Day 124 – Porth Gain to Strumble Head 18 June 2021

Day 124 – Porth Gain to Strumble Head 18 June 2021

Marker on north-east cliff, Porth Gain.

I parked at Strumble Head Lighthouse and waited for ages for the taxi booked to collect me. He had asked me which carpark, and I said the one by the lighthouse, but no sign of anyone and no phone signal. Some kind people offered to phone when they got within signal, and eventually the taxi turned up. Apparently, there is a second car park, but I definitely said the one nearest. The journey to Porth Gain took ages, and then he sprang a large surcharge on me, claiming it was required by Pembrokeshire County Council.  At the time, I paid up, but thinking it over during the day, I think I’ve been scammed…oh well.

I’d planned to have breakfast at the Sloop Inn, but, rather than the juicy bacon bap I had been fantasising about, they only had pastries. Nice, but not the full-on breakfast I like to have before a walk. Today, although equally sunny, was much windier than yesterday – in fact, I couldn’t keep my hat on, despite it having attractive strings that set it off elegantly.  I had a clearer sight today of the marker beacons around Porth Gain, for directing shipping. The scenery was similar to yesterday afternoon, but the path was much quieter.  The first place of any note was Trefin, where there was once a mill, and the ruins and the little bridge over the millstream are very picturesque.

Ruins of mill at Trefin.

After Trefin, there is the lovely little port of Abercastell then Abermawr, another long beach, although this one is pebbly rather than sandy, then Aberbach. (Aber is the Welsh term for river mouth or estuary).

Abercastell.

On the whole the cliff tops seem to be getting flatter, with very steep craggy sides, and as I noted yesterday, there are few trees. Coastal erosion is very obvious along this stretch, with walls close to the cliff edge, and quite a few places where fencing dangles over a steep drop. Although today was shorter, it felt much longer, partly because, once I could see the lighthouse, I felt I should be getting close, but there were so many inlets to walk around that it often felt like it was getting further away.  I passed a few wild ponies, just before a slightly tricky scramble, which I fondly thought would bring me close to the end point, but when I reached the top, I discovered another whole headland to get around.

Cliff erosion.

Still lots of wonderful wildflowers, although not so many as yesterday.  As I tootled along, I was turning over in my mind the birds I had seen and regretting not having seen any choughs. Weirdly, I looked around, and there was a chough immediately in front of me. I can’t quite decide whether I had heard it (although I wouldn’t have expected to recognise its call) or had caught sight of it unconsciously and my brain then presented me with the idea of choughs. Or something more spooky. Sadly, thinking about winning the lottery has failed to present me with a winning ticket immediately thereafter so I should probably discount any supernatural powers of seeing the future.    

Chough.

The wind dropped off a bit, and altogether, it was another fabulous day, although by the end I was quite tired.  I finished off the holiday with fantastic fish and chips in Fishguard.

14 miles.

Gold