On fire in Solva!
July 07, 2017 • Leave a Comment
We landed in Dublin and spent the first few days there, not much of an opportunity for boats tied up in some idyllic Irish harbour. The River Liffey didn’t offer much either, other than a few sunken hulls stuck in the mud.
So, we’re off on the second leg of this journey, taking the ferry to Milford Haven, in Pembrokeshire, Wales we ended up at our first B&B in Marloes, at the beginning of our hike up the coast to St. Davids, along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. I’m looking forward to this leg, the trail snakes along the coast for 50 miles, there’s bound to be too many images to shoot!
It worked like this, we get up, pack our lunches, load up the day packs and Raymond, our fixer, drops us off at the trail head. We usually hiked 12 - 16 miles a day, and at the end of the trail, there’s Raymond waiting to take us back to a new B&B, he’s already moved our luggage. So it’s a gentle walk, and Raymond knows all the spots to visit, including a pub in each stop! I don’t think I could keep up with his schedule, he’s a dairy farmer, drives the local school bus and then the shuttle for the hikers. And he seems to know everyone, which comes in handy.
Day three of the trip, and it’s just Kyla and me heading out early in the morning, the others are enjoying sleeping in and driving around with Raymond. Our day starts with a red fox dashing across the trail, right in front of us, and the day gets better! Over the three days, I’ve discovered that either my daughters have learned to walk faster since those Cape Scott hikes, or I’m walking slower! But I always have the camera at ready, and can use that as an excuse to linger behind them. Tucked into the trail are many small cottages, and some of the designs are very interesting, but I’m looking for those dories. Halfway to Solva, we find a pub and stop for a beer. I’m always surprised that it’s difficult to find a local brew, not sure why anyone would drink a Budweiser! Especially along a trail in Wales.
The second half of the trail proves interesting, we happen upon a small herd of wild horses that seem to wander along the trail, and rounding a corner, we head down into a small harbour, and get caught in a rainstorm! Taking shelter on the porch of the local church, we tried the door and noticed the sign at the bottom of the stairs. A good place for the local vicar, out with a camera! Out with My Camera
As we near Solva, we start to notice smoke in the air, and the smell of woodsmoke starts to overcome the sea air. Hikers going by us, warn that the trail may be closed, there’s a fire making its way into town. As we wind down the hill, I notice the harbour before I notice all the fire equipment. The fire is working its way towards town, the trail cuts across the head of the harbour, and we manage to get into the town centre. We have two hours before Raymond is supposed to pick us up, so we’re off to one of the pubs that line the street. We find out that the roads into Solva are all closed and that the pub is doing the same, the fire is slowly making its way into town. Wondering what to do next, I head off to shoot some fire fighting photos and see if there’s any information from the fire brigade. Through the smoke on the road, Moira walks into the square. The three of them were riding with Raymond, and he got them on a bus into town. He knows a way around the road blocks, so we get instructions to be at the bridge at 5:00 pm, if we want a ride back to the B&B.
I have an hour or so, and start wandering down to the harbour, but everything is blocked off, so it’s no dories tonight!! We meet up with Raymond, take a few backroads up the hills and we’re back at the B&B for the night.
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