14 days into my walk and I am just starting to settle in! My feet are becoming used to the wet conditions “Trench Foot” I think they call it, my shoulders are getting accustomed to the 35 pound backpack which despite a cull this week is getting heavier daily! This is due to swapping old inadequate kit with some proper kit and a season 4 sleeping bag which has been to Mount Kilimanjaro! (Thank you Buffy x) Still working on the jacket which leaks like a colander but that will be sorted by Ireland! Won’t it Mark lol? So what has been ditched? A second compass, a pair of trousers for going out in the evening! Thermal layers for night time as I now have a season 4 sleeping bag, 1 excess battery out of a packet of four and a collapsible cup! Every gram makes a difference especially when you are stuck in a bog!
The week started with a rest day in Tenby. I had the pleasure of bumping into Mr Trevor Hallett quite by chance who gave me a wonderful guided tour of Tenby and a coffee, all with my rucksack on my back. A lovely man who is very proud of Tenby and so he should be, its an amazing place to go! Do check out St Mary’s Church steeped with history and beautifully restored. Having spent a night out on the seafront in the tent I was delighted to be welcomed by Jeff and Lisa at the Glenthorne Guesthouse which I mentioned in last week’s update.
Tuesday 22nd January 2019 was an 18 mile walk along the Welsh Coastal Path from Tenby to Stackpole – by far the toughest day yet although I am sure that will change! A fabulous walk with old friends meeting new friends on route. Yvonne, Ann and Beau were good enough to travel from Newport and Swansea to join me. The route was decidedly up and down and I lagged behind all day with my rucksack, I think I should have insisted on holding onto Beau he could have helped me up the hills! Beau loves to eat tissues and hoovered up the rubbish as we walked along. He can be hired out for beach cleaning!
The army turned us back at the rifle ranges outside Manorbier despite pleas, we headed inland. On route we heard that the fundraising had doubled with a very generous donation which certainly put a spring in my step! After all that’s what this walk is all about! It’s the wrong time of year for tea stops as it is out of season but Lesley Smith opened the doors of her beautiful home to the four of us and gave us cake! A new friend inspired by this walk, thankyou!
Ann and Beau left us at Freshwater but Yvonne and I battled on in the dark to Stackpole with headtorches and walked the longest mile ever from Stackpole Village to the National Trust Stackpole Estate who kindly put us up for the night! Every calorie lost during the day was replaced threefold! Such an amazing centre there was a school party there for the week and the place was buzzing!
Wednesday 19th January 2019 – Stackpole to Freshwater West:
Yvonne and I parted company in the morning and I headed west. Sadly not along the coast as the area is an army range at Castlemartin and there was much activity going on, I had missed the firing in the night as I was out for the count but today was all about tanks and manouvres “not in the dark”. The roads were closed too and I headed further inland arriving at Freshwater West where part of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows was filmed. The National Trust once again bent over backwards to help and let me stay at Lower Gupton Farm a truly beautiful site offering camping and accommodation just stone’s throw from Freshwater West.
Thursday 20th January – Freshwater to Pembroke:
Well it started raining at 7.00 am and I don’t think it stopped! The day was spent heading to the Pembroke Oil Refinery which occupies a prominent position on the south bank of the Milford Haven Waterway and can be seen for many miles. It was mostly shrouded in mist!
I had to walk on A roads for a time today, which was nerve wracking to say the least! I spent a lot of time jumping on and off the verges and the army tanks were still coming thick and fast! In the evening I walked into Windmill Hill Caravan Park expecting a patch of grass to pitch my tent, but was greeted with a caravan and cooked meal! After a 16 mile walk in the rain to be greeted with such kindness was just wonderful. Thank you Jane
On Friday this Penny slid into Milford Haven. Heavy persistent rain had made the ground very wet! I walked with Christine Johnson who I had met in Pembroke and quite literally we slid along the paths, Christine accompanied me to the Cleddaau Bridge and from there I walked to Milford Haven. They say that company eats up the miles and that is so true! The scenery was stunning, industrial and beautiful!
Milford Haven Port Authority greeted me at 5pm and I made it just in time! Karen Lewis kindly handed me a cheque for £200 and the Authority paid for a wonderful B&B in a traditional pub The Heart of Oak steeped in character, locals and full of kindness.
Saturday was frantic, a quick blast to Haverfordwest to catch the Parkrun. As usual as with all Parkruns I had an extremely warm welcome and accompanied the tailwalker. For those who have not had the pleasure of attending a Parkrun you are missing out. You don’t even have to run its a social event for every ability more often than not combined with tea and cake! What’s not to love! I have life long friends from Parkrun! A quick dash to Pure West Radio and an interview with Frank, and back to Milford to start my walk for the day! The winds had picked up and the rain stung my face all day! In the evening Team Davies kindly gave us the gave me the use of their cottage as a base for the weekend. Team Davies you are the best! Mark has been able to come down and sort out kit and today in the 75 mph gust of wind I have been able to use a smaller back giving my feet some relief!
Once again I had great company today and was more than happy to share my lunch with this little robin ….
Tomorrow is a rest day but I will need to walk a few miles as I need to get to St Davids Tuesday.
190 miles into my journey around Britain and Ireland thank you all so much for your continued support.
This time next week I will be in Ireland!
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