August 26, 2012

Wales


Sunday morning started by herding cows up the lane to the cow sheds ready for the vet on Monday morning. Leah called them and they came to the gate readily. They all knew where they were going and we just followed waving our blue plastic sticks bravely in case any of them wandered out of line. The bull and a cow with wonky horns looked about the most fearsome. We had nothing to worry about though and walked gently, with a lot of bellowing, up a lane overflowing with ferns and tall spikes of pink flowers (the name of which escapes me for the moment).


Ty Glyn Walled Garden later that morning was a sheer delight. With practically no signposting to its whereabouts, it is almost a secret garden. Off the beaten track and down a narrow lane, it would escape the notice of even the most seasoned traveller unless you knew it was there. Beautifully laid out it was overflowing with abundant beds of colour and scents. A very tranquil place to be.

The Welsh drizzle (English rain) came and went in dribs and drabs and never really affected us all week. When it rained we were indoors and when it didn't, we were outdoors and we were outdoors most of the the time.

Aberaeron is a delightful little town with pastel coloured houses and a beautiful harbour where the Aeron flows into the Irish Sea. We bought fish and chips here to take home. There is a lookout point built on the edge of the harbour, but it wasn't clear what we were supposed to be looking out for! We looked out anyway. Sue and Leah stayed down below and chatted with no idea that we were looking out above them. We didn't see anything of significance, except the Irish Sea.

Kidwelly Castle (yes, really) is the best preserved castle in Europe. Built overlooking the River Gwendraethit has well-preserved walls and a tower with a stone roof remaining in place - the only tower we could climb to get a view of the surrounding countryside the rest of the castle. A sculpture exhibition here included a small play castle festooned with kids' wellies!

The reservoir at Llyn Briane is beautiful (show me somewhere that wasn't on our travels). Dubbed 'Little Switzerland' it is about 250 feet deep at the deepest point and stretches a good couple of miles through the valley it flooded. Driving back through the Cambrian Mountains it became clear how isolated this area is. We drove for about an hour along narrow single track roads and passed about 3 cars. People who live out here need large freezers and large pantries. At a crossroads in the middle of nowhere we passed a phone box (no phone in it) and postbox.

The RSPB bird reserve at Gwenffrwd-Dinas was lovely but we didn't walk all the way round as it was wet and rugged and Tim wouldn't have made it.

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