Day 55: RAF Dale to just past Milton Haven

Another big day of about 20 miles was going well when high tide brought it to an abrupt stop.  At about 5:30 we had about 5 miles to go when we walked down a concrete road to be greeted by what was now a flooded boat ramp.  We could see the trail pick up on the other side of the water about 10 yards away, but had no way to get there.

The 5 mile “high tide alternate route” really wasn’t an option.  Seth came around the corner and asked what our plan was.  I shouted up to him “we’ll stand here waving our arms until a boat takes us across.  If that doesn’t happen we’ll camp in the field that we passed a half mile back.”  A few people sitting in their backyard heard my plan and laughed about it, but then decided it didn’t sound completely implausible, so they proceeded to help by waving their arms as well.

No more than 5 minutes later, a guy with a boat drove up and offered us a ride across.  We took off our shoes, waded out into the water and hopped in. After spending over a month staring out into the ocean looking at boats, we were finally riding in one.  He took us across the channel and we hopped out, thankful to be back on our way and not on a 5 mile detour.

After that, we hiked into town for food and set up camp on a nice grass field along the highway leading out of town.

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Day 54: Just past Nolton Haven to RAF Dale

I set my Alarm to go off early today.  With a goal of finishing the trail by Sept. 16th to get to Oktoberfest, we will need to average 18 miles a day from here on out.  At 6:45 I awoke to a rediculous conglomerate of waves, wind, and chirping birds… apparently my alarm was designed to emit soothing sounds to wake one up gracefully… whatever. 

As I struggled to wake up, the inevitable began.  It started raining … This makes at least 10 days in a row.  I rolled over and woke up 45 minutes later to a blue sky.  So I woke up the other guys and we got moving right away.  The hike was along gradual rolling hills next to some cliffs and rocky beaches.  At one point, I looked down a steep cliff to see a seal floating on the surface near the shore.  I watched him for a few minutes until he vanished under the water.

We hiked into the early evening, exceeding our goal of 18 miles by a mile or 2, until setting up camp next to some overgrown strips of concrete.  I checked the book and discovered that we had set up camp on a WWII airfield.  Pretty cool to think of the history that took place in what is now a cow pasture and for the night, my campsite.

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Day 53: WhiteSands to Just Past Nolton Haven

Finally, a day with absolutely no rain in the forecast.  We hung around the hostel all morning and then took off at around 11.  We had not been moving more than 2 minutes when out of nowhere a sudden burst of rain… It rained just long  enough to soak my boots before quitting for the rest of the day.  After that the weather was perfect.

We planned a long day despite the late start and thanks to the weather we reached our goal.   We made it about 18 miles before setting up camp and, thanks to Casey collecting and carrying wood all day, making our first fire of the trip.

Day 52: Porthgain to WhiteSands

This journal is starting to become more of a weather forecast than a hiking journal.  Last night we checked out the weather at it was going to rain overnight, and than again starting at noon.  Because of this, we decided to book a hostel for tonight. 

I woke up in the morning dry in my tent despite the rain that lasted most of the night.  As I was getting my stuff ready I noticed an incredible rainbow reaching all of the way down to the ocean.  5 minutes later it poured rain for about 30 seconds…  I figured that was the last of the rain as the sky had turned blue again, but as soon as I took my tent down I looked up to see another rainbow.

I awaited the imminent downpour as I packed up the rest of my gear as quick as I could.  Not quick enough however, as I stood in the pouring rain my collapsed tent was turning into a puddle.  But once again the rain was over in less than a minute.  I hiked the rest of the day with blue skies and beautiful trail.

About 11 miles later we reached the hostel.  It was an old farmhouse that had been restored very nicely, but  had no wifi… so Casey and I went into town for some Wifi and hot food while Seth stayed behind and raided the hostel’s mini-mart.

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Day 50: Fishguard to an amazing youth hostel overlooking the bae.

I woke up in my warm hostel bed and looked out the window to see a wet road  and a light drizzle.  I rolled over and decided I would try taking another look some time later.  Some time later I looked again to find a wet sidewalk but no drizzle, so I decided it was finally suitable hiking weather. 

Seth, Casey, and I got packed up, resupplied, and set off down the trail.  For the first time since Casey arrived, the sky was blue and the sun was shining. It was a quick 10 miles to the youth hostel that we were considering staying at.  When I saw the building sitting on the edge of the cliff I decided we had to stay.  The hostel is a lone beautiful mansion overlooking a massive rugged bay (or bae).

We  watched the sunset during dinner and enjoyed our 2nd consecutive night in dry warm beds.

Day 48 and 49: 7 miles past Cardigan to Fishguard

The past 2 days have been a blur.  A rainy, foggy, wet blur.  It has rained all night and well into the afternoon both today and yesterday.  We have been able to take advantage of the 3 to 4 hour gap in the rainfall that has happened each afternoon and have made it to town and found a hostel.  For the first time in over 48 hours, my feet are warm and dry.