Wednesday 6 April 2016
Newgale to Marloes
Albion House B&B
Ten hours in bed but only about 3 hours of sleep I think; it was very windy and rainy in the night. Unfortunately the campsite was very exposed and the wind was supposed to reach gale force today. The rain (not the wind) had abated when I woke at 7 am so I figured I might as well get up and pack away a dry tent. Packing it was difficult in the extreme wind.
I left, without breakfast, at 7.45; Jack and Deja hadn’t yet surfaced, nor had the owner of another small tent that must have appeared in the dark last night. I set off along the road behind the stony bank protecting civilisation from the sea. It was cold in the biting wind and I was wearing my fleece, hat and gloves. I had only just made it up onto the cliff when the rain started. Donning waterproofs on an exposed cliff top in very strong wind is not easy! I was cold, wet, battling the elements and not having fun, and it was only 8.30 am! I felt like I was playing a game of French cricket with the wind as it was trying to bowl me over from all directions.
At Nolton Haven I joined a minor road and gave the cliff top a miss. I could still get some views but with a little more shelter.
I came across an amazing house dug into the cliff top and next to it was an unusual roundhouse. This was built in 1910 as a croquet pavilion by Harold Fowler, an international champion. I wonder how the winds affected play?
I braved the cliff top again and battled with the increasing wind velocity. It was a struggle. There were several tankers in the Bay; I’m not sure why they are around this side and not at Milford Haven.
As I descended into Broad Haven I slipped over and so I was now cold, wet, fairly miserable and also muddy. What I needed was a big breakfast. Fortunately Broad Haven has a cafe and I took my time enjoying my distinctly below average breakfast.
I have booked to stay on Skomer Island tomorrow night and I have to self-cater. The small Londis in Broad Haven was the first food store I’d come across since Fishguard; such a shame it had so little in it and was over-priced. I left with some rolls and cheese, some chocolate and a bara brith; I’ll be breaking open my emergency ration pack for dinner on the island.
The sun had come out but the wind seemed to be getting stronger. I decided to stick to the roads and inland paths for the rest of today.
Next to Broad Haven is Little Haven, which seemed a bit more upmarket. Strange really as it was originally the export port for 5 local collieries.
I next hit the coast at the small beach of St Bride’s and admired the 19th Century Baronial Mansion overlooking it. This castle was once known as Kensington Hospital and specialised in tuberculosis treatment until the end of WW2.
From here I headed inland again to Marloes, the nearest village with accommodation to the ferry I need to catch tomorrow morning. I definitely didn’t fancy camping at either of the exposed cliff top campsites tonight. The wind was still howling.