best region on the planet
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Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Wonderful Wales

Best region on the planet

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Arab Today, arab today Best region on the planet

Coastal Path
London - Arabstoday

Coastal Path Wales is wet. Let’s just be honest about it.I was quite content to suffer horizontal rain on my Pembrokeshire cliff but when it turned into sleet that actually exploded on impact, I just thought that was nasty .
Still, I love this country and it was no surprise to me to find that the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path was voted the third best route in the world in a recent poll. Nor that the soon-to-be-completed All Wales Coastal Path - encompassing the country's entire sea border - was nominated the best region on the planet in Lonely Planet's Best of Travel 2012 guide.
The coast is crashing, craggy, a brutal wildness resembling an eagle clawing into the sea. It is tough walking but the views constantly reward.
I decide to walk the section from St David’s to Goodwick (just outside Fishguard), stay in B&Bs and try to use only public transport.
You can’t get lost in Great Britain’s smallest city. St David’s seems to be composed entirely of a cathedral - which looks rather aware of its own importance - and shops spilling tat to the crowds, but ten minutes’ walk and you can feel the ocean spray.
After a hearty breakfast of cockles and laverbread at The Coach House B&B  I set off for Whitesands Bay, a wide expanse of sand with a new café and plenty of body surfers.
Up past St David’s Head I weave through the heathland high up above the crashing sea trying to follow the right path through a hundred vague threads going north. Once the dramatic sleet had pummelled me the day has now turned bright.
There are big clouds like galleons floating in the sky and I spot a cloud formation resembling Ireland with county Kerry suffering from a dose of elephantiasis.
I pass a crescent cove where a grey seal and creamy pups sunbathe. Other seals bob about, their heads just peaking above the water.  
By the time I get to Abereiddy I am thirsty and the dips and rises of the coast have made the short eight miles feel much longer. It’s most certainly beer o’clock but all I have for my pains in Abereiddy is an ice cream van – and I’m lucky, a few more weeks and even that wouldn’t be there. Can’t say the cheese roll with carrot chutney is bad but I would have preferred a pint.
On the plus side this remoteness keeps the path clean of crowds. Even in high summer on a hot day you'll meet few on the path. St David’s and some of the pubs might get hectic with ice cream and toddlers but you’re soon alone again with only the guillemots and choughs skirling the cliffs for company.
Just out of Abereiddy is the flooded quarry now called the Blue Lagoon. Children squeal and dare each other to jump off the cliffs into the quarry pool but my attention is also fixed by the ruined cottages on the height, the only reminder of the quarry workers that lived here.
I go an extra couple of miles to end my day at Porthgain. This tiny harbour once bustled with stone being exported but now is filled with daytrippers enjoying the café and the open fire at the ancient The Sloop Inn.
My B&B for the night is Yr Hafan, where Jeff and Alison have created a beautiful home and grounds from a ruin. In the distance is the sea and I sleep sound ignoring the cries of gulls.   
The next day I work my way from Trefin to Pwll Deri and I have a very good tip to do so. Jane  Davidson, former minister for sustainability for Wales, Pembrokeshire resident and currently the president of the Welsh Ramblers Association, advised me to look out for this section.
'One of my favourite walks is Trefin to Pwll Deri, there is no escaping the huge jagged cliffs plunging into the sea. It’s something I walked as a schoolgirl in 1973 and I’ve never forgotten it,' she told me.
She is right, and then some. This stretch might only be less than ten miles but the whole side of a cliff might take a day’s viewing. The rock is composed of thousands of layers and these striations swirl and gyrate along the whole side until they resemble the sea itself embedded in rock. And up above on the cliff edge are the fantastic colours of tortoiseshell and common blue butterflies winging over the yellow gorse which darts out among the more sober purple heather.
'But you’ll soon be able to walk the whole of Wales,' says Davidson in May 2012 the entire coast of Wales can be walked, the first complete coastal path around any country.'
Considering the nooks and crannies of Wales’ coastline I view this as quite an achievement considering it was only proposed in 2007.  
Again there are few facilities on the route, but the YMCA at Pwll Deri, run by a nice warden, can provide water and chocolate. I get the bus back to Mathry, have dinner at the immensely hospitable The Farmers Arms before my night’s stay at Abercastle’s Garn Isaf, again another restored house.
Today has been hard but from speaking with Davidson I know that tomorrow will be harder.
My third and last day is to walk from Pwll Deri to Goodwick – and it’s craggier than Sid James in the sun.
Luckily, to help me through this I am joined by a gang of the Pembrokeshire Ramblers Association. They are a great group with the all the virtues of walkers, jolly, companionable and even wise – we swap tips on home-brewing your own horse liniment, a much needed embrocation on Welsh walks.
Guided by their chair George Allingham – GPS and emergency whistle to hand – in no time we were having lunch at Strumble Head Lighthouse. This well-known white beacon sits among crumbling chunks of bitten off coast.
Soon off again and we pass a memorial marking the last invasion of Britain in 1797. Basically, a load of drunken French criminals landed, found more booze and were quickly rounded up using pitchforks. I believe they call it rugby now.
The last few miles go through cool woods, vertigo inducing cliffs, more ups and downs than Kerry Katona, heathland and finally, the cute two street town of Goodwick.
We celebrate with the characters in the Glendower Hotel – probably the best pub en route. I ease onto the patio to enjoy a jar and a jaw in the sunset when I suddenly realise it hasn’t rained for the past two whole days. I am just about to comment on that when full in the face I receive a downpour that would worry Noah. Wales, I will always love you but will bring a coat just in case. 

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