I started from Broad Haven at 8:40 am after a yummy full English breakfast…my breakfast choice on this trip.
Today was the first day when it was sunny in the morning with no rain and a easy start of the hike.
After this bit of uphill, the trail is easy walking for a while with it being either on a paved road or grassy trail. I enjoyed this bit of relaxed walking knowing what was to come.
Druidston Haven - The approach to this place is through a trail that is next to a hedge. Then you walk along a downhill road to the bus stop from where the PCP picks up again.
Past Druidston Haven, I started to feel the heat and there was no sea breeze. The spectacular views helped me stay in a positive attitude.
Nolton Haven - By the time I got to Nolton Haven the temperature had gone up considerably and it was very hot. Here I met people for the first time on the PCP today….venturing out on day hikes….all longingly looking back at the beach which looked increasingly more preferable the further you went along the trail.
The trail runs along the cliff edge and is easy enough to hike but I continued to take a lot more breaks and pace myself due to the heat.
You can see from the below photo how far the sea water comes in during high tide.
And soon enough I came upon the view of Newgale Sands. It was impressive as all such views of beaches are from the PCP.
Closer to the beach, the path was blocked by the 1st set of wild ponies I encountered today. They did not want to move out of the way and made me wait for 10 min. It so happens that the 3 on the trail were waiting for 3 of their mates who were slowly trotting up the path….even they did not want to rush in that heat.
I choose not to walk on the beach again…and walked along the road. The good thing about this was that I had easier access to the cafe - got a ice cold lemonade and downed it in 2 gulps..every cell in my body thanked me for the rest of the hike - and to the toilets which are at the car park.
The not so good thing was the traffic on the road....the drivers were in a rush and not very nice. Still, it was a easy walk along the road and saved my legs a good bit of energy…which was needed for the next stretch.
You follow the road and until you get to this steep bit of road at the top of which...on the wall....is the small dark sign pointing to the coast path to Lower Solva.
As soon as you pass that sign the trail heads uphill and this is the start of the strenuous part of todays section and it stays this way until you get to Lower Solva. So, it was time to take it at a slow pace and enjoy seeing the trail ahead of me as it was a sight to behold.
The view of Newgale Sands stays with you for a long while on the trail which was a good way of keeping my mind off the heat and the uphills.
I enjoyed looking at the trail ahead and estimating how long it would take for me to hike to a point. I always underestimated it. This section had steps and the ups were a lot steeper than the other days.
The first 2 photos below show a section of the trail where you can see the steps ahead and then the steps themselves which are much steeper up close.
Closer to Dinas Fach, I came across the second set of wild ponies. The clouds rolled in for a bit and even though the temperature was still high, it was a good break from the sun.
I had met a Dutch father and son team going the other way and they told me about this stretch where everything was covered in something similar to cobwebs. I came upon this stretch and hurried through it as even the trail is covered in this thick cobweb and the critters that make them. Opening the gate took a bit of effort as I did not want to give any of them a ride on my shirt sleeves.
Lower Solva looked soooo close from this point. Ofcourse!!!! it is not. It was a hike away and the sun was out in full force and in that heat I wished I had wings so I could glide over to the inn.
There is a walking path approach to Lower Solva that is not as strenuous as the PCP. Even in the last one mile...you get to go up a uphill stretch. But then the very end of it goes through a shaded park area which was extremely refreshing after the hot sunny day.
I was glad it was sunny when I started today and I was thrilled that the inn was mere steps away from the PCP as it was super hot by 2:00 pm.
I remembered the lesson to have cool water with me and had put a bottle of water in the freezer and one in the fridge last night. I kept these 2 inside the backpack in a plastic bag and had a smaller one in the side pocket of my backpack. I refreshed this bottle with the cool water and later on in the day with the melted frozen water. This helped me stay in a positive frame of mind and also made me feel energized. That ice cold lemonade I had at Newgale Sands is one of my favorite memories of the trip.
Lower Solva is a lovely place and was very crowded. I had a early dinner and avoided the crowd that started arriving as I finished my dinner. When my eyes started to droop by 8:15 pm, I gave in as I had plans for an early start tomorrow and a special treat.