Hike/run in Pembrokeshire

By | 4th October 2011

While we were on holiday in Pembrokeshire I took off for a day with a small bag, my heart-rate monitor and my bare feet.

I had worked out a route to take me inland and then loop back to the coast at Manorbier and then planned to take the Pembroke Coast Path back to Tenby where we were staying. I only roughly estimated the distance, and underestimated by a few miles.

I had planned to mostly hike, but exuberance got the better of me and I took off at a trot. My first hurdle was that some of the hedges along the footpaths had been cut back and the paths were littered with bits of bramble and holly leaves. Challenging, but my feet coped admirably. A few bit stuck in, but soon pulled out and my dancing feet avoided most of the hazards.

After leaving a road into grassy fields I lost the path and ended up leaping around through long grass (thistles and nettles hiding) trying to find my way back to the path.

One of my obstacles was a drinking trough, which was a clue I probably wasn’t on the right path.

Surely the path doesn't go through there?

Eventually, I found the path, but it was pretty overgrown and very muddy. I got into a bit of a rhythm and felt like Erwan Le Corre at times.

In places, the path had wooden sleepers embedded in the mud.

I had survived the light rain and the weather was brightening by the time I emerged into the village of St Florence, where I got my first two comments. “Oh, your poor feet!” from an elderly lady I trotted past, and “You’ve lost your shoes, boy” from an oldish gent. “Yeah, I left them in a bog” was my response, for some reason. I guess the mud was still uppermost in my mind.

After a brief pause in the village to look at the church and read a little about where I was, I headed up the (very muddy) track to start the climb up to the Ridgeway.

It's amazing how easily it all comes off in wet grass.

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