I never thought about travelling to Wales, but after reading Steven Bochenek, ” Coasteering in Wales: It Only Sounds Dangerous If You’re Listening,” the constant thrills and unique experience they had made me very eager to visit. Again, he describes a trip not about just visiting man made monuments, but the rush of cliff jumping, white water rafting, etc.
Though physical, coasteering’s not overwhelming. If you can walk Disneyland or the Louvre for a morning, you can coasteer. (My 11 and 14-year old daughters loved it.) The experience should be on every thrill-seeker’s bucket list, right after driving the Welsh coastal roads. An adventure in itself.
Our party hiked, squidgily, downhill to the coast. Several times, Dean pointed out interesting birds and wildflowers. The sun came out. Pembrokeshire pamphlets love to boast that they’re Britain’s third sunniest spot. Not a headlining selling point.
Still, in our black, form-fitting wetsuits, it actually became hot, a rare experience in Wales. Minutes later, the Atlantic remedied that.
“Who wants to go first?” Dean asked. The path along the dramatic bluffs off the Pembrokeshire coast are dotted with simple graphic signs that show a silhouetted hiker plunging head-first amidst crumbling cliffs. No words, English or Welsh, are necessary.
Upon our arrival, we gingerly descended a cliff to a seven-foot jump towards the onrushing surf. I volunteered to go first.
You hit the water and suddenly you’re in a blender. We slammed into one another, like peas and carrots in a boiling pot of vegetable soup. The buoyant wetsuits were insulating and further buoyed by life preservers. So there was no chance of being sucked away by undertows.
The current dragged us, floating, into a tight circular inlet. Because of its wave action, this fascinating geographic formation was dubbed the Toilet. Like wind tunnels created between skyscrapers, heavy waves would squeeze into this cliff-bowl and instantly elevate all six of us.