Well, not quite, but the weather was certainly a factor in our week long camping trip to St David’s in Pembrokeshire, West Wales. After enjoying some of the hottest weather for many years it was slightly disappointing to find that, like Ireland, the reason the hills of Wales are so green is that it bloody rains all the time! LOL That’s not to say we didn’t have a good time, because we did.
We drove across last Monday, and had a pretty good drive too. The clouds got thicker as we continued westward, but we knew we weren’t in for sunshine from the forecasts – we even considered dumping our booking at the camp site, but in the end felt we could manage. We set up camp, which began with me snapping one of the elbows on the Khyam tent. Unfortunately, this elbow was a structural member normally under some tension and the tent wouldn’t stay up without it. Luckily, one of the other elbows was less essential and I swapped the broken one with that, leaving lots of gaffer tape in its place. Yes, of course I had a spare! It was in the garage at home, 150 miles behind us, safely stored away…
Still, though the sky was not exactly blue, we spent the next few days wandering the coastal paths and surfing the beaches with body boards and kayak. The kayak is great fun and I have a few spots in Gloucestershire lined up for it (the Wye from Ross down to Monmouth especially) and I wonder idly when the next Severn Bore is… We only lost a family member once, when miss and I went on to the next headland and Miss turned back. We failed to find her on our return and retraced our steps (many, many steps up and down the coastline) until we gave up and returned to the camp where Miss was sucking tea down, having taken a short cut we didn’t know about.
The camp site was ok. Basic but clean toilets, showers and kitchen facilities. It did seem however to have an overabundance of small, noisy, energetic children who ran in ever more frantic circles about our tent late into the evening. LOL. Ah, summer holidays… St David’s, though Britains smallest city, is similar in many ways to the lovely little Cornish towns – especially in terms of vehicular gridlock! Happily we were camped some way outside the city and didn’t get stuck too often. Our favourite eatery was a pub in nearby Solva – The Cambrian – which served excellent food; really well cooked and presented, at a reasonable price. Their car park was less than expansive but there is a public and free car park outside the Harbour Inn (ate there just once…). The beer at the Cambrian was also good, though I was sadly the driver, and the staff were very friendly. A bish recommendation.
We spent an excellent day at Castell Henllys, a reconstructed Iron Age fort built upon the site of an original encampment (waves at Brochfael). The site has been worked by archaeologists for over twenty years and is therefore built with more than a little knowledge of the original fort, and is staffed by folk who purport to live the Iron Age life, which makes it very real as you are guided through the various buildings.
With the weather darkening, we took a day out to the Haverfordwest County Show. The weather was atrocious, but miss loved the animal pens filled with sheep, goats and other animals, while I enjoyed the JCB Stunt Team doing things with diggers we dson’t normally allow at work! Another day was spent surfing at Whitesands Bay, but then the torrential rain which kept us awake all through Friday night persuaded us to abandon camp one day earlier than planned and we ran for home! It was slightly surreal to see the miles and miles of standing traffic westbound on the M4, queueing up for the same rainfall we were escaping. Arriving home to sunshine and blue skies we realised that, this time at least, there’s no place like home. 🙂
I ought not to give the impression however, that the holiday was a complete… er… washout. The dark, dark skies at night were lovely. Not a trace of orange for nearly the whole periphery (ignoring the lighthouse flashing away). And the opportunity to read cannot be welcomed sufficiently. No matter what, reading at home is fraught with a million other things one could as easily be doing, yet reading in a tent with foul weather overhead, and nothing else that can be done, is a fine gift worthy of much rain. I read lots, especially early in the morning – having got to the showers before the rest. Peace, quiet, and book. Bliss.