And tomorrow is another day………………it could not be more different, blue sky, sunshine and the promise of a little rain in the evening when we’ll be tucked up somewhere warm and dry.
From the village we turn left up the minor road and then right along a wet muddy path guarded by a colony of wind turbines turning lazily over our heads. They emit quite a loud hummmm and although I know they are absolutely necessary, I still wouldn’t want to live too close.
We are now approaching a large oil refinery which has to be skirted, with the help of a couple of cage bridges. The first one is pretty high up and I have to make sure I’m staring straight ahead. This is Damian’s cautious approach, followed by a surge of confidence.
What I assume to be an oil tanker is moored off the jetty to our left ……….
……..and beneath us rows of pipes stream down the hillside.
We walk past jetties and industrial installations, curiously attractive in the sunshine.
……until the path turns away from the coast, over another, bigger, cage bridge and then up to the minor road leading into Milford Haven.
Walking through the residential streets of the town is a little tedious but the sun is still shining and there are clear views over the water to the gigantic Pembroke oil refinery where in June 2011 a storage tank exploded killing 4 maintenance workers and seriously injuring one more.
Further up the promenade we walk past a memorial to this accident – I don’t quite get the symbolism but I do like it as a sculpture.
Down the busy main road we walk, heading for the Marina and tea and cake.
Suitably refreshed we head up west over the road bridge and up into the streets of pebble dashed Hakin where Sunday washing blows merrily in the breeze. Damian tells me that that there was a time in Scotland when hanging out your washing on a Sunday was a mortal sin (metaphorically speaking).
The Pembrokeshire Coast Path now skirts another vast industrial plant – this one for the storage of liquid gas. We walk on the pebble beach under one of the substantial jetties.
The beach is deserted apart from a woman and her little son who are passing the time in that old age tradition of throwing pebbles into the water. I wonder where they’ve come from as they were certainly not behind us and to come the other way would be a few too many miles for the little boy. I surmise that she must be a family member of someone working at the plant.
A short way off the coast is a small island known as Stack Island where in the mid 19th century a fort was built to defend Milford Haven from any attack by Napoleon the 3rd.
Today it is up for sale for the price of a one bedroomed flat in London but you would need a few bob to make it habitable.
After a while we leave the industrial scenery behind, rounding South Hook Point and heading north to our final destination, the village of Herbrandston.
A small beach appears and in the distance we can see the few caravans and summerhouse of Sandy Haven.
For my/our next walk this is where I/we will have to get the tides right to make sure our crossing is made at low tide. There were previously stepping stones taking walkers over the inlet but they have been replaced by a concrete path – a shame.
Local dog walkers are out in their wellies, chatting in groups, although quite a few are heading back home as the first drops of rain fall. We have another mile to go up a tarmac road to the village and arrive at the pub more than a little damp. And the pub is closed! Fortunately it is only a short taxi ride back to Milford Haven where we’re staying the night.
Distance: 10 miles