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The route begins on tarmac and immediately begins to climb. A view of the whole estuary opens out. The country lane rises to over 425 feet and is very steep at times. It seems a lot further than 3.5 miles to Alt-Y-Goed and we are very pleased to see the camping field.
The site is equipped with just a tap and we are the only campers. We pitch and cook dinner. Two hens and a cockerel run the full length of the field towards us and the cockerel proceeds to have his wicked way with the hens in front of the tent. These are followed, later, by three labrador puppies, probably allured by the smell of balti curry (I feel I should apologise to the chickens for the contents). Two of the puppies are well behaved but the third, who seems a bit retarded to me, almost has his nose in the cooking pot!
By now it is getting quite dark and we are pleased to settle down, leaving the puppies on guard outside.
Our goal today is Newport. It is overcast but there are clear views. It is quite windy but this we expect on a coastal path. We round Cemaes Head. The folds in the cliffs at Pen-Yr-Afr are quite spectacular and a disused coastguard station can be seen in the distance
We stop for a cup of tea around Pwllygranant. I have a leading store's “finest” chocolate doughnuts in my sack and have been looking forward to them all morning. They are awful - they taste like they are covered in cooking chocolate. I feed them to a slug who seems to quite enjoy them.
The scenery is magnificent as we approach Ceibwr Bay. The high cliffs are wild and beautiful. The weather improves and the sun manages to break through. We can see our destination in the far distance. We climb up and down, up and down, but it never seems to get any nearer!
We reach Ceibwr Bay which is the perfect spot for lunch. We cross the stream, which flows out to sea, by a plank footbridge, sit on the rocks by the deserted beach and contentedly munch our sandwiches.
Fulmers are said to nest on the rocks around here. We do see a few sea birds but too far away for positive identification. We stop for a while where the path to Treriffith meets the coastal path and are joined by some wild ponies. This takes us completely by surprise as we have heard no mention of them whilst researching the path. There are about a dozen, obviously led by the stallion in front. The ponies further along the path keep looking back and seem to want to leave but are waiting for the stallion's permission to go. On with the packs again and we continue along the path which undulates incessantly. In the guide book it says “remembered for changes in the vertical”. The cliffs here are over 500ft above sea level. Atlantic grey seals breed on the isolated beaches below but we are too high up to be able to spot any.
We have reached Morfa Head and are, by now, very tired. It has been a very strenuous day. We can see Newport sands ahead of us. So near in the horizontal plane yet it seems so far as we still have several more "ups and downs" before we get there. We have seen only one person on the path today.
We come across the small bay of Pen Pistyll about a mile from Newport Bridge. It has the added advantage of running water in the form of a small waterfall over the cliffs. We are so tired it is too good to pass by. I am not so sure it will be possible to put up the tent but Charlie is very resourceful. He anchors the tent to the cliff and secures the guys with the flat dinner plate stones that fill the bay after having first arranged them to make a fairly flat surface. I am also not sure about the high tide line which doesn't look that far away to me.
I cook dinner while Charl is putting up the tent and we eat as we watch the sun go down.
The sun disappears below the horizon and we turn in for the night to the sound of the waves. I am still a little concerned about the high tide line but Charl assures me it is ok. The sea sounds so much nearer in the dark! I start to drift off but hear movement in the tent. Charl is watching the tide come in with the torch. I smile to myself as a few minutes ago he was so confident but safe in this knowledge, I fall asleep.
Back on the cliffs, once more, and our destination for the day in the form of a caravan site on the cliffs can just be seen in the distance. We reach Aber Bach, an unspoilt bay with no road access. It is too good to walk by so we stop for a tea break and have the bay all to ourselves. Once back on the cliff top, the campsite begins to look a little nearer. The sunny intervals are more frequent now. Only a few more “ups and downs”.
We arrive at Aber Grugog and the campsite at 3.00pm. We manage to do our washing and dry it in the wind on the cliff top. We have seen some considerable wildlife today. We watched cormorants fishing, a young hen harrier accompanied by the pair and a colony of guilimots.
The road out of Goodwick is extremely steep. As we are concentrating on dragging ourselves and our packs up the hill, we completely miss the path off and end up touring the Pembrokeshire farming community. Eventually, we re-discover the path.
The day continues with the usual ups and downs and many coves and bays. Whilst looking for the path off to the campsite at Tresinwen we come across a small bay. It has all the facilities we need, a flat grassy bank to pitch the tent and a fresh water inlet - perfect. It is around 4.00pm. We sit on the bank in the sunshine and watch a seal in the bay. We see a bird of prey but it disappears too quickly to identify.
I cook dinner and we eat in the tent. We can hear the seal calling outside - wish I had a tin of sardines! I peer outside. It is just a small black dot in the sea! We are nearly out of gas. I hope we have enough to keep us in tea until we reach Trefin tomorrow.