We are dropped off at Ceibwr Bay again and start walking north this time. There are a few walkers about but they all seem to be going the other way (what do they know)? The sky is overcast and it’s a bit muggy.
Down on the pebbly beach a few people are walking slowly along the shoreline, heads down -perhaps looking for something I know not what.
From here we can see the path following the edge of the cliff and then a sharp steep right up to the top.
After a while we arrive at a spot marked Pwllygranant on the map where large slabs of stone form a bridge to take us over a pretty stream.
From the banks of the stream, flights of swallows soar and dive – it is an amazing sight – impossible to photograph as they fly so quickly. It puts me in mind of Nomadland, a film I saw recently in Copenhagen, where one of the travellers, an elderly woman with a cancer diagnosis uses the time she has left to revisit a swallow haunt on the banks of a river in Colorado.
This is what she says:
“I’m gonna be 75 this year. I think I’ve lived a pretty good life. I’ve seen some really neat things kayaking all of those places. And… You know, like a moose in the wild. A moose family on the river in Idaho and big white pelicans landed just six feet over my kayak on a lake in Colorado. Or… Come around a bend, was a cliff and find hundreds and hundreds of swallow nests on the wall of the cliff. And the swallows flying all around and reflecting in the water. So it looks like I’m flying with the swallows and they’re under me, and over me, and all around me. And little babies are hatching out, and eggshells are falling out of the nest, landing on the water and floating on the water. These little white shells. That was like, it’s just so awesome. I felt like I’ve done enough. My life was complete. If I died right then, at that moment, would be perfectly fine”
From here we head for the first real headland called Pen Yr Afr. Below us the sheer cliffs twist down in to small rocky coves – I keep well away from the edge.
Further along we reach Cemaes Head which is the most northerly point of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. The path will soon morph into the Ceredigion Way – that is for tomorrow.
The path now moves away from the cliffs and flattens out which is good as we are both getting a bit tired .
…………and then we get our first glimpse of Poppit Sands, a favourite location for a caravan holiday in the Richards family.
…..but before we get any nearer we are led through a chaotic farmyard full of rusting machinery, wrecked cars and horse boxes. A couple of men with wild hair are hanging around the house- they do not look up as we pass.
…..and down the road a goat shares its pond and pastures with an ancient caravan.
The path now turns into a narrow road which seems to go and on forever. We catch occasional glimpses of the sands below.
Eventually the road opens up to a row of cottages where I am later told is a stone which marks the end of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. The marker is not far from this maiden but we must have been so tired and thirsty that we missed it!
From here the map shows nothing but road walking and it is now getting very hot. We plod slowly up the side of the estuary, ignoring the Webley Hotel where people are sitting at tables in the sunshine drinking cold lager.
it does get better however when we reach St. Dogmaels where the path takes us down behind the road into welcome green shade.
…….and a little later through some playing fields (and another pub)! down to the quay at Cardigan.
Just before we reach the bridge over the river Teifi to Cardigan Castle I spot a Hancocks brewery sign that I have not seen since my childhood. They are now part of the Brains beer empire and when I looked up the Castle Inn I found this interesting snippet:
“Food and Drugs Act. Deputy Chief Constable Williams charged Griffith James, landlord of the Castle Inn, Bridgend, with selling adulterated gin to the extent of 11 1/4 per cent, of water. Defendant pleaded guilty and stated that his wife had inadvertently added water to what had been already reduced. Fined 10s. and 7s. 6d. costs, together with analyst’s fee of 10s. 6d” CN 9 June 1905
Inadvertently??!! Mon oeil…………….
So……..over the bridge we go where we decide to stop and partake of whatever is on offer in the pub overlooking the quay.
Distance: 8 miles
I feel like I’ve done a teeny tiny bit of that walk. Thankfully not the bit that included a sheer drop x
Thanks for reading Andy – would your contribution have been the pint of cold lager at the end? xx
Yes. And at the beginning and during. What else would a backpack be for?
I think I would enjoy that walk one day! Enticing cliffs /coastline. You did well to walk past those pubs. I think I remember Hancock’s . Nomadland won an Oscar didn’t it? Sounds good. The carved maiden is nice. I have lovely memories of Poppit sands.xx
Yes, Nomadland is definitely worth seeing. I must admit I don’t remember much about Poppit Sands but I have a postcard somewhere with a picture of the caravan site which Dad had written to Nanny Sarn – must try and find it. xx
Well I remember the walk to the beach and the inside of the caravan!xx
Seemed like a lot more than 8 miles. Course that’s a lot of Kms. I’m probably thinking kms.
Lovely story about woman and swallows.