I woke up to the most beautiful morning on this trip. It was bright and sunny and the view from the window was spectacular and a booster shot of positive energy.
Today was going to be 10 1/2 miles of hiking on the PCP and a bit more to get to the accommodation. According to the guide book….the trail was supposed to be “wild and rough going at places”. I wanted to take my time hiking, stop and enjoy the views and get to Fishguard by 2 pm.
After a good sandwich breakfast, I was on the PCP....the YHA is on the PCP....by 7:50 am. 2 min later, I stopped to listen to the birds and sea animals going about their day with enthusiasm as this is the music of the PCP here and it is beautiful.
Another 15 min in to my hike, I heard voices up ahead and to my immense surprise saw 2 day hikers coming down the trail. They were locals who had set out very early from Fishguard to see the sunrise from the coast path and were heading to Trefin. We chatted away and 22 min later we went our separate way….so much for a early start!!!! It was a good conversation and is a good memory.
The up’s are very steep and rocky...zigzagging and hiking them at a slow pace was the best way of tackling these. It is easy to burn energy very fast on this section as this section is what the PCP is all about...this is why it is considered equivalent to climbing Mt Everest.
I learnt to stop for a few seconds and take in the steep ups and have a laugh before hiking....definitely helped me stay positive and have fun.
Watch this video with the volume on...I was serenaded by a bird which had very good rhythm. While I could not spot it, it kept me company for a while and is one of my favorite memory from the trip.
The beautiful day, made the views out to sea wonderful and made the effort worth while.
I was at Stumble head lighthouse by 9:20 am. The bench near the lighthouse made it the perfect spot to stop for a break as I could feel the temperature steadily climbing and it was time to fuel up for the hike ahead.
Then I had to address the more urgent matter of where to answer natures call. This is much more of an adventure as there is no privacy anywhere on the trail. I did my job just in time as 40 secs later when I was back on the trail, I saw couple of hikers at the top of the trail heading my way. Close call!!!!
The sea was calm and it was amazing to look at it and feel a sense of peace and quiet….it stayed with me as I hiked.
I was back to enjoying one of my favorites of the coast path....seeing the trail snaking along the coast line up ahead and behind.
The 3 miles or so from Stumble head are strenuous. The trail is straight for just long enough before you come up on a steep up or down hill and this continues on and on.
Beautiful meadow and location for these cows.
You will find very few PCP acorn symbols in this section. Once you are on the trail, there is no where else to go. All I had to do was keep the sea to the left, stay on the trail and enjoy the hike.
I hiked downhill most of the time in this section....phew!!!! This section is tough going uphill with a backpack.
And then I came to the woodland which was cool and a nice break from the wide open views and the heat. There is even a rope swing in this area near Aber-Felin.
The below two photos show parts of the trail...where you don't see the trail and get to choose to either hike over the hill or go around it.
The steps are not single step which means you may have to take 1 1/2 steps to climb each one of them.
The trail never really allows you to settle as the terrain keeps changing. So, enjoy the grassy sections when you get to them.
In some sections, you could feel the heat radiating from the ground. Sunny days without breeze are not ideal conditions for a strenuous hike.
The approach to Godwick is…yep!!!..a steep uphill stretch. I stopped to chat with a man walking his dog and he told me that the temperature at 11 am today was the highest temp of the day. I was eager to finish this hike and celebrate but there was still a bit of walking to do to reach Fishguard.
The coast path is well sign posted through this long walk from Godwick through a wooded section and then on to Fishguard.
I reached my destination in central Fishguard by 2:30 pm. I enjoyed today's hike very much and I had the trail to myself 95% of the hike.
I was very thankful for the comfortable sturdy shoes and the light weight hiking socks as the rocky terrain in this section can be merciless on your feet without the correct foot wear.
Doing well today was good encouragement as the rest of the PCP is classified in varying degrees of strenuousness and today was the start.
The meal planning at Trefin paid-off as there was no place to pick up lunch and having the packed meal and snacks helped me take short breaks to energize and keep moving.
One of my favorite moment of today was meeting a 90 year old young woman on the trail near Godwick. It was amazing to see her slowly come down the path with her walking stick all by herself as she did not want her daughters help. It was heart warming to hear her delight when I told her that I was hiking the PCP.
Today was a Sunday and most of the stores were closed. There was thankfully a grocery store open and the first task was to shop for tomorrow’s lunch….the only place where food would have been available tomorrow [Monday] was going to be closed….having such information allowed me to plan in advance.
The restaurant choices were limited and the one place that was open was a good one. The dinner was rice with veggies, naan and a side salad. Very satisfying.
The temperature dropped again tonight and was cold enough to have the heater on. I went to bed with prayers for good weather tomorrow as I was looking forward to hiking Dinas Head.
One of my other favorite moment today was spotting two seals near Aber-Felin. I had stopped to take a break on the trail and as I stood looking out to sea, out came one seal followed by another. I could hear their barks as they went about having lunch….the only time on the trip I missed the zoom lens and SLR camera.