Date – 13 April 2017
Walked from – Amroth
Walked to – Manorbier YHA
Distance – 14.5 miles
Today I walked the first day of a planned 10 day hike of the 186 mile Pembrokeshire Coast Path, in Wales. With all being well I’ll get to St Dogmaels in nine days time, and celebrate completing my 14th of the English and Welsh official National Trail. Walking geeks of the world, unite 🙂
Anyway, today was easy and fairly short – once I’d got my arse to the start (I had to stay overnight in a hotel next to Swansea station because it takes a billion years to get from London to Pembrokeshire… which probably explains why this is the last national trail I’m tackling). Just 14 and a half miles of easy walking, feeling very happy about not being at work, and bimbling along on dry dirt tracks along small cliffs, through woodland and along wide beaches.
The real joy of today, apart from the views of an almost becalmed sea, were the spring flowers that followed me almost every step of the way: the purple bluebells, the blue forget-me-nots, the whites of the hogweed and Ramsons (AKA Wild Garlic. AKA the bane of my mum’s gardening life) and the yellow of the primulas and the ever present gorse. Oh, and Tenby. Why on earth has no one ever told me how damn pretty Tenby is? I loved walking towards it, the colourful jumble of buildings coming into clearer focus as the dramatic seacoast line surrounding it dropped away. And it was just as gorgeous in town too. Another place to add to my holiday location / seaside cottage wish list.
I’m also pretty excited about my home for the night (as long as I don’t get a snorer in the dorm room) – Manorbier YHA is really cool. It’s very comfortable but it also looks pleasingly odd; my guide book describes it as a sardine tin, but there are far too many random shapes attached to it for that to be quite accurate. Originally build as a storage building by NATO, it’s as if a child had a tantrum and thew down a collection of different shaped but plain coloured building blocks, which have landed haphazardly and co-opted some corrugated iron into joining in the fun. And I’m booked in for the burger dinner at 7pm – no-one can say I don’t know how to have a good time…