Sunday, August 05, 2007

Holiday in Pembrokeshire

You'll only want to read the following waffle if bored, or you know us really well. There are pictures of the trip on Flickr but you need to be logged in as a Friend & Family member to see them all...

Day 1
After a fairly lengthy journey down and too many beers to recover from it I woke to a grey and windy day and a cracking headache. The wind soon died and the sun came out - it’s been doing that recently, but only as a 5 minute taster before bucketing it down for the rest of the day.

Unbelievably, the sun stayed out and it got really warm so, after a morning at Felinwynt Rainforest Centre watching butterflies and the most amazing leaf cutter ants hard at work we decided to check out a local beach (Mwnt).
The beach was packed and, thanks to the sun, looked amazing with blue sea, blue skies and real sand. Zoe managed to fall in a rock pool fully clothed so was happy enough to jump around in the surf with soaking wet clothes (a lot happier than Tamsyn when she saw the state of her that’s for sure)

The kids had a great time and spent the rest of the afternoon digging in the sand while we got to sit and enjoy the warmth for a while, and I’ve even caught the sun a little!

The only downside is that the outdoor pool, which is supposed to be heated, is neither heated nor full – somebody set the wrong valve and it managed to empty itself and it has so far taken two days of filling and it’s not quite there yet. And that’s a real shame because, if the guest book is to be believed, they keep it warm and the kids are dying to go swimming.

Day 2
Had to pinch ourselves to check we weren’t dreaming as we woke up to sunshine. The more cynical amongst us (me) figured that it had to rain all day if the sun was out, but I was proved wrong and it and we all ended up with a touch of sun burn.

We went to Cardigan Bay Farm in the morning, which isn’t much of a farm; the highlights being the Llama that spits at all men (I managed to duck, Alan wasn’t so lucky but at least he managed to catch it in his hand rather than full in the face), and the Emus that peck (cruel though this sounds it was quite funny to see the expression of complete shock on Christopher’s face as his thumb was enveloped by a great long beak after the food he was trying to give it).

By far the best bit about the “farm” though is the coastal path which takes you right up to Cardigan island itself, where we spotted a couple of seals and a pair of Dolphins that, as you can imagine, drew a bit of a crowd (buggers to try and photograph though!).

So, after a bite to eat, we headed off to Poppit sands for a bit of rock pooling and quite a bit more sun burn. Not a bad beach and heaving with people who all seemed as shocked as us that the sun had been visible for two days straight.
Leaving the others at the beach we headed back to the cottage to see if the pool was ready. Yet another shock was had as a) it was full at last and b) there were people in it. The next shock was accompanied by a fair bit of shrinkage when I found out that even a heated pool in the UK is cooler than you think, especially after you’ve spent a day marinating in the sun. The kids loved it though, and after you’d done a length or two it was fine so we’ll be getting some exercise in this week at least.

To recover from this unexpected exercise we rounded off the day nice and relaxed with a number of cold beers...

Day 3
After the unexpected sighting of a couple of Dolphins yesterday we decided to take a boat ride from New Quay only to find that the Dolphin spotting rides are so booked up we would have to wait 3 days! So we headed for the beach, which was unbelievably full of people of all shapes, sizes and colours (and by colours I mean milky white, through a spectrum of pink all the way to lobster red).

After a pub lunch we headed back for a swim in a slightly warmer pool – I don't think I'll ever get used to 27C being so bloody cold when in liquid form though!

Day 4
Headed off on our own today and drove about an hour to Tenby. We then got a boat to Caldey Island in the hope of spotting some monks who were conspicuous by their invisibility (they probably spotted Zoe, jumped off the nearest cliff and swam back to Tenby). It's a lovely trip out though and we spent the day wandering around the island learning about how a bunch of religious nutters can somehow make a life of solitude seem appealing. However, I couldn't get a mobile reception, which probably also signifies a lack of broadband so the priesthood is obviously not for me.

Managed to get back for a swim again, followed by finishing off our beers which leaves us with the frightening prospect of only having tea for the next few days. I think we'll probably head over to Tesco's at some point soon...

Day 5
Managed to get our boat ride from New Quay but, unlike the other day when the weather was beautiful, today was windy and started dull. And it showed in the sea as well – it was like glass when we sailed the 20 minute voyage to Caldey Island, it today it looked like Sinbad may have called it off. As soon as the boat poked it’s head around the harbour it got rough.

And so did I.

Everybody else was loving it and tucking into their lunch while I spent the first hour staring fixedly ahead and trying to breathe deeply while trying my hardest not to think of the word vomit. I was doing fine until the tour guide approached me to ask if I was feeling queasy and my answer was almost a new decoration for her shoes. I spent the rest of the journey stood at the front with a red bucket on hand praying for the journey to end. The kids loved it and saw a single seal, but no dolphins. I have to say that even if I had enjoyed the ride it was a pretty boring trip.

We then headed over to Penbryn beach, which was quite nice with sandy beach and a rock pool area full of huge crabs and loads of Gobies (some which were quite large). It also has a water fall at one end which looks very spectacular.

Day 6
The weather was a little dull today so we headed off to the National Botanic Gardens Of Wales, which were lovely (they had orchids so I was happy). The kids took loads of photographs and we were there most of the day.

It was raining when we got back to the cottage but Zoe wanted to swim anyway, as it was our last day. So swim we did, and it was bloody freezing...

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