DAY 1: Angle to Manorbier (27 miles)
DAY 1 – decent weather – hooray – blue skies & sunshine, albeit a tad blustery. My initial attempt to start in Angle was defeated by the high-tide, which meant that I had to run circa 1.0 / 1.5 miles to get to the start! Then to Freshwater West (Cafe Mor http://www.beachfood.co.uk/cafemor.php – 10 minute stop – coffee & brownie, where I met Jackie & Alasdair); onward to CastleMartin and (because it was open at the weekend) the artillery range, through to Broad Haven (National Trust car park), where I had a sandwich lunch & soup. Then crossed glorious Broadhaven beach onward to the quiet and secluded Barafundle Bay (beach). Then Stackpole Quay, Freshwater East through to the carpark below Manorbier castle. The stretch from Stackpole Quay to Manorbier was undulating: up and down, up and down, but at least the weather had been kinder!
DAY 2: Manorbier to Laugharne (26 miles)
I had spotted on the weather forecast the night before that forceful winds would be travelling south-north from the channel, through the South-West and up into South Wales. Little did I realise that I would be running into full-on, head-winds for the entire day.
At Lydstep point I was literally being blown backwards! It was good to get to Tenby and have some respite from the constant, constant forceful winds. This meant getting into Jackie’s “team Clio” car for 15 minutes to have some soup, whilst the car itself was being buffeted. The coastal footpath terrain out of Tenby was pretty aggressive. It was poignant, pausing for a moment on the coastal footpath and looking out towards Monkstone Point. Lynne had mentioned the night before that this was one of Tony’s (TJ) favourite spots for fishing.
Because of the constant battering of the wind, I grabbed a coffee in Saundersfoot. A lady in the coffee shop noticed the #MoonShadowWales yellow cover and asked (via her daughter) what I was doing. I explained that I was running around the entire perimeter of Wales (circa 1,030 miles) to raise money for #MND research. Purely accidentally, she commented that her late mother had succumbed to MND and subsequently texted a donation – thank you so much. Post coffee, I ran on to Amroth via Wiseman’s Bridge. My son Alasdair reminded me that Amroth is the official end of the #Pembrokeshirecoastalfootpath – some 186 miles – and congratulated me on reaching this milestone after 6.5 weekend days running (in all weathers!).
To the east of Amroth, I ran across the wind swept beach of Marros Sands. Such was the ferocity of the wind passing my ears that I could not hear the music I was playing on my nano. I had one idle thought that the ferocity of the winds hour after hour might cause deafness because it was so loud and thunderous. Anyway, onward rounding Ragwen Point & Gilman Point to Pendine. I had to go indoors into the shelter for a moment to read my map, out of the wind. The footpath then moved inland to bypass the coastal MOD land (Pendine Sands & Laugharne Burrows), passing through Llanmiloe & Plashett to Laugharne. I cannot tell you what a joy it was to arrive in Laugharne carpark adjacent to the castle, greeted by Jackie, Alasdair and Lynne. The attritional nature of the windy weather today had got to me so I was pleased & relieved & glad to finish.