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Pembrokeshire Coast
Pembrokeshire Coast
Pembrokeshire Coast
Pembrokeshire Coast
Pembrokeshire Coast
Pembrokeshire Coast
Pembrokeshire Coast
Pembrokeshire Coast
Cuffern Manor
Cuffern Manor
Cuffern Manor
Cuffern Manor

Pembrokeshire Visit

7th September, 2015

I booked a Nordic walking break in Pembrokeshire (17th-20th April) so that I could do the cliff walks as the coast in Pembrokeshire is a National Park. While the Atlantic is the most unprotected ocean in terms of reserves the Pembrokeshire coast by being a National Park is protected and as such so is the Atlantic in this area. I wanted to see and experience that purity and document it photographically. As I was walking - Nordic Walking with poles, on high cliffs, the photographs are simply point and shoot. But check out the later photographs taken on the Isle of Skye (see my visit to Skye) and many are on manual and taken with the use of a tripod.

I stayed at the cosy and rustic Cuffern Manor in Roche not so far from Haverford West and close to the delightful St David's. Jayne and Julian Rutter who took over the place in 2004 not only do bed and breakfast but run musical courses as well as Nordic walking weekends and holidays. They are a warm and welcoming couple who also have a rare breed of chicken as well as a walled garden for growing vegetables. I travelled by train via Reading and Cardiff and Julian came to pick me up from Haverford West.

The Nordic Walking was run by Andrew Dugmore (telephone 01437 710071) who is a senior tour guide with Pembrokeshire Paths. He is also an expert on Welsh Myths and legends. He is a published poet and writer and is at present writing a book in partnership with an artist on Celtic Saints and their animals.

Andrew picked me up from Cuffern Manor on Saturday morning and from the minute we set off the day did not disappoint. Driving down to Newgale beach in the sunshine (yes it was sunny in April what happened after that!!!) it's great to see the length and breadth of the sand which is clean and inviting. We started with some Nordic walking techniques on the sand focusing on footwork and posture before heading off to the cliffs surrounding the beautiful city (very small city!! with a large and wonderful cathedral). Andrew mingled the cliff walking with Celtic stories and details of Welsh Myths and legends which was great. The view from the cliffs was stunning the weather hot!!!! and the walk was energetic and revitalising.

Most important this was the beginning of my journey to document the Atlantic across the UK in places where it's purity can be felt by which I mean places where as yet it has not become polluted and ruined. But I will in my paintings sully that purity- a bit like the what if? syndrome. What if the Pembrokeshire coast became the victim of an oil slick such as the recent one in Refugio Bay. The photographs depict the Atlantic where it is pure but the paintings will tell another story the plausible possibility of what can happen in a world where human responsibility is not always what it should be.

Having been to Pembrokeshire the next stop is the Isle of Skye. I have wanted to go for a very long time. Here in the Hebrides surrounded by the North Atlantic you can see the collision of land and sea - but to witness the full force of this you have to climb high up and the higher you go the better the vantage point. BUT I HAVE VERTIGO!!! so the hunt for a mountain guide is on but I am determined to go to any length to get the photographs I want photos of the Old Man of Storr and other vistas of the North Atlantic. So check out the Skye Stories when I return as I will be going for a week including travel to Inverness.

So its goodbye Pembrokeshire and Isle of Skye here I come!!!

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