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In a few hours time I will be off on my walking holiday, photos from last year here : Day 1 - Train to Milford Haven (4 hours). Milford Haven to Sandy Haven. Camping. Distance 4 miles.

Day 2 - Sandy Haven to Dale to Marloes Sands to Skomer Island to West Hook Farm. Up at 3.30am to catch low tide stepping stones at SH and at Dale, otherwise an extra 5 miles detour. Camping and relax. Distance 13 miles.

Day 3 - West Hook Farm to Little Haven to Broad Haven. Camping and explore. 10 miles.

Day 4 -  Broad Haven to Nolton Haven to Newgale. Camping and relax/explore/beach. 7 miles.

Day 5 -  Newgale to Solva to Caerfai Bay. Camping and relax/restock. 9 miles.

Day 6 - Caerfai Bay to Porthclai to Porthsleau to Whitesands Bay. Camping and relax/explore. 8.5 miles.

Day 7 - Whitesands Bay to Abereiddy to Porthgain to Trefin. Camping and explore. 11.5 miles

Day 8 -  Trefin to Pwll Deri/Strumble Head to Goodwick/Fishguard. Home or B&B. 20 miles. Train back to Bristol.

Total distance 83.5 miles out of the 193 for the whole of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path.

The idea, unlike last year, is to take it easy, enjoy the scenery,explore and to take lots of photographs. I love walking and I love camping, the two together combine to become a perfect haven from everyday life. I can walk through rain and sunshine, my mind doing its thing whilst my body does its, sometimes achieving a state of almost Zen-like absence, at other times tracking off down tangental/mundane/surreal pathways.

There is pain, and challenge, but there is also achievement, even over such minor distances. There is the joy of setting up the tent, organising the insides, of gazing out onto the world whilst a cup of tea boils. There is the shower after the sweaty trek, the head down and foot forward as the rain pours and the wind thrashes. There is the heat of dinner, the warmth of a sleeping bag, the descent of night, the quiet, the peace, the encompassing darkness. There is the early morning, water on the face, the repacking, setting oneself straight, the thinking, the missing, the first step of a new day.

There is home, after days away, familiar faces, familiar foods, the bliss of a bed, stretched out, dozing, dreaming, glad its all over, wondering what next year will bring. Then there is sleeping...

the trouble with plans...

scintillate by roger mcgough