Wales – Pembrokeshire Coast Path – day 4

Trip Report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles

day 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

I made coffee in the vestibule of my tent in the dark. Packed up and was on my feet by 8am. BIG day ahead. The toughest and most physically demanding of any on the Coast Path.

It was about 2 miles to town. Another 14 miles more (at least) to finish.

I finally saw rabbits on one farm. (SLUGS are much more plentiful.)

Giant mushrooms.

I detoured to Newport town to pick up provisions. There was some chance I’d need to wild camp again. I had no reservation for the hostel. And it was Saturday.

Scones and fruit cake are high calorie. Easy to eat.

For the first time in my hiking career an official trail crossed a golf course. That’s cool.

In the parking lot Duke of Edinburgh hikers were unloading. These are students who had to plan and execute an expedition of at least 2 days and 1 night. They looked woefully unprepared to me.

The steep, sheer, non-stop cliffs begin. The highest 575ft (175m). There’s only one emergency exit all day.

Narrow trails. Far less used than those in the south.

Yes. Muddy.

Most of the coves are inaccessible except from sea.

Stunning scenery. The weather improved over the day.

October in Pembrokeshire. You know what that means? 🙂 It’s Atlantic grey seal breeding time!

I did see dozens of seals. (And 5 distant dolphins.)

But I saw only one pup. The baby (white) looked nearly as big as Mom.

Pups can’t swim yet. And they are very uncoordinated on land. Helpless as a human baby.

Click PLAY or watch a similar baby on YouTube.

Mom was in the perfect protected spot, however. A collapsed sea cave called Witch’s Calderon.

Weather was great. Aside from the wind.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I was quite happy to round the corner and see that cliffs had ended. I’d been walking for nearly 8 hours.

On a weekend, I feared Poppit Sands hostel would be full. I’d need to wild camp again.

Happily there was space at the inn. I spent about 25 minutes in the hot shower! Welsh hostels are excellent.

It was a fun night chatting with an entertaining, informative Irishman. (Are there any other kind?) He was just finishing up a 3 month cycling holiday.

Before dinner I walked Poppit beach. My Coast Path would be ending first thing in the morning.

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After coffee in the morning I had 2 miles left to trail end in St Dogmaels.

I visited the ancient Abby. And church built 1847 from Abby stones.

Here’s the finish.

Over 4 days I’d walked the first 20 miles. And the last 25 miles. About a quarter of the Coast Path. It was enough.

Then I walked another 2 miles along the Wales Coast Path, an 870-mile (1,400 km) route around the whole coast of Wales, to the bus stop at Cardigan. From there I planned to catch a bus to the train station.

What! What?

In October there are no longer ANY buses to anywhere on a Sunday. Bus service has been shrinking for years for rural towns in Wales. ☹️

The closest train station was 50£ by cab. I hate taxis. So checked into a lovely hotel instead for 45£. A holiday from my hiking vacation.

Pembrokeshire Coast Path is definitely one of the top 10 coastal hikes in the world.

day 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Cicerone publishes an excellent guidebook with detailed map.

Arctic Circle Trail, Greenland

… At just over 100 miles long, and taking 7 to 10 days to complete, the Arctic Circle Trail crosses the largest ice-free patch of West Greenland.

This splendid backpacking route, lying 25-30 miles north of the Arctic Circle runs from Kangerlussuaq to Sisimiut – both with airport access.

a summer walk, ideally from mid-June to mid-September, when the tundra is bursting with life; during the long winter, snow and ice, short days and bitter cold are the norm …

Cicerone

Bo Normander posted an excellent trip report from 2017:

GUIDE TO THE ARCTIC CIRCLE TRAIL IN GREENLAND

DRONE in the Drakensberg

A great hiking destination in southern Africa.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

The Drakensberg escarpment stretches for over 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) …

The Afrikaans name Drakensberge comes from the name the earliest Dutch settlers to the region gave it. They called them the Drakensbergen, or “Mountains of Dragons”. …

One of the best hikes there is Giant’s Cup Trail.

 

Timberline Trail, Mt. Hood, Oregon

… This 40-mile loop is a fantastic way to experience the immense size and beauty of Mt. Hood.

On the Timberline you’ll encounter lush old-growth forests, pristine alpine waterfalls, wildflower-filled meadows, towering craggy glaciers, rough volcanic landscapes, and some of the finest cascade views around.

The hiking certainly won’t be easy …

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Majestic Mt. Hood Views
  • Cascade Range Vistas
  • Massive Waterfalls
  • Wildflower Meadows
  • Immense Glaciers
  • Easily Accessible
  • Mostly Well Marked & Maintained

Clever Hiker

We’ve added Timberline to our list of best hikes in North America.

hike Santuario El Cañi, Pucón, Chile

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

Pucón is the adventure capital of the Chilean lake district. Climbing, cycling, hiking, skiing. You name it.

A super popular day hike is the private nature reserve El Cañi Sanctuary. It’s about an 8 hour day Pucón to Pucón for most people.

1240 metres (4068 feet) ascent.

Click PLAY or watch my trip on YouTube.

A highlight is the unique Araucaria (monkey-puzzle) forrest. Perhaps my favourite tree.

If weather is clear from the summit mirador, you see many volcanoes: Volcán Llaima, Volcán Villarrica, Volcán Quetrupillan and Volcán Lanin.

Almost everyone does this as a day hike. But it’s possible to tent at Laguna Negra or or at the Aserradero hut for about $13 if you prefer.

Another highlight is the add-on Lagunas del Cañi (lake circuit). Some trails are narrow and overgrown.

I reached the summit mirador with two trail runners from France. We took photos of one another.

It’s a long way down. Then back to town … or to one of many hotsprings near the trailhead, Termas Los Pozones was recommended. I rushed back to catch a 12 hour night bus.

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Most people do this hike independently taking the local bus 13 miles (20 km) themselves. But you can hire a guide in Pucón for about $100.

I got my information from ¡école! Hosteria and Restaurant in Pucón.

Click PLAY or watch Ernest Aymerich’s trip on YouTube.