Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Abereiddy to Porthgain,

I decided on Sunday morning that if we aren't at a show on a weekend we should explore somewhere new, so full of enthusiasm I picked up a book of walks in Pembrokeshire, (which I have had for a couple of years and not used) and the map and set off for Abereiddy, an old slate mining village halfway between Strumble Head and St. Davids. The quarry was at its busiest between 1850 and1904. Because the harbour would only allow ships of 20 to 30 tons to be loaded from the slipway a tramway was built to nearby Porthgain along which trains of 2 or 3 wagons were hauled by 2 horses to the slate yard near Barry Island farm for storage before being shipped out. After quarrying had been discontinued the walls leading from the old engine house around to the dressing sheds were blasted away resulting in a small harbour, known as the Blue Lagoon, pictured below.

It was a beautiful day and I decided to do the walk along the cliff path to Porthgain, making a detour around Barry Island farm and returning along the cliff path. As the path is quite close to the edge Finn wore his tracking lead and harness so he could have a bit of freedom but I didn't have to worry too much.

The first thing you see on entering Porthgain are the ruins left behind from the slate and brick industry which had fallen into decline by the early 1900s. Business finally closed in 1931. I had a picnic lunch overlooking the harbour, which Finn told me in no uncertain terms that he wanted to go swimming in as it was VERY HOT. We made our way up some very narrow, steep steps back onto the cliff path.

The whole walk took about 2 hours, when we got back to the car park we both had an ice cream from the van there and then spent another couple of hours on the beach. Finn loves swimming and he had me throwing stones so he could swim out to the splash!
We were joined by a spaniel who thought Finns stones were more interesting than his and a little girl who wasn't any taller than Finn. Finn was absolutely fascinated with her, I normally make him sit when talking to children in case he knocks them over, but he was so gentle and they devised a game where he was digging and she was putting stones in the hole for him to take out! He got a bit fed up when her brother and sister came over and wouldn't leave him alone so we decided it was time to go home.

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