UK on Foot travel blog

The dominant plant along the coast is a prickly shrub called gorst. It's a sort of cross between heather and scotch broom. It grows a foot or two high, but it also takes over fence lines to create hedge-like walls. In places, gorst hedge walls, as it were, are all that are between you on the path and a steep high cliff leading to the ocean. It has yellow flowers, and the locals say it blooms first in ths spring.

I needed those hedge like barriers yesterday. The wind was offshore, gusting strong, and from time to time it almost knocked me over. In some plces, there was no gorst, and I felt highly exposed and puny. In short, scared. I took off my hat so as to not have to worry about losing it to the wind. I also wrapped the straps of my trekking poles around my wrists to make sure the poles would stay with me. I walked bent over, and shuffled like a four-legged crab. What should have been a very pleasant walk became a bit of an endurance endeavor. Especially when I missed a sign at one point and wound up walking roads and secondary paths to find my way back to my route.

To top it off, I was carrying my rain coat on the outside of my pack, in theory for quick access. As I was passing a barbed wire fence, a gust of wind hit me, and when I steppe sideways to keep my balance, the coat got caught on the barbed wire. I have a v-shaped tear in my hood.

I made it to my destination, Newport. Instead of two nights there, I decided to stay only one and make my way to a city where I could do something about the coat and get some other items to have just in case.

So, I'm in Newcastle. Pleasant city, with a new pedestrian shopping area, and an outdoor shop with all I needed.

So, I have finished my sample of the Pembrokeshire Coast, and tomorrow I start the Hadrian's Wall path.

One naggingly frustrating thing about the trip is that I can't plan destinations based on saving money by finding cheap rooms. I have to stay on route and take what I can find, not regardless of cost of course, but something like that. But as I tell people who ask, after a trip I remember the trip, not the money.

For those who are curious, I walked four stages of the Coast trail, about 45 miles. All told, I've walked 18 days and about 180 miles.

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