The route from Freshwater West to Bosherston is the only part of the route which does not follow the coastline due to the fact that the MOD (Ministry of Defence) has a firing zone here.
During the weekdays, the MOD uses the firing zone forcing hikers to take the alternate route which continues inland toward Bosherston.
However, on weekends, which fell on the first day or our hike, hikers can take the coastal route allowing for viewing of the Stack Rocks and St. Govan's chapel.
The first leg of our hike was to be inland along the B4319 road. As this was the only part of the route that wouldn't be along the coast, before walking along sheep fields and unremarkable scenery, we took a quick path onto the beach to see the ocean.
'Like any good Welshman, laverbread is part of my heritage' - Jonathan Williams
Laverbread is a food that comes from a type of seaweed which is dried, boiled (I think) and then minced or pureed into a gelatinous paste. It is then rolled with oatmeal and fried or served on toast, or used in various Welsh dishes. For more information go to the photo explanation on my Trover page.
On the road
The road inland was uneventful to say the least. Not that it was unpleasant, on the contrary, it was extremely enjoyable. I live in China, and any place, where I encounter wide open space without traffic and people crowding my thoughts, is a welcomed experience.
I must admit, the signs and observation building unnerved me. I was half-expecting to see the likes of Rommel and Patton commandeering squadrons of tanks across littered fields of smoldering metal hulks amidst the bombast of shells, exploding in the fields. But, there were no shells, no tanks, and no telltale sound of metal tracks in the distance. Yes, it was Sunday, and the firing range was closed. There was nothing to see, except one old stone house in the distance.
The greatest risk is really to take no risk at all. You've got to go out there, jump off the cliff, and take chances. - Patrick Warburton
I have always had a strange connection with high places. I have a healthy fear of them, but I am also drawn ever closer to them. And, when I get to the "edge", I have the strangest urge to jump off. Apparently, this is called "high place phenomenon", and is quite common. Still, I woke many times during the night, trembling slightly from the image of me stumbling over the edge.
Sometimes you have to go up really high to understand how small you really are. - Felix Baumgartner
You could feel the bottom rushing up from below like a siren calling your name. I was inhabited by the vision of all the crazy Celts who, during nights of drunken debauchery, had the foolish courage to take one step too far in answer to those sirens. Luckily, the rest of my party had more sense than that.
The day was a typical blustery fall day with mournful clouds painting an impressionist's horizon. It is on this kind of day where thoughts are pushed deeper into the mind; where questions mingle with dreams and fuse together into a portrait of singularity.
On the mountains of truth you can never climb in vain - Friedrich Nietzsche
By the time we had reached Huntsman's Leap, the sheer magnitude of the place had us in awe. The wealth of beauty and mystery drew itself around us like a protective shroud keeping that other world of day to day shenanigans far from our thoughts.
TRUE STRENGTH LIES IN SUBMISSION WHICH PERMITS ONE TO DEDICATE HIS LIFE, THROUGH DEVOTION, TO SOMETHING BEYOND HIMSELF. - HENRY MILLER
Although the present day St. Govan's Chapel dates back to the 13th century, the foundation where it is built might date back as far as the 6th century. The chapel is named after a monk, St. Govan, who chose to live in a cave at this location by the sea.
But, just not enough variety for my tastes. I could stay here for a week and then I would need a large supply of drugs and booze, high speed internet, a Netflix account and cable. A tavern nearby would also be nice, especially if it had a pool table, darts and Guinness on tap. Oh, fuck it, I would need an international airport too.
So it's been kind of a long road, but it was a good journey altogether. - Sidney Poitier
After a fairly long, but extremely pleasant hike, we arrived at Broad Haven South Beach. The beach and the Bosherston Lily Pools which we had to walk through to get back to Bosherston are part of the Stackpole Estate.
If I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes. - Charles Lindbergh
It was a great hike today, although the wind was a bit stiff and we dearly missed the company of Mark, my sister Jenn's husband. It was his birthday today and started the hike with us, but was stricken with a bit of food poisoning. Thankfully, he was okay and was able to hike the next 3 days with us.
For more information about Wales and the many trails please check out the link below.