Wednesday, September 3, 2014

3rd Sept - Whitesands to Nolton Haven

This morning I set off into a misty overcastness that made the world a rather mysterious place. Deserting the coastline briefly I headed due inland for St David's. I followed a handsome fox down some quiet lanes, and then several young male runners taking advantage of the hills for early morning training. It was too early for anything to be open in the city/village, but I did sneak a peak into the cathedral and momentarily considered attending the 8am Welsh language morning prayer. In the end I thought I might stick out a bit, and instead enjoyed the view from the churchyard.

The main beauty of the cathedral, and indeed the ruins of the Bishop's palace next door, is in its perfect fit within the landscape. Alone it is a nice little country church. In context it is a really lovely old thing. Seems to be my lot to spend this year in sites of pilgrimage. Those arriving at St David's would certainly have been less overwhelmed than Santiago pilgrims, methinks.

I had planned to wait for civilisation (a cafe) to open but instead decided to head on down to the coast path. I do feel quite sluggish today though nothing particularly hurts and - thus far - there are no blisters.

I struck civilisation at Solva, a little harbour and village with a cafe and pub, and half a dozen non-useful shops (I haven't met a useful one, ie one that sells bread or milk, since leaving Fishguard).

Caffeinated, I headed on over lovely headlands with the sun glinting off the sea and kayakers and sailboats the only humans in sight. Lots of steep ups and downs, and my knees are currently knackered enough that I have joined the ranks of people who hurt more going down than up.

The sun came out around midday, and by the time I hit the lovely long beach at Newgale I was feeling a little sun-frazzled. With not many more miles to go I spent the afternoon lolling around the low-key cafés and beaches between there and my 6pm appointment at the Mariners Inn at Nolton Haven. 

'Tis a funny old place. There is not only a VHS player but also a Betamax in my room. I'm not sure I've seen a Betamax before. Anyway, despite the stuffed albatross in the bar, it's in a beautiful spot. I am fairly confident I shan't be kept awake by mad revelling from below.

Sunny days and an endless and endlessly beautiful path make the world seem a wonderful place. Hurrah for mini-adventures.

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