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Published: July 21st 2011
Mr Cliff Top
Me on the Pembrokeshire cliff tops
8th June 10.05pm Poppit Sands
So, here I am, a little tired and worse for wear but finally on the Welsh coast at last. This trip has been a long time in planning, and while I’ve been really looking forward to it, I don’t really think I’ve grasped the enormity of the task I’ve set myself. I first got the idea of doing this walk from reading a Lonely Planet guide on a cold, dreary winter’s day while living Manchester. The more I looked in to it the more it appealed to me, long bracing walks by the sea in the beautiful Welsh sunshine, camping out, getting back to my rustic, country boy roots and all that. Until now everything has just been names of unfamiliar towns marked on ordinance survey maps and essentially meaningless figures; 186 miles in total, 25 km between this town and that etc. Yet until now it has all been academic, unreal numbers for a far off trek dreamed up in the depths of the coldest British winter in a hundred years.
Having walked for several hours this afternoon, everything has now become real and I’m beginning to get a handle
So it begins...
Me at the otter statue that marks the start of the Coast Path
on the reality of the situation. I have a very long way to go with a very heavy pack on my back. Everyone I tell that I’m walking the entire length of the coast path gets a somewhat incredulous look on their face, and I’m beginning to see why. However, initial misgivings aside, I know I’m perfectly capable, strapping young lad that I am, and that the size of the road (or path as it were) ahead of me will make the sense of accomplishment so much greater when I complete it. Also, it will no doubt go a long way to helping me shed some of the extra ‘conditioning’ that I put on during seven slothful weeks of gluttony while visiting home.
I’m currently sitting in the very cosy Webly Arms. They are playing some surprisingly good soul music for a rural Welsh backwater pub. ‘Baby Love’ by the Supremes has just finished. I spent last night in a hostel in Cardiff and I have to say I hated the impersonal atmosphere after the amazing Couchsurfing experiences I’ve had in London over the past fortnight. Got a few last minute essentials together yesterday morning and boarded the train
The view from the afternoon
The view from where i set up camp for the first night
just before midday. Cancel what I said about this place having good music by the way, an absolutely horrible techno cover of ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’ has just come on and destroyed the nice soul buzz I had going on for a minute there. Anyhoo, from the train I took a surprisingly lengthy bus ride to Cardigan and the start of the walk. I was pretty excited to be finally underway after such a long period of expectation. However, that buzz soon gave way to fatigue as a week of high activity and little sleep began to take its toll.
After three hours of walking I found a field to camp in. The geezer who owned it wanted five quid to stay the night, which is more than a little steep considering it is just a field with no facilities save the public toilets at the lifesaving boathouse opposite, but I was tired and wanted to set up my tent properly for the first time while there was plenty of light, so I paid the man without much of an argument. After a little faffing about, I eventually figured out how to set up my little two
In inlet at Poppit Sands
man tent, and that done set about cooking my first meal using my cooking gear. It worked like a dream and I had mushrooms and potatoes with a chicken hot pot sachet meal thing, delicious! After cleaning up I walked down here for a coffee and to get this first entry done. Am keen to see what the first night in the tent is like. I imagine it’ll be a little uncomfortable at first, but then again I’m so fookin’ knackered I don’t think I’ll have too much trouble sleeping.
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