Coastal Path

Coastal Path

Sunday, 15 April 2007

Now it is Over

Pat & I travelled back to Herefordshire on the Friday afternoon. Pats' foot is still not brilliant but she has been told that she will need to see her GP on Monday to see if they can say what exactly is wrong with it. She has been a real inspiration to me and I know she was very disappointed that she could not walk the remainder of the path after having walked so far. To do over 100 miles day after day is a real achievement and I hope she is still proud of what she has done. I wouldn't have even attempted the walk without her as many people said they would like to do it but no one apart from Pat said that they would actually do it with me, though I know that for many it was the time pressures of work and family commitments that prevented them.
Once back home everyone has commented how well I look and to be quite honest I feel really well. I feel that the walk has helped me not only to get stronger and fitter these last 3 weeks but it has enabled me to walk away from my illness and come home, as the person I was, before I was diagnosed with cancer. Everyone has been so welcoming, especially at church today and the readings for this Sunday in Easter matched perfectly how I feel at the moment - (Acts5 vs12-16 and then the response Psalm 117 Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his love has no end). Pat and I feel that we were truly blessed in so many ways on our "incredible journey" and it has strengthened our faith and taught us to trust in God even more, especially when we had to confront our fear of heights!
Now, Pat & I have to gather in our sponsorship money and work out how much we have collected. People have been incredibly generous but I know that it is not just our walk but the cause which so many people wish to support. I will update the blog once Pat and I know exactly how much we have raised and I will try and post a few of our own photos once my teenager has shown me how to do it!

Thursday, 12 April 2007

Day 19; Ceibwr to St Dogmaels - 7.1 miles

Made it!
Well, finally Liz has walked the last stage of the 186 mile path.
Liz is having a well deserved rest and will update the blog on her return home.

That posting was kindly made by my husband as Pat & I returned to Glenshane on St Annes Head on the Thursday and so had no access to a computer that evening. Hence I am currently writing up the last days walk. Marc Mordey , who we were staying with in Newport, kindly offered to walk with me the last day, as it was a stretch of the coast that he has not yet walked. The day was hazy but warm and Marc and I started our walk about 9.30am. Marc is a very talented photographer and with the incredible folds in the cliffs there was plenty of material for him. As we only had 7miles to do we were in no hurry. In fact I was almost sorry that I was finishing the walk as it had been a focus for such a long time now. The sun tried to break out but with little success. The first few miles were steep in places but whether I was becoming used to the cliff edges the heights were not bothering me as much as they had earlier in the walk. Just as we were finishing most of the cliff edge section of this walk Marc and I stopped for a lady coming the other way. We were both surprised when the lady in question took off her sunglasses when she saw us and said"hello Liz" in tones that I recognised as belonging to Marge Hayes. Marge has been a very great friend to my late parents and helped nurse me when I first came home from hospital 18months ago. The emotions welled up as it was Marge who had been there near the beginning of my illness and was now there to join me as I hoped to put my illness behind me. Introductions followed as she didn't know Marc and then the 3 of us walked the remainder of the path to Poppit sands. The plaque which marks the end of the walk is at Poppit Sands but the real finish is at St Dogmaels. We met up with Pat, Helen (Marcs' wife) and Rosemary and Mary at Poppit Sands for one lot of photos around the plaque and then the 3 walkers in the party carried onto St Dogmaels and the Ferry Inn for the real finish. It was very strange the last couple of miles because it is all road walking and not much like the other 180+ miles. We all met up again for more photos at the Ferry Inn and then had a light lunch. It was then time to say our goodbyes and for Pat and I to head off to Glenshane to collect the remainder of our kit and have a bit of a wind down. Marge had to travel all the way back to Hereford (2.5hours of driving which she had already done that morning - very much appreciated by Pat & I). Pat & I got to the house about 5.45pm where we washed before going to the pub for our supper. The first time in 3 weeks we had fish and chips as the whole time we were walking it didn't appeal to us at all despite our location on the coast! It seemed very surreal to be sitting in a pub and not to be thinking of the next days march or having to get on and make our sandwiches for our packed lunch!

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Day 18 Ceibwr to Newport 8 miles

Up a bit later but still managed to get out in the car before 9am and off to Ceibwr. I decided to do the path in reverse today as Marc & Helen had had to go and visit her sick Aunt in Oxford. I thought that by going to Ceibwr first I only had to be met down in Newport. I hoped that this would be a bit easier for Helens' family who were covering the lifts in their absence. Ceibwr was deserted when I got there despite the bright sunshine and warm air which made it feel like a summer morning rather than early April. I parked the car and started the walk up the road which is part of the coast path. Once out on the cliff edge it was a pretty thin path to begin with much to my concern. However the views were fantastic and in the morning shadow the cliffs looked even bigger. I dropped down to the Witch's cauldron which was very still in the calm morning air. 2 people were swimming in the stream that flows by there and their little terrier sat shivering on the steps down. By concentrating on the little dog I managed to keep my eyes off the drop on either side of the natural rock bridge that creates one side of the cauldron. It was then a steep climb up the other side. Most of the path ran close to the cliff edge. Before I climbed over the stile that warns how difficult and strenuous the walk is for the next few miles with no exit points I rang my husband!! He as usual gave me encouragement to carry on as he did through all the days of my chemo when I felt I couldn't do it any more. This was something that I thought of as I walked this stretch, as I really suffer vertigo, and I made myself put one foot in front of the other. I thought of friends & family who are having to undergo chemo, and the times when you feel you can't do it anymore, you sometimes have to dig deep and push yourself that bit extra and find that you can do it. This might sound not the most attractive walk but once again I was blest with brilliant weather and I felt that I was not alone on this walk, I just had to learn to trust God as I had done throughout the last 18 months. I felt that today I was meant to do this part on my own so that I could finish this walk physically and mentally stronger than I had started it. That I would face my fear of heights and still come through and with a smile (or was it a grimace?) on my face! The going was tough physically especially as my legs are now quite tired after the last few days. There were some ascents where you had to keep going to maintain the momentum on the loose stones even though your legs and lungs were asking for a break. Once again when I thought I was over the worst and the end not far the cliff doubled back in again and I was confronted by a very narrow path above a very sheer drop. A very kind lady walking with her dog to raise funds for an eczema charity kindly told me to be careful of the path ahead of me as it was quite dangerous in places. This really reassured me!! A couple of deep breaths and my eyes only looking at the path I managed to walk the next bit without falling to my hands and knees and just crawling along in tears, an option that did cross my mind! As I came down the hill to Newport Sands I felt very relieved and quite chuffed that I had done the walk. It was just 1pm as I came to the cafe by the sands and ordered my much needed and very welcome cup of tea. Pat came to meet me with Marianne and Rosemary and they kindly gave me alift back to my car. Pat and I then had a recce to check exactly where the end of the coast path really is. We evetually found the plaque at Poppit sands but from the National path literature we have to walk a further 1.3miles to the Ferry Inn at St Dogmaels to reach the real finish line. I can live with this end point, despite the long trawl along the road, because the pub looks very good as a final destination and place for a celebration.

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Day 17 Goodwick to Newport Iron Bridge 13.7 miles

Pat still not up to walking on the coast path so Marc kindly came along for part of this mornings' walk. Just before we set off I heard that my cousin Kim was also coming along to walk with me for the day as well. We all met up in the car park at Goodwick and once again started off in bright sunlight. As usual in the towns, the trail is not always clear to see, whether because signposts have come down or markings have been vandalised. Marc came with us to Fishguard and then had to turn back. Kim and I continued in the excellent weather and spent the walk catching up with all the family news. No doubt my blog tonight will be shorter than yesterdays as my jaw got as much exercise as my legs today walking with someone! Sorry Kim if your ears are worn thin after so many hours with me! Once around the old fort at Fishguard we were out into open countryside and again doing quite a few ups and downs from the cliff tops down to the little coves. We made it to Pwll-Gwaelod by lunchtime where the support team had persuaded the landlord of the pub there to look after food and water for Kim and I. For this reason I felt obliged to have half a bitter shandy rather than my usual cup of tea, which I have with Pat. It couldn't be helped though and slipped down very well after a long hot mornings walk. From Pwll-Gwaelod it was onto Cwm-yr-Eglwys which is another beautiful little bay where people were sea canoeing around the headlands in the glorious sunshine. From there it was a steep climb up out onto fields again. We then called into a number of very quiet but beautiful little coves, both with streams flowing through them that this time could be crossed by bridge. No risk of wet feet today! Just before Newport there were very high cliffs and not much between you and the edge. Thank God I had Kim with me and by chatting away not thinking about them I got past them without any fear. A good practise for the high cliffs I have to walk along tomorrow and Thursday. Once at Newport we walked along the beach before we hit the flat path that took us through trees to the iron bridge. Bluebells were just coming out in a few places along here. However, there has been no thrift in the last few days colouring the path pink as we had around St Davids. On arrival at the ironbridge about 4pm I gave Kim a lift back to his car and then it was back to the house for me for a cup of tea and a hot bath.

Monday, 9 April 2007

16th day Aber Mawr to Goodwick 12.8 miles

Up early today as I knew I had a long day ahead of me, with quite a few ascents and descents. The amount you walk up and down doesn't count only the mileage latitudinally so you can have a very hard day without seeming to have got very far! Mark showed me where to park the car in Goodwick and then he gave Pat and I a lift to Aber Mawr. Pat is still in some pain from her foot and so she must rest it still to see if it will improve for the finishing part of this walk. So Mark waked with me for the first part of the way today. It was another glorious morning of bright sunshine and the views were again spectacular. The start at 9.30am was not promising as at Aber Mawr quite a strong stream flows through the beach and there is no obvious way of crossing this stream without getting your feet wet right at the start of the day. With my poor balance from not feeling my feet much it was quite a challenge to balance on some rocks to get across. I have the advantage of reasonably long legs so could stretch more from one rock to another. As it was I still had to dip my boots in the stream to get across. Then it was up the hill and around a headland. We then came across some wild ponies grazing on the headland. I am a bit nervous around horses so I was pleased that Marc was still with me at this point, especially as they had grazed into the corner right by the stile! They soon moved and I crossed the stile to view a quite spectacular drop down and then back up again and it wasn't even 10 o'clock! Marc turned back at this point as he had a busy day ahead of him and needed to get back home. I was just grateful he had walked as far as he had with me. After that dip down it was then quite a scramble sometimes over large boulders. Alot of the scrub here had been burnt recently so the heavy scent of the gorse was interspersed with the smell of ash and smoke. It was a long climb up the ridge to get above Pwll Deri but the views were incredible, all the more so because I don't like heights and was very proud of what I had already achieved! I then had to press on to meet Pat at Strumble head car park. Once you have cleared Pwll Deri you think it can't be too far to this lighthouse as you can see it for quite a while but once again the path will cut back on itself into another small cove. I was also surprised that when you weren't on rocks you were sometimes picking your way through boggy patches. I must admit at this point I really missed Pat going "Oh, not Mud!!" By 12.20 I had finally made it to the car park to meet with the new support team. I was very impressed with Marianne who was the driver, Rosemary (our hosts elderly mother) and Pat. Marianne got to the right point at the right time. Rosemary fortuately had brought water (I had already got through a litre it was so hot) and then there was Pat!! Bless Pat, she really enjoyed my biscuits that I had carried for 6 miles in my rucksack! Why hadn't she brought her own? ( I am joking, Pat has been a brilliant sandwich maker and makes sure every morning that we are supplied for the day ahead). After enjoying my sarnies it was back to the long walk around to Goodwick. This was much quieter with fewer walkers about. I don't blame them it was a long afternoon of again with alot of ascents and descents. I met a very nice family whose son had walked the entire path at the age of 16 for some of his local charities. They happily told me it was going to get a lot harder before I finished! This really made me feel good! For the first time in days the sun clouded over in the afternoon, which was a blessing as I had only 1 water bottle with me (I couldn't find my 2nd bottle in the move to Newport). Into Goodwick the path was once again not very clearly marked but it wasn't too difficult to find the car. It was 4.30pm and I really fancied a refreshing cup of tea only to find that they had finished serving tea by the time I had tidied myself up. However, I did find the missing water bottle in the back of the car so was able to get some refreshment after all. I then drove back to Marc and Helens beautiful house where Pat made me a cup of tea. We enjoyed the sun in the garden before a relaxing bath and tea. Pat told me what an exhausting day she had had going out for lunch with Rosemary and Marianne,but she had spent the afternoon scouting out my route for tomorrow.
Joking apart Pat and I feel truly blessed with the wonderful people who have supported us and provided us with accomodation. Without their help we wouldn't be able to do what we are doing. These are the last few days of our "incredible journey" and Pat thinks I'm wonder woman! But I must point out I am not wearing sparkly knickers during this walk!!

Sunday, 8 April 2007

Day 15 Trevine to Aber Mawr 6.1 miles

Easter Sunday welcomed us with guess what? Bright sunshine in a cloudless sky! We all got up and had a light bite for breakfast before we went to the Easter Sunday service down in Dale village. The vicar is a lovely man and was in excellent voice for "Rolled the Stone away". Back to the house for an egg hunt, followed by a Polish Easter breakfast of cold meats, hard boiled eggs and cold salad dishes. We then packed ready for our next move to Newport. Once packed we all went to Trevine where I left the car at about 2pm and started the afternoon walk. Andy and the boys started the walk with me for about 1/4 of the way before they turned back. I then continued on my own whilst Andy took Pat and the boys onto Aber Mawr. Once again the views were beautiful and it was great to see so many people out and enjoying the countryside at its best. There was one beautiful point where the headland fields were just covered in bright little daisies amongst the fresh cropped grass which young lambs were playing in. Ahead of me the rising coastline kept reminding me that I had got some harder walking yet to do over the remaining days. I tried to put this to the back of my mind and just enjoy such another lovely day. It didn't take long before I arrived in Aber Mawr where I met Pat, Andy and the boys and shared a flask of coffee and some easter chocs. We then collected my car so that Pat and I could drive onto Newport. It was hard saying goodbye to the boys as they have come so far with us and we have all enjoyed each others company. Pat and I arrived at Newport at just after 6pm and were given a very warm and friendly welcome by Marc & Helen. They live in a fantastic spot called Penrallt Farm where they have a new working art studio which they have just opened to the public. ( The views here are incredible and I am sure are quite inspirational to them both. They made us a lovely meal which I enjoyed but I seemed to be the only one eating plenty of seconds. They said I needed to keep my energy up but I think I just enjoy my food! Well I had better sign off as I have an early start tomorrow as I plan to try and walk the 13 miles from Aber Mawr to Goodwick, all being well. Marc has kindly offered to help with transport which is very kind of him and a huge help especially with such a long day scheduled. Goodnight and happy Easter to all our family and friends from Liz & Pat

Saturday, 7 April 2007

Day 14: Whitesands to Trefin, 11.3 miles

With Pat's foot no better Daniel agreed to walk for her with me. He wanted an early start so that we would finish earlier. For this reason we were all up at just after 7am and out of the house before 8.30am. This meant that by the time we got to Whitesands Bay just outside of St Davids, and got ready and said our farewells it was 9.45am. Once again we set out in brilliant sunshine and not a cloud in the sky, with a fresh breeze blowing from the north east. Daniel had fresh legs from yesterday and so set a cracking pace which he maintained nearly all day. It was quite different walking from the earlier parts of the Pembs Path as the path was rockier rather than loose shale or trampled mud. In a few places, and especially up Carn Penberry, you had to clamber over rocks to climb up and down the path. This would have made Pats foot alot worse so I was glad that she was resting it as I didn't want her to do anything that could result in long term damage, which this stretch of walk might well have done. I was hoping to enjoy the highest point of the path on Carn Penberry but Daniel wanted to push on and meet the others for lunch at Abereiddy.
We managed to arrive there just after 1pm and had our lunch sitting by the Blue Lagoon (a flooded quarry). We were able to sit and watch people jumping I suppose about 40foot down into the lagoon while the tide was still deep enough for them to do it. Dan and Nathan both thought this was "cool" but I can't say I could watch with much enjoyment! After lunch Dan and I set off at his refreshed quick pace and got to the old harbour at Porthgain before the "support team" got there! It was all to do with a lady having dropped her bikini down the toilets at Abereiddy, which sounded some sort of tall story for them lounging around enjoying the brilliant sunshine and fantastic views. (Actually Andy and Nathan had walked some of the way from Abereiddy with us and I think it was so lovely that they must have walked nearly half way towards Porthgain with us). After a quick ice cream and drink, Dan and I once again waved goodbye and set off for Trefin where this time we were greeted by Nathan and Andy walking along the cliff path to meet us. From there it was back to the house where Andy miraculously conjured up yet another great meal for two tired walkers desite having done so much himself today to support us.
Another tale from the "support team" was that whilst Daniel and I were labouring away up over Carn Penberry, Pat and Nathan were left sitting enjoying the sun in St Davids in charge of the dog whilst Andy did some shopping. Next thing Pat and Nathan are looking at an empty collar and no dog to be seen! Andy comes back to find them frantically looking for the dog without success. He joins the search and down a nearby side street sees a dog tied up outside a cafe, the dog they are all looking for. The sensible dog had found an establishment that sold food and so had wandered in. The owner had then tied it up but could see it was our dog the way she was wagging her tail when Andy arrived! Dog must need feeding up or we have to get a new collar.

Friday, 6 April 2007

Day 13: Rest Day

Good Friday: In view of the fact that we had walked now for 12 consecutive days we decided we needed to have a rest day today. I slept right through until 8am and I hadn't realised how tired I was. The boys went off crabbing down in the village of Dale before an early lunch. We then all went to Mass for Good Friday in the church 1/2 an hour away in Haverfordwest. Then it was back for tea. While Andy cooked, I had a look at how we could revise the timetable to take account of our rest day and the change to our schedule. With the first stretch from Whitesands being steep in places Daniel has again agreed to do some of the walking for Pat so that she can join us on the latter stretch where it should be flatter and less rocky. The revised schedule is still being looked at as I type this report. Watch this space!

Day 12: St. Non's to Whitesands, 9miles

Maundy Thursday, 5th April: Another beautiful day of wall to wall sunshine so we donned our shorts and T Shirts for this one.(Made a mistake as the T Shirt was collarless and I forgot to put high factor sunscreen on my neck. Consequence was it got burnt. Whoops!) We didn't start walking til nearly 10.30am as the car journey is an hour. This is because as we have now walked all round the St Brides bay area, so we have to drive around the bay as there are no shorter direct routes, except by water. There were alot of people and families enjoying the sun and this stretch of the path. We tried a short cut by Treginnis to avoid the rocky headland and save Pats ankle which was causing her some difficulty. Unfortunately I only had my guidebook as I had lent Andy the ordinance survey map for finding his way by car to the next rendez-vous. It meant that the short cut might have added an extra mile and not saved us much of the headland as we came out just by the south end of Ramsey Island.There were still rocky bits of path and in one or two places we had to scrabble over rocks. As we had done a fair bit of walking Pat and I stopped for lunch by a pond just off the coast path and had our lunch sitting on a stile. We find these do provide useful seating as well as being a way to cross fences. However, we also like the gates when we are tired as they save our legs! We met Andy and the boys at St Justinians at about 2.30pm where they welcomed us once again with flasks of coffee or hot chocolate and some of my mother-in-laws wonderful chocolate wafer cake. Suitably refreshed Pat and I set off to do another hour of walking around another headland to Whitesands Bay. We found the boys there playing cricket on the beach which was still in glorious sunshine. This meant that we had to queue for awhile before we could get our italian ice cream from the van. A welcome refreshment as it had been a long day for Pat & I. This is now our 12th day of walking.

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Day 11: Newgale to St Non's Chapel, 10.5 miles

Once again the most fantastic weather with bright sunshine from dawn to dusk. Unfortunately Pat's weak ankle had worsened after the poor paths from Newgale to Nolton Haven and it was agreed that she really needed to rest it before she did any long term damage. Instead my 13 year old son Daniel agreed to do the walk with me from Newgale to Caerfai as he would be able to cope better with the steep ups and downs on this stretch of the path just out of Newgale. We started out about 10am and had a very successful mornings walk. We arrived at Solva just after 12am and had a relaxed lunch break with Pat, Andy and my other son Nathan. At 1.15 we all set off for the coast path out of Solva. Once we got up on the headland above the village the others returned to the car whilst Dan and I carried on. The views were spectacular as today there was no heat haze and we could see all the islands across St Brides Bay clearly. It seemed incredible to me that all that I was looking at I had walked in the previous 10 days. The path was much better from Solva to Caerfai. I lost some time as the end of one of my walking sticks had fallen off and I didn't notice for 20 mins.(Thank you Sue & Bis for the loan of your sticks without which I would never have managed. I am looking after them!). When I did notice I had to go back and look as the path was wide and firm, so the tip should be clearly visible and Dan thought he knew where it had happened. We found the tip and then retraced our steps getting to Caerfai at around 3.30pm. Pat felt that she wanted to walk a bit more so that her foot wouldn't stiffen up so she and I walked onto St Non's chapel which was just around the next headland. It is a most beautiful spot and the chapel was very peaceful. Pat and I walked down to the Holy well where we bathed our feet in the cool waters, as the waters are supposed to help infirmities. It was such a wonderful afternoon we all sat on the slate bench outside the retreat house, out of he cold north easterly wind and just enjoyed the beauty around us.
Whether it is the cold waters of the Holy well, my feet are not throbbing for the first time in days!

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Day 10: Newgale - Little Haven 7.5 miles

Tuesday started sunny but colder than yesterday and we decided to do the walk in reverse to ensure we had the wind at our backs. The way along the path between Newgale and Druidston was very hard, walking along a very loose and tricky path was a bit of a strain on Pat's weak foot. We walked along the beach between Broad Haven and Little Haven. We stopped at the Mariner's Inn for water (honest!) but it was such a gloomy place we were glad to get out of there! The fantastic views along the whole of St Bride's Bay made up for the gloom. We finished at 3pm today as we were very tired after walking continuously for 10 days and covering over 100 miles. We have been truly blessed and when things have got hard, our prayers have always been answered. We are very grateful for all the support and extremely pleased that donations are continuing to flood in. We were on BBC Hereford & Worcester this morning, plugging the walk and this blog. There are some tough days ahead so please continue your prayers for us - best wishes, Liz, Pat and the support team.

Day 9: Marloes Sands - Little Haven, 11.6 miles

This was a bright, sunny, Monday morning - we have been blessed with the weather and we set off round the deer park towards Martin's Haven. Just as we left we had sight of the Dale Princess coming into the bay. Dan walked with us today. It was hard going from Martin's Haven to St Brides but the journey was broken for lunch which we shared with Andy and Nathan who brought hot chocolate and coffee which was much appreciated! We all continued together to Mill Haven where Andy and Nathan went off to collect the car. Pat, Daniel and I continued to Little Haven accompanied by a very cold wind but on our arrival we enjoyed a delicious home-made cream tea at the castle. There, sheltered from the wind, it was warm and sunny we took time to admire a cloudless blue sky.

Day 8: April Fools Day, Lindsway Bay to Marloes Sands, 12.5 miles

Palm Sunday and a 9.15 start - that's a 15 minute lie in! The first challenge involved dodging the tides beffore crossing Little Bridge at the Gann and into Dale Village, arriving for toast and cake at 11am. We pressed onto St Anne's Head with a few ups and downs in and out of the bays. The wind strengthened throughout the day. Then came a text from the boys who said they had forgotten the dog and had gone back to Hereford to collect it. At 1pm we arrived at the house for lunch only to find the boys were still there shouting APRIL FOOL!! We had lunch with the boys and feeling refreshed we went from St Anne's towards West Dale accompanied by Nathan and then onto the old airfield at Marloes Sands. We met Dan and Andy at the Youth Hostel for the lift home at the end of our the day - we would really have appreciated a donkey ride had one been available!

Day 7: Neyland to Lindsway, 13 miles

Due to a technical hitch the blog has got a bit behind, but after a phone call from Liz tonight, here is the update - all errors and spelling mistakes are my own work! Shric

Saturday started early with a lift from John Reynolds of the Dale Sailing Company, down to Neyland Marina for a 9am start. We were offered a lift in the Dale Princess but Andy said it wouldn't have counted, which was a shame because we would have completed this stage in a fraction of the time with very little effort! Tea and toast were taken at the marina on a beautiful morning and it was a lovely walk despite the presence of the oil refineries. Pat had a close shave with a speeding car on the bend near Black Bridge. We stopped for lunch at Milford Haven whilst sitting on the Rath enjoying the views overlooking the haven. After lunch we pressed hard on to Sandy Haven before the tide came in and covered the stepping stones - we got there with just half an hour to spare! After a welcome cup of tea we continued walking to St Ishmaels where we arrived at 4pm with tired feet and a cold wind. There Di Ferris picked us up in the car and drove us home.

Friday, 30 March 2007

Day 6: Hundelton to Neyland Bridge, 8 miles

Walked this section in the reverse direction !!
Started at Neyland Marina walked across Cleddau Bridge to Pembroke Docks, weather was cold and showery. Some acorn signs were missing and got a bit lost but eventually found our way to Pembroke. Walked past Pembroke castle where we stopped for a cup of tea. Fortunately the weather brightened-up and finished the walk in warm sunshine.

Thursday, 29 March 2007

Day 5: Angle to Hundelton, 9 mls

Woke to be greeted by rain and sleet!! Going is quite hard with cold Northly wind. Weather is a mixture of sun, rain and sleet. Hard going, so glad its a shorter day - finished at 3pm but still approx. 4 miles ahead of schedule. Total mileage walked so far is 51 miles - over 1/4 of the way!!

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Day 4: Freshwater West to Angle, 13 miles

Walked along the road to begin with till we got to Fresh Water West. From there the coastal path along the cliffs had lots of steep ups and downs. Because of the cold we could not stop for many breaks and had a quick lunch. Mist started to close around us in the afternoon. We could hear the fog horn on Saint Anne's Head. After Sheep Island the wind became really cold. We were looking forward to a cup of tea at the café but it was closed. Got to West Angle at 3:00pm and decided to do another hours walk as the mist was lifting. Went round Angle peninsular to finish by the church in Angle village. Today's distance was 13 miles! No wonder we're feeling tired!!

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Days 2 and 3

Weather still is very kind to us. Having to use factor 30 sun-screen. Quite a few steep sections but managing a steady pace and covered the 11.6 miles from Tenby to Fresh Water East in 7 hours. Rewarded ourselves by having dinner at a local pub!
Day 3 another super day. Fortunately no firing at the MOD range at Castle Martin, so we able to follow the coastal route and avoid the roads. Feeling good, magnificent views extended todays walk by 1 mile and finished at Castle Martin.

Monday, 26 March 2007

Good Weather So Far

26 March 2007
Good Weather So Far!
It is now nearly 10.30 p.m. and, after a busy day cleaning out calf sheds, I am not at my best to figure out this "blogging" business. So far we have set up our Google account and have managed to access the Pembs Coastal Path blog. Just don't know if this will get posted to it or not!
It was great to read about the first day's walk etc. I think I could get quite addicted to this blogging. What wonderful weather for the first two days. I have decided that, rain or shine, if you walk the St.Anne's Head stretch (say half a mile nearest Glenshane) in trousers, jumper, etc., we will donate £10. If you are wearing shorts, the donation will be increased to £20 and if you wear a bikini (both top and bottom) we will donate £50!!! Good luck Liz and Pat. Look forward to reading your blog again. From Helen, Jon, Rebecca and Edward.

Sunday, 25 March 2007

First Day, Amroth to Tenby, 25/03/07

First day started at eleven o'clock from Amroth. Andy and Nathan joined us as we started the walk by drinking a toast with sparkling fruit juice! Dan could not join us because he was attend a sea-cadets weekend in Pershore and achieved his basic expedition training award. Weather dry but chilly, easterly wind which fortunately was behind us. Going was quite hard as there were quite a few steep ascents and descents-but good preparation for later stages of the walk. Afternoon was sunny and bright, already lots of early spring flowers out to decorate the walk. Looking forward to a nice hot bath tonight and tomorrow ten mile walk which should be a lot flatter.

Thursday, 22 March 2007

Another Busy Day

Today started at the early hour of 6.30am when I had to get up as people were coming from local radio to interview Pat and I about our walk. We hope that this will encourage a wider number of people to sponsor us. We already have over £1,000 in sponsorship which we are thrilled with but every little helps and will mean that the new unit would be one step closer. I so want this to happen in Hereford, especially for all the Mums and Dads who have to travel and don't get home until well after their children. It is upsetting enough for their children to see them ill but for them to come home to an empty house is even more distressing than if they could come home to Mum/Dad resting on the settee or sleeping up in bed. For them to see you get home and then be sick all over the drive/flowerbeds before they can even say hello shouldn't have to happen. I am sorry I have got onto this as I try and stay upbeat and forget about the bad days and just enjoy each day as it comes.
The girl Katie from local radio was lovely and very relaxed. The children weren't silly and so the recording seemed to go well. The rest of the morning was spent dashing around trying to sort out all those last minute bits and pieces and making all those phone calls I should have made a week ago. I had a number of people call and make a few more donations and a couple phoned me to increase the amount of their donation. I met my lovely friend Marg for lunch, whose family live in Pembs and who are really wonderful people. Marg is looking really well having been ill herself this last year but instead of pounding the paths of Pembrokeshire she has the sense to go and visit her daughter in Thailand for a few weeks. I know she has already looked at the blog so if you are reading this Marg "Have a great time, you and the family deserve this. I think you had a much better idea than me!"
Spent afternoon dashing around a bit more, until my fantastic in-laws arrived. My husbands parents have come regularly all the way from London to come and look after me when I was ill. I couldn't ask for more kind, generous and loving people and without them the struggle would have been so much harder for my husband and the boys. I know that they found it hard to see the impact the treatment was having on me but still they came.
Well after a busy day I still don't seem to have got half the things done that I should have. Worse still I am sat at the computer when I should be finishing sorting out my packing and putting dubbin on my boots! Au revoir.

Monday, 19 March 2007

Last training Monday

Woke to cold weather with snow flurries, strong winds and wet ground. Quite different from the weather we had last week. Wrapped up well and met Pat to go out training just after 9am with my youngest sister. Pat and I didn't fancy the sea of mud she took us through last time so instead she took us another route up the hill at the back of her house. We avoided the mud by having to walk up a logging track which was very wet and then scrambling the last few yards up the top nearly on our hands and knees! Pat and I were both worried as at this late stage we didn't want to slip and injure ourselves in any way but my sister assured us we would be fine - which we were, much to our surprise! We then walked along the ridge and to the top of the 50 steps which we then went up and down twice before heading back for a warming cup of tea. We would have done more but my sister had to be elsewhere for 11am and Pat and I needed to get back and start getting things sorted ready for packing.

Sunday, 18 March 2007

Good Luck!

Hi Liz, I think you should take an umbrella and a compass as well as the sun cream! We all wish you a safe and happy walk, 186 miles will be some feat and wearing on the feet, especially after all you have been through. Good luck with your preparations this week.We look forward to reading about your progress and exploits on this blog, so good luck from us all!
One week today and I will have done my first days walk, which I find a bit scary! This time last year my legs had been severely weakened by the chemo and steroids and I struggled to get around, especially climbing stairs, which I could only do by clinging onto the bannister. Now I am planning to walk up and down cliff paths, albeit with the help of walking poles and my walking companion and friend Pat! The weather today here has been a real mixture of sunshine, sleet, hail and even snow flurries, with a very cold strong wind, nothing to make the walk appear particularly appealing.

As it was Mothering Sunday my husband and boys spoilt me, before we set off for Sunday Mass, where I was given alot of encouragement and support, as well as further sponsorship. I now have over £1,000 pledged and so there is no turning back. I need to go and check my kit for the walk and make a list of things I need to get, (ie sunscreen) as there are not many days to get things sorted. I also need to phone Pat as we need to sort out our training walk tomorrow. I think we will be going up and down steps again to prepare us for all the ascents/descents we will need to do on the walk. Had better get on!