Distance: 9.38 miles
Difficulty: Medium to Angry to Difficult
We took a cutoff instead of following the coast any longer. An alternative is certainly to try to pass around the Caroline Bay and then there is a (rumored) easy trail to Southwest Bay. This route is the shortest milage wise, but is tricky, and sorry but at the moment very poorly marked.
Some of this had to do with that fact that one of our older guides saw a lot of his buddies in Melip and drank 16 freaking shells of Kava. He was shaking and could barely eat, so I can't really blame him too much for being off his game. The problem was he was running all over the place so fast and panicking when he got lost that sometimes we couldn't go back to take down all the trail we had already marked. I even talked strong to him, but he kept saying he knew the road along the coast and never wanted to go this way...hey it was our 5th day, tempers were bound to flare.
Basically if you don't have a guide already do not attempt this without someone from MELIP or S.W. BAY to guide you. We ended up hacking around the bush and eventually finding our way to the lagoon of Southwest Bay, then we got lost a bit more, got nailed by mosquitos and fell in the slick mud. (Did I mention there maybe alternative routes?)
But all in all it got us to Lembinwin with time to spare. Just before a massive rain too!
I must say I walked the entire day without shoes because of the mud everywhere. But if you take the coast all the way around you are probably adding a day to your trip and the rocks are sharp. Southwest Bay, in the village of Wintua has an airport, so if you are tired of walking...you can be done.
Sorry I can't be of more help here, we are going to go back in the future to look at the other route and compare them (Caroline Bay first, than Lembinwin).