It was supposed to rain all day today. Guess what. Blue Skies. 16 degrees at 9:00am. We must have brought the good weather with us leaving all the crap weather back in New Zealand. We started the day with showers using the en suite’s in our rooms. Jeanette and I decided to get a short walk in before breakfast as we had agreed to meet at 8:30am. We strolled around the grounds and discovered a fully automatic lawnmover attending to the grounds. It uses GPS and boundary sensors and when the battery gets low it self docks, recharges then heads out again. Brilliant! I want one. The area around the house is great. Rick returned from a much bigger walk down the hill to the village. The walk back up the hill was pretty tough but he is used to doing this type of walking as he is very fit.
Being a Vicarage we thought there must be a church and we found it. Derelict and overrun with weeds.
We returned to the house at the agreed time for breakfast. What a great spread.
This was in addition to cereals, juices, yoghurt, fruits, teas and coffees. A real treat was real figs fresh of the tree. Our host was genuinely a domestic goddess and everything was perfect. Couldn’t have had a better start to our day. After breakfast we packed the car and headed off. Today would see us travel from Moylegrove to Portmeirion in Snowdonia.
First stop was the beach only 3 miles away.
This is not a beach to sunbathe at. the Irish sea is what we are looking at. The waves were breaking on the rocks including a blow hole on the right hand side. We had to walk down to the beach from the road going across a very old stone bridge.
Every where we go we are amazed at just how old everything is. Building, Fences, Bridges. All made of Stone, Block or Slate. Many hundreds of years old. In New Zealand we have nothing old. Also there is absolutely no grafitti anywhere. The people respect the history and heritage of their environments. Wish I could say the same for New Zealand. After the beach we were back on the road and off to Cardigan. Cardigan is a local market town that is very pretty and sports a Castle.
Wales is spectacular everywhere. Being all new to us it was bound to impress and we have not been disappointed. At the bottom of the hill we approached via an old stone bridge.
The castle is behind the wall over the bridge. We didn’t have time to do the tour but we did go for a wander around the exterior and through the town.
This is a smallish castle as you can tell by the height of the walls compared to us. It is really quite old but in pretty good nick.
We then went for a wander through the town down High Street. Seems every town has a High Street. Very narrow but very beautiful. Only problem is you can not tell what is in each shop until you are outside it.
Place names are also very interesting. This little road had very old shops held within. Nothing tempted us enough to part with any cash.
Drivers here are very polite. They have to be as many roads are not wide enough to pass each other while in motion. Often one has to pull to the side to let the oncoming traffic pass. No one gets road rage or upset. Everyone just deals with it. Sometimes one car has to reverse several hundred feet to a bypass area to let the other car pass. Some roads like this one deal with the problem by being only one way. Cardigan was also a problem place as the car needed refueling, We tried several places indicated on the SatNav but none sold diesel. Eventually we found that the supermarket Tesco sold diesel but Rick has had a bad experience with the Citroen with supermarket diesel. So he only put a little in. Just enough to get us to a major station up the road. So off we went in search of our next destination New Quay.
New Quay was a complete surprise. This is a humming seaside resort that was very busy. Numerous cafes, pubs, eateries. A great marina and plenty to see. We arrived via the scenic route by the ocean and had a great view of the marina.
Just as we we wandering around it started to rain a little so being lunch time we foudn a cafe for coffee and lunch.
We got a seat upstairs overlooking the marina and enjoyed fabulous food and coffee. Couldn’t have asked for a better feeding house.
After lunch and the obligatory toilet stop, the rain has stopped so we resumed our wee walk around. Very impressed by this place. Could easily spend a night or two here again.
Time came to leave so we jumped back in the car and headed off to Aberystwyth. Man the place names are very hard to say. This one sounds like Abber-Wrist-With. The town was again fantastic and the multi-coloured pastel houses were beautiful. As time was running out we decided not to stop but head on to our final destination on the road trip at Portmeirion. DIanne had pre organised everything for our arrival, Waitrose had delivered all the food, wine and beer and had unloaded it all into the fridge and cupboards for us. Finding the house was a little tricky as Dianne had omitted to print out the directions. Fortunately I had looked closely at the area before we left New Zealand and We managed to find the property and breathe a sigh of relief at our arrival.
The house has four large upstairs bedrooms with 2 large downstairs lounges and is setup as a self catering holiday home. Here are a few shots of the inside of the house.
The whole week was a trip of surprises for Rick and here there should have been one more waiting for him. Rick and Dianne’s daughter Rachel had taken time off work in London and was driving up to meet us here as a birthday surprise for Rick. Sadly she got lost as Dianne had omitted giving her the detailed directions to get here. So after a few phone calls Rick and I were despatched to go find her to see her safely to the house. She was parked awaiting our arrival about 4 miles away. Rachel then followed us back to the House and a great family reunion followed. Rick was blown away as for Rachel to get here she had to train from London to Cambourne, pack Dianne’s car then drive 4.5 hours to get here.
Dianne and Rachel then set about getting food together for the night. A starter of Carrots and Celery Sticks with Dip followed by Chicken, Carrots and Kale accompanied by beer and wine went down beautifully.
All tired off to bed we went to get ready for a huge day tomorrow.