Distance: 6.58 miles
Max Altitude: 98 m
Min Altitude: 4 m
Height Gain: 288 m
Height Loss: 255 m
Today’s theme is most definitely seals. Seals swimming, bobbing, sleeping, resting, flumping and frolicking.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s go back to the beginning.
I awoke to chunky sea fog which had descended upon Goodwick and made the visibility near zero. What a sight. I looked at the forecast and it promised that the fog would lift so I waited a couple of hours before leaving. No sense setting off when you can barely see your own hand.
Today was the day that I’d have to leave behind Chris and Richard’s wonderful hospitality. I had had a great time in their company, with many hours spent putting the world to rights too. It was a sorry goodbye and I felt sad as soon as I started walking. Thank you both so much!
So, a simple 5.5 miles on the Wales Coast Path to Pen Caer (Strumble Head) eh? Sounds like nothing, right? Wrong! It should have been entitled Struggle to Strumble. And yet it started out so positively overlooking the port.
Again, as with yesterday, the colours surrounding me seemed so vivid, almost hyper real. Should the water in a ferry port be this shade of luxurious turquoise at all? I marvelled at it.
Of course, I had the obligatory cannon to signal my farewell.
And with that I was off towards Pen Caer. It was difficult from the start. My feet pained me, it was muddy underfoot and the ups and downs were relentless. The whole time I was having to overcome the little voice in my head telling me to stop. It never seems far away these days.
I rounded a headland a couple of kilometres into the walk and spotted something moving in the water below. To my delight, it was a seal. It lifted my spirits and simultaneously had me cursing the fact that I didn’t have a better camera than my phone.
That black dot in the middle of the next photo is a seal. Honest.
And that’s how it went, pretty much until I stopped walking. Each cove I passed by had seal occupants enjoying various activities.
There were adults and babies, some more vocal than other side.
Some were swimming about, others were sleeping, while a large amount appeared to be just sunning themselves on rocks. A community of seals going about their business, whilst I had the privilege of looking on. These are sights I never thought I would witness.
I was so preoccupied with seal thoughts that I forgot to take a photo at Carregwastad of a stone marking where French soldiers had landed during the last invasion of Britain. When I realised my mistake, I couldn’t face walking back so here it is from afar.
Once again I was checking my GPS every few metres. The sign back at the start of my walk had said 5.5 miles but I was already on 6 miles, and every step agony. How much more?
I can’t tell you the relief I felt when I saw the lighthouse flashing in the distance. I had made it. It was 6.5 miles (yes, the sign was a liar!) and a comparatively shorter distance than usual but because of my mindset it had felt like 26.5 miles.
I resolved to regroup and refocus over the coming days.
Luckily I had an offer of accomodation nearby from my friend Laura at her parents’ house. And so that’s where I ended up being treated like a queen thanks to Elspeth and Len. I had a bath, food, drink and rest. Diolch i chi’ch dau!
I felt very fortunate indeed.