97. Trefdraeth (Newport) – Wdig (Goodwick)

97. Trefdraeth (Newport) – Wdig (Goodwick)

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If I hadn’t slept well the night before last then last night certainly made up for it. I had virtually passed out at Chris and Richard’s house – I will never underestimate shelter, warmth and comfort ever again.

After breakfast I rejoined the Wales Coast Path at Trefdraeth. My intention was to have a quick bite at the Morawelon pub before setting off but it was shut, so on I walked. The tide was in so had a few sections which had to go inland.

It was one of those strange weather days on the coast. A light mist danced in the air making visibility poor, yet it was warm and muggy at the same time. Like walking into a bathroom after someone has had a shower.

Ynys Dinas (it’s not really an island though, but a peninsula) up ahead was shrouded in cloud. I made the decision not to circumnavigate it in such poor visibility.

Behind me though, the mist had risen to reveal the stunning colours of the surroundings.

I was making pretty good progress and was soon at the tiny beach of Aber Rhigian. I debated whether to stop but after a few moments elected to push ahead.

The sea glistened. The colour looked almost fake, like someone had coloured it in with a chunky crayon.

Aber Fforest was the next beach where I did stop to have a drink from the little stream. There were two older couples there with their dogs, Helga the German Shepherd and Lily a non-descript woolly one. If I had closed my eyes and just listened to the conversation, I could have sworn they were human children being spoken about, not dogs.

Cwm-yr-Eglwys was my next port of call. I had been looking forward to arriving here because my guide book promised a snack van. Indeed, there it was so I got my money ready and strode up to it. When I got to the window I saw that it was closed. Monday really isn’t the best day to be walking on any of the Wales Coast Path when it comes to food places. So many seem to be shut.

Well, there was consolation to be found in the St Brynach church. Not for religious reasons, mind you, but for historical ones. Only the belfry and west wall remain of this building. The rest was destroyed in the Royal Charter storm of 1859, the effects of which I learnt about on Ynys Môn in Moelfre.

I had a lie down on a bench so that I could raise my feet above my heart for a while. My view was eerie.

It was in Cwm-yr-Eglwys that the Wales Coast Path split into two. One way sends you around Ynys Dinas, the other is a wheelchair accessible route that takes you to Pwllgwaelod. So I chose the latter, having made the decision earlier on in the day. On the flat, smooth path I got to Pwllgwaelod in no time, and just ready for lunch.

The cheapest thing on the menu at the Old Sailors pub was a £5 cheese sandwich, so that’s what I had, reluctantly. To rub salt in the wound, my phone did something to delete the entire morning’s GPS mapping, meaning my journey from Trefdraeth had been wiped out and created a dreaded gap in my cherished stats. Ah well….

It was good to rest my feet though. Plus you can never underestimate the glory of a simple loo while you’re walking a trail all day along.

On I continued. The ups and downs seemed to get much worse after Pwllgwaelod and I was suddenly glad of my sandwich.

A thin mist still hung in the air. Up ahead, I could just about make out the port of Abergwaun (Fishguard) in the distance. There was a ferry in port.

Flagging already despite my nourishment I had a quick sit down at Aber Bach. Somebody had left this stone sculpture there.

The trail suddenly became very muddy and challenging underfoot.

The ups and downs also continued. My knees were not happy with this situation.

Everywhere I looked there were interesting rock formations to spot.

Finally, I arrived at the edge of Abergwaun, at the old fort.

I descended into Cwm Abergwaun (Lower Town).

I stumbled about on my painful feet looking at the community art.

And the cannons. They do love a cannon here.

What is interesting about Abergwaun is the fact that it was the setting for the last invasion of Britain. I’m sure that most people would think it was Pevensey or Hastings or whatnot. But no, the last one occurred in 1797 and right here to boot. Yes it was a failed invasion but an invasion it was nonetheless. The very cannons I encountered at the old fort had been used to fire blanks at the French ships.

I don’t think any of this is terribly well known or publicised beyond the local area. I only know about it because my mother used to tell me the story. I particularly loved the part about a heroine called Jemima Niclas rounding up a group of French soldiers with a pitch fork and holding them captive until a surrender was given at the Royal Oak pub (which is still open for business in the town).

Another thing which isn’t terribly well publicised is the fact that the longest tapestry in Europe, which tells this epic tale, is housed in the town hall. Yes, it’s longer than the Bayeux Tapestry!

Even if you’re not into your needlework you can’t help but be blown away by the amount of planning, creativity and hard graft that went into making this tapestry. I just wish more people knew about it.

My journey through Abergwaun continued. Goodwick is a very short distance away. On the surface of the Marine Walk path, I spotted this plea for forgiveness. I’d love to know the story behind it!

And with that, I arrived in Goodwick which is where the Stena Line ferry port is located. Sorry, Fishguard, but you know it and I know it…the port is quite clearly in Goodwick!

It was to be my stopping point for the day. That evening, Richard, Chris and I had a farewell meal at the Royal Oak. It was the perfect setting. Tomorrow I would have to bid them both a sorry farewell.

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