Friday, 8 March 2002

Coastwalk , Pembrokeshire Coast Path

Dale → Pembroke Dock

[Oil tanker]

Distance: 19.0 miles
Ascent: 838 metres
Duration: 7 hours 4 minutes

An early start
« Westdale Bay | Pembroke »

Between Dale and Milford Haven, the coast path crosses two streams that can only be crossed two hours either side of low tide. It takes about two hours to walk between the crossings, so you have to leave Dale during the two hours before low tide if you want to avoid long road detours. Unfortunately for me, today's low tide was at about half seven in the morning.

It was an early start, but the roads were clear as I raced to Dale. I wasted no time, and made it across the first crossing easily. Worried about the second, I motored on, reaching the stepping stones in an hour and a half. Consequently I don't remember much of this part of the walk, although my photos show another abandoned fort, so I must have paused if only for a brief moment.

Across the second stream, the Sandyhaven Pill, I slowed down. The map shows this area to skirt round a disused oil refinery, and although the jetties remain, looking inland you'd not know it - the landscape remains gorse-covered heathland, the standard-issue Pembrokeshire form.

Finally dropping into Milford Haven town itself is where I made my usual classic mistake. "It's only lunchtime," I thought. "There's half the day yet to run. Why stop now?" (For some reason the fact that I'd been walking since 7am escaped me.)

And so I continued to Neyland. And then again, "Pembroke's only just over the bridge...". I'd managed to avoid looking at how far I'd have to walk to get up onto the Cleddau Bridge. Thankfully in Pembroke Dock I saw sense, found a supermarket and called for a taxi back to Dale. ("I'm going to the beach," the driver told his friends.)

Nineteen miles... is it the longest walk so far? Probably. I'm worn out. But delighted. Amroth is in sight.

Posted by pab at 22:13