Hiking all day, part two

After lunch I took the bus to Solva, only a ten minute ride away, in order to walk back to St. Davids via the coastal path.  With the help of a hikerish-looking couple, I got off at the right one of three Solva stops (meanwhile, Solva is no bigger than a minute) and walked down along the harbor to the path.DSC01390

Up the steep steps I went, DSC01391then at the signpost I followed my guidebook and walked down a driveway.  Coming towards me was another hiker couple, the woman calling out, “Are you looking for the coast path?”  Turns out the signage is confusing, but a nice man at the bottom of the driveway redirected them and they kindly redirected me in turn.  Note to self:  look for the acorn if you want the coastal path, the hiker man is just a symbol for a random footpath.DSC01402

Here’s the view back over Solva Harbour.DSC01393

The terrain was very different from this morning.  The cliffs were still steep, and often eroded, and below there were rocks and arches and caves and foaming waves.  DSC01395But on the other side, rather than hills of heather, I saw fields and pastures and livestock.  It was a less dramatic walk (unless you looked over the cliffs’ edge to the eroding wall of earth and stone) but very satisfying anyway.

On the way down a hill, the path paralleled a pasture, and a herd of horses surged out of their field alongside me (but separated by the fence, thank goodness). DSC01403I spotted the helpful hikers and followed the path up to where they were enjoying a sandwich.  “You must be sightseeing,” the woman said briskly, “because this is not the path.”  I had blindly followed where my eye led me.  I told her I must have imprinted on her like a baby duckling and simply followed her, but she had no time for levity.  I backtracked, trying unsuccessfully to keep my dignity, and got back on the real path.

The next excitement was from a herd of horses scattered along the path farther along.  They paid me no mind as I quietly picked my way between them.  DSC01408Next up was a herd of big black cattle, who were so slow that I was able to exit before they got to where I was walking.  Only then, as I went through a gate, did I see this sign about taking care when farm animals are nigh.DSC01409

As  I got closer to St. Davids, the clouds lifted just a bit and a silvery light appeared over the water.  These are my attempts to capture it – better photographers and painters than I can give you a better view.DSC01412

By now I had been walking for about five hours and I was beginning to feel it.  I asked several people along the way how far it was to St. Non’s, my end point.  My favorite directions came from two hikers, one totally pierced, who looked it up in their guide book and informed me that it was just a few pages along!  At last I came to the sign for St. Non’s where a chapel and a retreat center mark where St. David is said to have been born.  I glanced into the chapel (built in 1937) DSC01413and then made my way down the lane and back to the B&B.  A quick shower and then we were off to dinner – at Bishops again, not great food but good for people-watching.

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