There is rain and there is RAIN and today we got both…..oh……. plus high winds.
Our walk starts innocently in the pretty village of Llanstadwell and although we know the forecast says miserable it is not raining when we leave.
The narrow road winds up through the village where I am pulled up short by the sight of a small Victorian fireplace set into the outside wall of a house – nasturtiums crowd around to take a look.
Out in the bay three tugboats are lined up expectantly – perhaps waiting to assist ships out of or into Pembroke Dock
A couple of miles on the rain starts and it is now I discover I have forgotten to pack my waterproof jacket (of all things!). A taxi is summoned and Damian spends 15 minutes in the local cafe drinking a cup of tea and chatting to the friendly waitress while he waits.
Take 2 ……….From here we turn off right from the road onto a narrow path through a patch of woodland that runs up the west side of the estuary. It is still raining but our umbrellas (a recent idea) keep most of it off. It is quite cosy hearing the pitter patter of the raindrops on the brolley.
Coming out onto the main road again we cross a bridge over the marina……………………..
…..and then it’s a trudge along the A477 to the start of the Cleddau Bridge.
Just as we set foot on the bridge it starts hammering down – tropical, torrential rain, and I spend the next 10 minutes cursing myself for not putting on my waterproof trousers. My jeans are soaked from the top of my thighs and downwards and I can see from the change in colour of Damian’s trousers that his are also drenched – oh dear.
Eventually the rain eases and we follow the route of the Welsh “Coast” Path through acres of miserable housing estates and down to the Martello tower at Pembroke Dock.
Originally built to defend the port from a French invasion in the mid 19th century this remarkable building is now up for sale for £70,000 – there is local opposition.
On we go and now the wind has picked up. So much so that turning a corner I suddenly find my umbrella almost ripped out of my grasp by a sudden gust, which snaps two of the stays…….ah well.
Through the almost deserted town (who in their right mind would be out on such a day, especially with the prospect of an international ruby match on the telly), the path turns left through an area of muddy fields called Sykemoor. This is a relief after the mean streets of Pembroke Dock and the rain is holding off. This is not the end of the story however because all that rain has to go somewhere – usually the lowest point in the landscape. An exploratory poke with my walking pole tells me these boots are not made for walking …..what to do?
The hero of the day is Damian, who finds a way down and up a very slippery steep slope to the right of the gate, clambering over a barbed wire fence to emerge victorious on the other side. He even comes back to show me the way!
And so, very muddy and wet we eventually join the tarmac road which follows the bank of the river down to Pembroke Castle. There we find a lovely warm cafe where we sit and steam, wolfing down slabs of Bara Brith with hot tea. Bliss…..
Distance: 8 miles