I pretty much slept for the first 24 hrs on my stay at the caravan in Pendine, my feet were sore with blister having taken hold due to the wet and warmth. I took a day or so rest before deciding on my the next leg of my run.
My Original plan would of been to run the last 30 miles or so in one go, but knowing the uppy and downy nature of the path doing it in sections back towards Milford Haven was a much better idea, today I would run from Pendine Sands to Tenby and RV with family for some time on the beach and a paddle in the sea, 6 am came and off I set into the darkness, the days are now getting shorter and dawn comes later and night arrives earlier. I climb up the familiar path of Out Pendine and looking back was treated to a spectacular sunrise across the bay, this is the best place I have seen the sunrise so far.
The whole coast here is dotted with history, iron age forts, earth works, caves and WW2 remnants making the journey more interesting than others, there are also secrets hidden through the area, such as the hidden beach where DD was practised in great secrecy. The weather was far more appropriate, a gentle breeze cooled my body from the warming sun and made for a very pleasant run. I passed into Amroth quickly and by he castle which is really a fancy 18th Century house and onward to Saundersfoot, the terrain had change significantly, gone were the rugged and rather steep climbs of the northern section, to be replaces with a more gentler undulating grassy fields and long sandy beaches. I wasn’t complaining mind, it did make a nice change of scenery and I was able to get a good and steady pace on.
Saundersfoot held a long and sandy beach with many an early morning walker and runner taking up the opportunity to cross the flat and sandy beach, I must admit I got a little lost when trying to leave and ended up on the harbour area, re routed off I went up the pavement road and then onto the coastal path again. The route took a delicious turn when it started to mix with woodland trails, the kind you see whilst watching an American travel programme, the sun filtered wonderfully through the canopy of mixed native species.
I had it all pretty much to myself as I wound my way through the pathway, rocky outcrops and tree routes creating my favourite type of trail running terrain, quick, twisty and technical. I passed a few other runners out for early morning run and each greeted cheerfully. I began a quick climb out of the confines of the woodlands paths and onto open farmland of Trevayne, a few more footsteps across fields and once I hit the hill overlooking Waterwynch Bay, I was met with a wonderful view of Tenby, the many colourful and cosy seaside homes gleaming in the morning sun.
I sat for a few moments overlooking the town, taking in the view as a father and son plodded slowly up the hill and the way that I came, I set off at a slow canter and down the hills and into Tenby itself, runners and walkers made their way in the morning as I searched out food, pasty and tea was taken overlooking South Beach as I attempted to fend of seagulls and pigeons. I was earlier than expected for my RV, I had covered 11 miles but felt that I could do much more, so not wanting to waste a few hours, I hopped aboard the Ferry and took myself over to Caldey Island.
This seemed more adventurous than previous parks and one I thoroughly was enjoying, the ferry left Tenby and took some 20 mins to makes its way across the calm and welcoming sea.
Caldey Island has a recorded history of some 1500 years being a centre of great religious importance, but its history goes back further into the stone age with remains of people and tools being found in caves on the island, the island itself is part of the national park so it was only right that I ran it as well. departing the boat I set off at a gentle trot, passing people who really were not used to seeing people run there, I felt at the time that I was the only person to have run this island as I ventured over to Caldey point and a secret cove with a treasure legend no less.
I backtracked through a lovely wood, a rat eradication program here means that red squirrels now occupy parts of the area, I didn’t see any unfortunately, but the many buildings and churches made up for this. I ran towards the lighthouse taking a few moments for selfies before following a general route along cliff edges and stunning views of the coastline, walkers were passed and this side became much quieter away from the crowds and hot spots, St Margaret island lay just off the coast, it didn’t look for away from me but I was a little time limited as the family had now arrived at Tenby, it was a quick jaunt back to the harbour and a short ride back to the beach at Tenby and the end of a 17 mile day.
For now Pembrokshire was over, I hurt my foot in the following days and was unable to run the last 30 or so miles, I loved the coast both beautiful and harsh but worth the effort, it just means I have to return to the dramatic coastline and more adventure time.