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.