Day 15. St David’s to Fishguard

Abercastle
Abercastle

Woke again to dull and damp conditions as on the previous two days. The YHA warden said this was common there and the sun would eventually drive away the cloud. After my porridge pot, set out in good time for an overnight stay at Fishguard, leaving the families cheerfully anticipating the day and a Pembroke Coast Path walker who was freshening up after a night camping in the wet paddock by the Hostel.

Though there was no staff at the Hostel between 10am and 5pm you were given keys so you could let yourself in your accommodation during the day. As I cycled away I realised that the sun was clearing the mist and it was possible to see the top of the Carnedd for the first time so I took photo of the Youth Hostel.

youth hostel

It turned out to be a pleasant, undulating ride with occasional steep dives down into a valley or inlet with the corresponding push up. Abercastle was particularly beautiful and had a notice with an unique claim to fame.

abercastle notice

Later, I had stopped for a drink of water and a cereal bar as I had seen a convenient small wall to perch on in a pretty, steep valley. Shortly, a mixed group of cyclists came down and we started chatting about our cycling but I suddenly felt a bite and realised I had sat by an ants’ nest. My clothes were being covered in ants and one of the group suggested that, unless I wanted to be on social media, they should leave me while I took off and shook some clothes.

Further on, I spotted another sign to a woollen mill, was in good time, designated a lunch break and, with the sun now out, had a leisurely coffee and snack and all was right with the world. After some climbing over the hills, I then found myself on the last summit and there, way below, was Fishguard and my very last hill; a long freewheel into town.

fishguard

I had chosen to start my train journey back home from Fishguard where the railway started. From past experience of docks, I decided to check exactly which way to go as it was easy to take the wrong lane. The station and docks were invisible from the main roads so I headed down the most likely lane to find, eventually, a No Entry sign. I headed down the next one into the Security area which seemed promising  –  deserted so cycled through until I could see the railway station – also deserted. Rode along the platform and found the large arrivals hall – again deserted but encouragingly with an electronic board announcing the time of the evening train. Navigated my way carefully to the Guest House so I would know the way back in the morning and found Steve the proprietor by the door, very welcoming and immediately sorting a place for my bike. There was a different atmosphere than a normal B & B and in the course of a long, interesting conversation Steve said that he used to run a Hostel until he purchased and converted what was a former school. Upstairs there was a very large and comfortable lounge, the size of the former Schoolroom below, comfortable seating, tables and books. Breakfast was self-service but with a wide range of food and kitchen facilities, very useful to the mixed nationalities, who came off the ferry.

Steve gave me a recommendation for a pub with good food and I walked through deserted streets to find it. It was 8.15pm, no one in sight and when I got to the pub, which was empty, met the owner near the door looking distraught and he said he was closing. I mentioned food and he said no one had come in for food and he had to throw a lot away. He told me of one place in town which was open and he gave me directions. I asked him where there was a cash machine and his reply was eerily absolutely identical to another  I had received in Newhaven, another ferry town a year ago, “There is only one, it’s in the Co-op, walk by Barclays Bank which is now closed …” Found the pub in the centre of town, only met one person on the way but it was quite busy and I had another good Welsh meal. The cooking throughout West Wales had been homely. About 9pm quite a few smartly dressed young people came in and, encouragingly, when I left I met a similar group coming in to town.

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