Leaving snowy Wales for Ireland. Week 3 (28 Jan – 3 Feb 2019)

Monday 28th January

A rest day. But as with all rest days much to do including a 6 mile walk to meet a lovely lady Sally who has a website which promotes a positive lifestyle and is jam packed with interesting articles.  We whiled away a few hours chatting and then it was time time to clean my kit – a never-ending job but it does have to last me a long time.

Tuesday 29th January 2019

Mark went home today after supporting me over the weekend …. always a heavy heart when he goes, but I will see him again before Ireland.  The path was very undulating today and my coat leaks like a colander, but on the positive side –  my fitness is improving and it’s easier to go up than down! Walked so well today that I passed St David’s my destination for the night and had to cut through past St Nons Chapel and Well a very tranquil spot.

I wasn’t expecting to be invited to such a wonderful  hotel at the Twr y Felin Hotel. Do look it up – its a very luxurious hotel and Ewan and Luke welcomed a wet, muddy and smelly guest just as they would any other. I wore my socks and no boots to dinner and no-one batted an eyelid! I slept in a tower with the most amazing view and felt like a princess – the stuff of dreams.

Wednesday 30th January 2019

Cosy fireThis morning l left the Twr y Felin Hotel in St David’s having been incredibly spoilt, complete with a packed lunch I headed to the Coast Path via the Cathedral. The Pembrokeshire Coast Path is truly spectacular and a pleasure to walk along. The wind was biting cold today and it was lovely to meet Francesca, Ian and John at Celtic Camping and Bunk House Accommodation.  Francesca came to meet me in the cold and told me how they had also looked after Christian Lewis who is walking the UK for SSAFA, The Armed Forces Charity, and is currently in Scotland.  I slept the night in the bunkhouse beautifully warm with a lovely fire. This is a great place to spend time – the views are stunning and there is much going on at the farm.

Thursday 31st January

Snow!I left Celtic Camping after a great night’s sleep and was relieved I had not had to put my tent up. It had been bitterly cold outside. My walk was to Abermawr a day of undulating coastal walking in the sleet. At Porthgain the scenery looked like a lunar landscape with the old lime kilns. I grabbed breakfast/lunch in The Sloop, a pub steeped in history.

Ruth BestThis walk is so much about the people you meet on the paths and the homes you are invited into, tea, cake and a towel with Gerald and Jenny at Abercastle and then at Abermawr, I was whisked off to the home of Ruth Best (simply that) where my clothes were dried, I ate like a king and I overslept in the morning! I was spoilt by her hospitality, amazing local knowledge and tales of the Brownies …. thank you Ruth x

Friday 1st February 2019

This morning I was dropped off at Abermawr, The Cable Hut by Ruth at the exact spot from where she had picked me up the night before. A cold morning but fortunately no snow.  I headed across the stony beach at Aberthaw only to find a river in full flow preventing me from crossing. Had it been the summer I would have waded across but in the cold opted to walk 3km inland and back again. Having dried out the night before, I didn’t fancy my chances of taking a tumble on the rocks.

Goodbye Party
The goodbye party!

I headed along the Wales Coast Path until Goodwick where I met Mark and friends from home, and went to The Cabin which had kindly been lent to us for the weekend. My clothes were immediately ordered to be put on a boil wash. Clean clothes –  just wonderful!

In the evening we met the owner of Pebbles who showed us some amazing sketches drawn by Simon Marsh who had walked around England and Wales 20 years ago. His collection ended up in the V&A. Maybe I should get my sketch pad out!

Saturday 2nd February 2019

Sorting kitToday was a rest day – much kit sorting, cleaning and trying out the new Kelly Kettle for cooking in remote areas. The kettle definitely needs a lot of practice. But when it gets going you can heat water in 3 minutes using leaves, twigs and Pete…or was that peat!  I also ended up walking a few more miles along the Welsh Coastal Path – not sure how that happened?! Great to spend time in The Cabin Fishguard with friends before the big departure to Ireland.

Sunday 3rd February 2019

Stena Ferry to Rosslare, Ireland from Fishguard, Wales.  This day has always been so far in the distance that I gave it no real thought until it arrived. I  knew it would be an emotional day as the next 8 months are an unknown quantity and my family and friends are so much further away, so it was with very mixed emotions that I sailed off on the 1.10pm Stena ferry.

SKA band.jpgGood friends had put me up for the night in Fishguard and after a last breakfast together at “The Diner” in Fishguard and a photo with a two-tone ska band “Sorted” (best in Pembrokrshire!) we rushed to the Port.

The Fishguard Welcome Bay had arranged for free passage for me out of the country and a return too (result) with an opportunity for a great seat in the Stena Plus Lounge all courtesy of Stena and all for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

The boat sailed sooner than I expected and as I rushed to the top deck to wave goodbye my husband and son were running along the jetty to catch a last glimpse, while friends waved goodbye from the terminal. I shed a few tears, I will miss them enormously.

So now begins the next chapter of my walk….a journey around The Emerald Isle – keeping the sea on my left.

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