This weekend fell partly still in March, so, so early in the season, a trade off, of one hours rain on Friday afternoon for two days of full sunshine on Saturday and Sunday seemed good bartering on my part!!
Our April weekend away each year, usually after a seemingly very long winter, is always eagerly anticipated and well supported.A weekend away where we are usually blessed with some pretty good weather.This year would not be an exception.
Five of us assembled at the meeting place on Friday afternoon and picking up Bill on route, we started to wander through some lovely woodland, very muddy in places which led us to Pentre Ifan.This is a collection of seven very large principal stones, and is the largest and best preserved neolithic dolmen in Wales ie communal burial.
We were all most impressed by the monument.The huge top capstone, 5 metres long and estimated to weigh 16 tonnes seemed almost suspended in mid air and it was a bit scary standing underneath.
We made our way back through some flowery fields and another lovely woodland back to the start, where we all went our separate ways, to settle into our b and b's and campervans, before reassembling in the evening for a lovely meal in a hostelry in the centre of Newport.
Saturday dawned bright and sunny and 18 of us met in the car park in the centre of Newport for our 9 mile strenuous walk up onto Carningli and back along the coast to Newport.This included two new members who coped well with the tiring conditions underfoot.
Arwel who had kindly agreed to lead this walk, was unavoidably detained, so I led, for about 1 hour up onto the top of Carningli.
The first hour was up, up and even more up and we stopped a few times to get our breath and to take in the magnificent views back down to Newport and the beach and sea, and to the sculptured cliffs beyond.
We sat awhile on the top now getting some fine 360 degree views and very shortly Arwel emerged out of the approaching mist.
He then led us down off the top and towards an area called Bedd Morris, another burial chamber consisting of a large outcrop of very large stones and we stopped by one for our lunch.
We could see the sea in the distance and after lunch we made our way down onto the coastal path.We firstly came to a small secluded beach where we had a stop and where the dogs enjoyed chasing each other around and around the shingle beach.We then ventured up and onto the very muddy coastal path.We had to be very careful when the path narrowed in parts and the mud was inches thick, to ensure we didn't slip, though one or two people did appear to have had minor mishaps, apparent by rather muddy bottoms!!
We regrouped at another lovely secluded beach and then, tired but exhuberant, we tackled the last bit back to Newport.I think we were all quite whacked at the end, though the walk had been absolutely fabulous.
15 or so of us, recovered quickly to reassemble later for our evening meal.
There was lots of enjoyable socialising with friends old and new, and we were all looking forward to the walk the following day.
Sunday dawned bright and sunny again--weren't we so lucky??!!
Sian was kindly leading this one, over to the next village, Nevern.
A few other people who lived nearby joined us, so 22 of us set off along the coast path at nearby Parrog.
Not to be outdone, Sian took us just off the route to show us yet another burial chamber, Carreg Coetan, which was another amazing assortment of balancing stones.
We then walked up the road and turned off, heading towards Nevern.
We went through a lovely wood and alonside the River Nevern and up onto the remains of Nevern Castle.
Lunch was calling by this time, and we walked down to Nevern Church, St Brynach's, with lots of room for us to sit and enjoy the sunshine, the views and our packed lunches.
We all then had a look around Nevern Church, which has several carved stones and a large impressive (Nevern) cross in the graveyard.The churchyard also contains several yews one of which is known as "The Bleeding Yew" because of the dark red resin that drips from a wound on the trunk.
It was soon time to move on and Sian led us on the other side of the River this time and through some fields and woodland and across the Pont Newydd bridge where we rejoined the route we had started on, back to the start at Perrog.
Most people adjourned to the nearby cafe, who coped relatively well with such a large crowd of GOC' ers desperate for some tasty refreshments.
Soon people were beginning to depart all commenting what a fantastic weekend it had been.
I had many lovely messages on my return, which is always nice and very much appreciated and some have asked to be signed up for next years event already, not caring exactly where it is taking place!!
Many thanks to the walk leaders for all their hard work and to everyone who supported this event and made it such a very lovely few days in sunny Pembrokeshire.