Out of sequence, C. and I decide to tackle Whitesands to Solva, about 12 miles of winding coastline with St David’s as its focus. H. joins us, with today’s guest-walkers, M. and L. from Leicester, old friends of Pembrokeshire.
The view west is dominated by Ramsey Island, a dark and mainly empty land, where sheep were once kept. The island shields the mainland coast, and the sea laps quietly against cliffs topped by outcrops of thrift and sea kale (on this west-facing coast there’s a richer variety of flowers than on the north coast). Inland fields alternate with rougher ground. Gorse blazes again on all sides. Larks sing almost constantly, as heat from the sun reflects off the grasses and gorse to envelop us in small waves of warmth. Swifts and matins chase each other low over the clifftops. Ponies, with hairy ‘flared trouser’ legs gather round a pool. At one point a gang of four Welsh black bullocks bar the path and assess our suitability before letting us pass.
This is a popular part of the Path, with a higher proportion of long distancers. A typology begins to emerge: Bill Oddie-style nature worshippers, wiry couples in their 70s ignoring their passing years, rockclimbing youths with rope coils and helmets, and fanatics with more loops and attachments on their rucksacks than strictly necessary.
We reach the calm of Solva with an hour to spare before the taxi home: enough time for a pint or two in the Harbour Inn.