I woke up feeling hungry and to my surprise was in the mood for a full English breakfast.
I started at 9 am to a cool beautiful day. For once the road from Newport to the start of PCP was straight walking and easy.
I met a local who was on a morning walk and he decided to walk with me to the PCP. We talked about how Newport had changed since his childhood days….climatic change has impacted this place and there also seems to be a increase in tourism.
He warned me that this section was remote and strenuous and being a kind local, checked that I had enough food and water.
The toilets and water tap at the golf course are the only ones on this stretch… after a quick stop, I was on the PCP by 9:30 am. The weather changed to gloomy and cool and through out the hike kept alternating between bright-sunny and gloomy-cool.
The sign warning the remoteness of this stretch made me very cautious even though I was prepared, as the nearest civilization is more than 5 miles away from the trail. It also warns you of “numerous very steep hills and sheer cliffs to seaward”…which means you have to stay alert.
There were several opportunities today where I could see the coast line and long sections of the trail ahead. From far, the ups and steps looked less steep…up close they are every bit strenuous.
This section of the trail had holes and indents in it and I found myself a step lower couple of times to see my foot in a indented spot of the trail. There were also sections where the narrow trail sloped slightly to the right….the left step was slightly higher than the right step.
Yesterday, the vegetation made the bottom of my trousers and shoes damp. Today, it colored my trousers yellow with pollen.
The steep hills they mention in the warning are marvelous on this section. There are those covered by vegetation that you don’t see but feel in your ankles and calfs and then there are those that you see clearly and cringe at the sight. I altered my pace on the narrow sections and zigzagged my way up the wide ones counting my steps….the longest was 490 steps…average was 80 steps. I was very happy I was here on day 15 and not day 3….and in such perfect weather.
The surprising thing was there are long sections of walking on straight trail. I took these at a slow walk enjoying the beautiful day and the views.
Part of the trail getting eroded.
This particular sections was fun to hike as when I first saw it, I had to stop and look closely to even get a glimpse of the trail. Then as I started walking, I noticed that the trail was uneven, had stones sticking up and there were a lot bees and bugs around. It was fun but also a little intense.
You can just see how the trail gradually starts to climb..these you feel in your ankles if you don't alter your pace.
Where is the trail and where is the cliff edge?
The long coast line and the trail running all along it...beautiful site to look at.
The trail gets very narrow and there was no space to zigzag. It meant taking it slow and stopping often to catch my breath.
This bit was like hiking wearing roller blades.
Staying right on the trail gets you to the road leading to Moylgrove.
Today’s hike was comfortable and fun. Comfortable is a odd word to use but I felt at home with the PCP today as this was the PCP I had prepared for.
The lesson of not judging the trail by its appearance was fully enforced today. The weather was on my side as the cool breeze was constantly present and was gentle enough to make hiking the trail along the cliff edge safe.
The raw beauty of nature here is breathtaking. It is worthwhile to give yourself some extra time to stop and enjoy the nature.
The ups on this stretch are something else compared to the rest of the coast path. Today’s trail made me very happy with my decision to hike from south – north as after 14 days on the coast path, my legs were prepared to handle this trail.
Moylgrove is 0.95 miles from the coast path. The walking is along a road which is straight until….why, oh why!!!! the approach to the B&B. It was stttteeeepppp….I followed my approach and called the owner. She popped outside the gate and waved and cheered me on the rest of the climb.
I was more than ready for the 2 cups of tea and the freshly baked cake that was offered to me. Since there is no place to eat within walking distance in Moylgrove, I requested dinner at the B&B. I went to bed with lots of prayers for good weather on the final day of hiking.
The last couple of days and today truly epitomize what the PCP is all about. The rugged beauty, endless cliffs and the tranquility of these sections is fantastic. No wonder, most people choose to hike north-south. You see the evidence of it in a not so good way…dog poop on the trail or hanging in bags on the wire fences…a sore sight. If only the dog owners hiking the trail would prepare for it and take time to clean up and do as all hikers have to do….do not leave anything that does not belong in this environment.