Distance: 12.5 miles
Ascent: 751 metres
Duration: 4 hours 53 minutes
After the firing ranges, back to the coast. After long road walks, back to steep frequent headlands and bays. Back to stunning views and exhausting days.
I left Bosherston via the pools. To be honest I didn't know whether St Govan's Head was closed due to range activity, but rather fancied cutting as much distance out as possible - my body is starting to give up.
But this is another beautiful section of the coast. The dunes in the early stages are a welcome change of scenery, but the other bays arches and cliffs are familiar. At Swanlake Bay, the view back across to Stackpole Head is nothing short of stunning.
Once again I was pretty much the only person on the path, leaving long lines of footprints in the sand as I took short-cuts across bays, although walking along West More Cliff I was surprised to pass someone in jeans, plugged into her tightly held Discman, taking in the scenery but otherwised closed to the world. For the previous two miles the one thought in my mind had been "I'm glad I'm walking in this direction" - I didn't much fancy tackling my descents as ascents.
Today was the first time I've been able to end my walk at the place I was staying. It was pure bliss to be able to slowly wind down over the last mile and head straight into the shower, rather than wait for an hour's bus ride then slowly drive home.
Update: 13 March 2003
As I sat down for dinner at the Youth Hostel (dinner! if that's an acceptable description of reconstituted freeze-dried rice and a jug of custard)... as I sat down, the girl I'd seen earlier on the path came in. She looked shattered. I suspect she'd walked further than I, and in far less appropriate clothes.
It turns out she was from America, and needed to get to the railway station (a couple of miles out) at eight this morning. I offered a lift, but she couldn't make her mind up. When I got up at seven this morning to check I found a note at the front desk: "To the man walking the coast path - thank you for your lift offer, I decided to go for the adventure. Good luck! Cheers, the indicisive girl (Lauren)".
Up until that point I'd not noticed we'd not exchanged names.
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