s the ferry to Ireland.

It was misty, almost drizzling, all day. Many of my panorama photos looked a little grey.

Still, every hiker I spoke with felt it was great weather for walking. I heard it had been too hot in this section during summer 2018.

The cliffs grew increasingly rugged. Increasingly challenging. The highpoint of the day is 465ft (142m).

There are more cows than sheep.

Vegetation is dense. Plenty of thorny berry bushes.

I considered tenting in this bay, but it was still too early in the day.

Certainly I enjoyed the walking. There’s much to distract from the exertions of climbing up and down cliffs with full pack.

About 6pm I started looking for a discrete place to wild camp. Slim pickings. The Welsh have had hundreds of years to lock up their private property. There’s no “right to roam” in Wales.

The public space was a narrow path, dense shrub and then a deadly fall to the sea.

I lucked out reaching a now closed nature reserve. Climbed the fence. Found a secluded spot. And set up the Hubba.

It still had not rained. … Not until the middle of the night when I had to scramble and put on the fly.

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