Friday, August 30, 2013

Day 5: Final Day on the Pembroke Coastal Path/St. David's Pilgrimage

Again, today, we experienced the full gamut of weather during our 6-hour walk on our last day on the Pembroke Coastal Path: overcast; two minor rain squall--just enough to prompt putting on rain jackets for about as long as it took to get them out of our packs, put them on, and get our gear reloaded; lots of sea breezes bringing waves of mist almost like rain--enough to punk spike my hair; occasional sun--just enough to re-pinken my cheeks. Both of us had just the right gear for the conditions.
One of the scenic wonders was a beach with fist-sized rocks, matte-textured and colored light purple, light turquoise, and light blue; we didn't wet the stones to see the change in color intensity. The slate also changed from just black to magenta and to bright medium blue. The cliffs changed to include a more burnt-charcoal color and also fairly intense blue shadings.
We mostly hiked at the top of the ridges, although sufficient up/downs to keep our blood thumping. Fewer hedges offered the psychological barriers from steep precipices; later in the morning, some fencing appeared at the edge of the cliffs, but often we had no barrier between the narrow path and cliff edges.
One cove was exceptionally long and narrow; we walked the perimeter and then downward to the head and bottom of the cove and a small recreational park. This is the last week before school starts, so public areas are brimming with families. The public beaches offer wet suit rentals for all ages so that people can surf (small surf boards) and kayak; the beach areas are full of frolickers. We crossed the very old bridge, I changed my socks again (every two hours to prevent blisters--works like a charm), and then slogged to the top of the ridge. In the distance, we saw St. Non's chapel, where we stopped to admire an ancient chapel with exquisite stained glass windows. We both began to get weary by mid-afternoon, so we looked toward the next coves with curiosity about the final ascent. By 3:45, we had completed the 5-day Pembroke Coastal Path/St. David's Pilgrimage; called the assigned taxi cabby, Tony; and run minimal errands in town. at this moment, we are comfortably ensconced in the B&B for the evening.
I am thoroughly pleased with our trip. My left heel seems no worse for wear, and, perhaps even better with exercise. I feel physically strong and confident, which I haven't experienced since injuring my heel in mid-July in Spain. I am so glad to have achieved this goal in Wales. Joanne just looked over at me, grinning and exclaiming, "We did a good job!" We are both pleased, and we are both tired. Last night, we each felt sad that the hike was almost over. This evening, we are gratified, satisfied, and sated, for now. The rest of the Wales coast awaits.
Tomorrow morning, we take a train back to London. Tomorrow evening, we will hear a concert at St. Martin in the Field. We will spend the next couple of days seeing London's famous sights. This is my first trip to England, so I want to see places I have always heard about. More soon from Jolly Ol' England.
Love to all, Ann

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