Date – 21 April 2017
Walked from – Pwll Deri
Walked to – Newport
Miles walked – 25.1
Today was always going to be a tough one. Not once, ever, in the guide books does it suggest walking this section in one go. People I’ve chatted to about today’s route, which at just over 25 undulating miles has been the longest of the trip, have visibly paled at the suggestion of what I would be doing. And yet, my friend Arwyn freshly arrived and on hand to share the pain of the final two days of my walk (literally, as his blisters turned out), off we went shortly after 7am this morning, heading from the spectacular setting of the Pwll Deri YHA towards the light house at Strumble Head, and beyond.
We ploughed through the first half of the day, which took in the usual incredible coastal scenery, the stone that marked the landing point of the last invasion of Britain in 1797 (Jemima Nicholas is my new hero), Goodwick (home of the Fishguard ferry and our brunch stop cafe) and Lower Fishguard, where the 1972 film version of ‘Under Milkwood’ was filmed, before stopping for a breather at the immaculately maintained campsite that overlooks Fishguard, where, twice a week, and for £40 an hour, the local masseur will put you through your paces in a mini wooden camping pad. We arrived at the Old Sailors pub in Pwllgwaelod just before they shut up for the afternoon, where I very much enjoyed sitting in the sun, overhearing an unexpected but very loud conversation between two older locals about skunk and a mutual acquaintance of theirs (who is, apparently, permanently stoned) while throwing back a larger-shandy.
There are unwanted facts you face about yourself when you’re walking with someone that you can ignore on your own. The fact Arwyn pointed out to me on numerous occasions today is that my nose is currently an impressively vibrant shade of red. The rest of the face isn’t far off. Apparently it’s a look that goes way beyond ‘outdoorsey’. That, combined with the fact that I’m knackered after nine days of walking, mean that I’m not looking my glamorous best at the moment. One more day to walk, and I’m looking forward to it, but also to finishing. The Newport YHA was a welcome sight this evening – as was the realisation that I had the six bed dorm to myself.