Whitesands to Abercastle
What a fantastic day – really the best so far I think. We caught the Celtic Coaster from St. Davids to Whitesands and started walking about 9.30 am. The weather was very sunny and quite cool considering the time of year and moderately windy and stayed the same all the way round. Actually excellent weather for walking. The first part of the walk was to St. Davids Head, there are numerous paths here but we tried to follow the coastal one. Around the head and for a while afterwards the ground is quite rugged as there are numerous boulders to negotiate but there isn't much height difference. At St. Davids Head there is an old fort which is quite obvious because of the mounds of stones. There is also a neolithic rock sculpture called Coetan Arthur quite amazing – not to be missed although there were a few other rock formations that were quite amazing as well.
We came across an very large group of ponies busy eating the vegetation and one of them was ankle deep in a bog, gorging on what looked like chickweed!
The scenery all the way on the path was fantastic especially the cliffs and rock formations. Between Whitesands and Abereiddy (about 7 miles – there were no other places in between) the path had quite a few undulations but not too bad and one place where there was quite a long up hill. Abereiddy has a large car park (looks as though it is well used by camper vans for overnighting) with a refreshments van. From here to Abercastle the path is very easy on the whole mainly flat paths, quite a bit on wide grass areas but with the occasional sharp up and down but not very deep.
The path also went through Porthgain and Trefin before Abercastle. At each of these points we could have finished the walk and caught the bus.
At Abereiddy there is the remains of houses and a slate quarry, and higher up also the remains of a tramway that took the slate to Porthgain.
At Portgain we stopped for a drink at The Shed at the harbour. I went to the toilet and was plunged into darkness soon after I went in I couldn't find a light switch so went out and asked the waitress who said you have to wave your arms and the light would come on – I was obviously too short to trigger the sensor!
Portgain has a large harbour with the remains of large brick built warehouses and a very sheltered harbour.
Descending into Trefin there is a stone circle and a few other standing stones. At the seafront at Trefin is the remains of an old mill and a bit higher up remains of other industrial buildings.
The descent into Abercastle is quite beautiful there is a large stack at the entrance to the harbour and there were fishing boats picking up lobster creels. As you get to sea level you then traverse a natural path along the side of the harbour for some considerable distance. At the harbour we met someone from mid Wales who had walked at least from Fishguard that day with a heavy pack and he was hoping to camp at the site at Trefin so he still had some way to go. He looked very exhausted and said he was disappointed at the lack of shops so far as he had travelled south (he is doing the path in the other direction to us), but we were able to assure him that things got better after Newgale! Good luck to him.
We also met a couple from Belfast who had arrived in the area yesterday and although they weren't doing the whole path they were dipping into it here and there. We met a foreign couple as we were boarding the bus in St. Davids they were going to do the walk we did yesterday (but the other way around) and they had done the Abercastle to Abereiddy walk the day before so provided us with valuable information on how long it was likely to take and how difficult it was.
Another interesting person we met was a Dutch guy who enjoys walking lots of theses paths with his own equipment. He spoke at us for quite a time and then gave us a website to look up. Www.Pietsmulders.nl