Today was a logistical failure. I had carefully, or so I thought, checked the bus timetable from Trefdraeth/Newport and decided that the 11.25 bus would be fine. We got to the bus stop at about 10.45 and glancing at the timetable were disappointed to see that we had missed one at 10.25. We decided to walk around the little village, and found a café after talking to nice woman with a cat. Cats are on my mind, as last night Rachel was encouraging me to look on the Cats’ Protection League cat homing page and so I submitted an enquiry for a sibling pair – one black and white, and one tabby and white. We got back to bus stop and amused ourselves with thinking of cat names. We then looked at timetable and realised that the Sunday bus was 12.25. So back to the cafe for another coffee and a cat name discussion. Chairman Miaow, Franz Katka, and Advocat are strong favourites, along with Bramble and basil, Treacle and Pudding, and Rasputin.
12.25 came and went. No bus. After 15 minutes, I looked on line and it appeared that there are no Sunday buses, despite timetable. We decided to drive back to Fishguard, walk out and then back again. The route was pleasant, down a steep hill to the lower town, past the charmingly named ‘The Monthly Tutor’s Cottage’, then up past the harbour to the old fort at the headland where we took turns to pose on a canon.
It was overcast. We met a man with an enormous pack that made us glad to be travelling light. We passed through a campsite with lots of people, and got to the hill just above Pwll Gwaelod. It was getting late, and we were concerned about being back before dark. We had heard rumours that there were dolphins playing off the coast, but we did not see any. The sun came out at last, giving us lovely views – it’s always quite different covering the same ground in the opposite direction. Hopefully, the bus arrangements for tomorrow will work! Only 5 miles covered – my shortest day, so far, I think. A silver day today.
Rachel came down yesterday to join me for this leg. I also invited friends for supper, so with clearing up, I was feeling rather bleary eyed setting off at 8am for Abergwaun! However the road was clear and we arrived at Aberteifi/Cardigan in plenty of time for the bus up to Strumble Head – which was fortunate as there was no bus stop where I was expecting a bus stop to be, having checked it only yesterday. Enquiry produced the information that there was a new bus stop on the other side of the town. As I noticed elsewhere in Pembrokeshire the bus driver was an older woman, originally from the north of England. Good to see some diversity in bus drivers. There was an older infirm lady, whom the bus driver patiently talked to the whole journey. We arrived at Strumble Head and set out, having admired the lighthouse again.
The countryside was far less dramatic than the last day I did, coming towards the lighthouse from the south. The cliffs are lower with lots of heather and gorse, but the excitement of the day was the quantity of seals near Carreg Wastad, bobbing on the waves.
Another interesting area was just west of Abergwaun, where the French landed an invasion force of some 1400 men in 1797. Legend has it that Jemima Nicholas, brandishing a pitchfork led a group of women from the town to the top of the headland, where their traditional red flannel petticoats led the French to believe that the redcoated militia was on its way. The intrepid women captured about a dozen drunk French soldiers, and locked them in the church. Jemima received a pension, and is a heroine in the town.
It was an easy walk of about 10 miles, although the final paved section into Abergwaun was a bit dull. We had fish and chips at the excellent Hook 31. Highly recommended. Our B and B is near Aberporth, which is nearly 30 miles away, and proved rather complicated to find, with a road that got narrower and narrower to the point where I was concerned that we’d get wedged between the hedgerows! Total distance just over 8 miles and a gold day – everything went smoothly!