Friday 1 April 2016
Cardigan to Newport
Newport Golf Club
I left Cardigan behind and headed across the Afon Teifi to St Dogmaels.
Crossing the river meant leaving Ceridigion and entering Pembrokeshire.
I walked past the St Dogmaels Abbey and headed to the riverbank, seeking out the Blessing Stone. This large lump of rock may have been the capstone of a dolmen and legend has it that the Abbot of St Dogmaels used to bless the fishing boats and the river from it. I asked for a blessing for the rest of my trip.
Upon leaving St Dogmaels I happened upon the official start of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path. A couple of blokes were waiting to start their walk and insisted on taking a photo of me.
I set off, along the banks of the Teifi to Poppit Sands. It started to drizzle and this was the weather theme of the day. It wasn’t heavy enough rain to require waterproofs but it was damp and the visibility was much reduced. Fortunately the lighthouse at Strumble Head was flashing to guide me.
Around Cemaes Head I got my last view back to Cardigan Island and Foel-y-Mwnt. There was an abandoned Lookout station with a joke “for sale” sign; only £20Bn and you get the beach below thrown in (accessible only by a seal colony).
The rock formations along the next section of coach were really interesting – lots of crumpled strata.
I passed through Ceibwr Bay and carried on, up and down, up and down.
The cliffs were dramatic but the views limited today. Looking along the cliffs they almost seem flat(ish); however, the path doesn’t go across the top but weaves up and down the cliff side. It was obviously designed by a masochist.
As I approached the corner heading round into Newport Bay the wind picked up (the forecast was for gale force winds) and the rain became heavier. Instantly walking became incredibly difficult and I was being seriously blown about. I had to bend almost double and stick my poles in. The rain felt like pin pricks and really stung. Occasionally I passed behind a hedge of gorse and the rain stopped – it was horizontal after all.
The last 45 minutes into Newport Sands were a struggle and I was not able to lift my head to look for a view across to Dinas Head. I was soaked through when I arrived at the golf club (a links course cutting right into the beach) so was grateful for a hot shower, tea and cake.
I ate in the golf club as there was no way I was venturing out. The rain was teaming down and I was very glad not to be camping.