Pembrokeshire

The next county in Wales we decided to go to was Pembrokeshire.  We have been to the top part a couple of times before and visited St Davids.  Last year we stayed in the Camping and Caravanning Club Site near there.  We visited the cathedral in Britain’s smallest city.

St David's cathedralIt looks like another bench with a view there.  I seem to like those.  It was a bit of a murky day as you can see.

The Caravanning and Camping Club Site is a little way out from St Davids.  We visited a very popular beach which we had to queue to park in and then when we got there they were three deep on the beach.  Everyone had little pop up shelters, windbreaks, wetsuits and lots of gear.  It was like a little camping village on the beach.  As we were camping we had micro fibre towels,  a bottle of water, a packed lunch and one bucket and spade to share.  We felt like we had to lie down like a starfish and spread out in order to preserve our space.  It was a very nice beach, but very busy.  I can’t remember the name of it.

The next day we decided to walk to a quieter beach nearby.

Beach near St DavidsIt didn’t have the sparkling yellow sands of the previous day.  It was a little more grey but it was a lot more peaceful with a mix of rock and sand.  We watched the sun set and walked home.  The only problem was the amount of slugs we encountered on the walk back.  Yeuch!  Whilst we were at the campsite I met a man with a camper van and two boys.  They had driven down to the beach and eaten their breakfast there and I remember thinking I would like to do that.  So that’s something else on my wish list of things to do.  Breakfast next to a beach.

 

We decided we would like to go to the South of Pembrokeshire this time to an area we hadn’t been to.  I had heard a lot about Tenby so I had a look for campsites near there.  They seemed to fall into two camps, all singing and dancing campsites often with a lot of statics and club houses or more basic sites.  So this time in contrast to Fforest Fields we chose a Certificated Site which is owned by the Camping and Caravanning Club but only allows five caravans and a small number of tents.  We went for a site with a good location over facilities this time and the site claimed it was walking distance to the beach, but it had portaloos and an outside washing up sink.  It had very good reviews.

It’s at this point when you’re travelling there that you remember how far away Pembrokeshire is and therefore why it’s nice and quiet compared to some other parts of the UK.  It is probably the County in Wales the furthest away from England.  I say probably it obviously depends where you’re coming from and where you’re going to.  We arrived a bit later than anticipated and heart in the mouth turned the corner hoping for a good spot.

Now, I’m afraid I’m going to be a tease and keep you in suspense until tomorrow.  Was it a good site?  I’ll let you know.

Edna’s First Camping Trip (day 2 and 3)

Delamere Forest 0314

So after our square sausages we set off to explore the woods which led off from the campsite.  We went for a bit of a walk and had a look at the Go Ape course, but then we decided to find the bike hire place in case we ended up walking where we were going to cycle later.  My daughter had been really looking forward to hiring bikes as she hasn’t had much practise riding and her bike is now too small for her.  We found the bike hire place and I found out I had to pay an adult price for my son as he is tall enough for an adult bike now.  We were fitted for bikes and helmets and shown our gears, thumb for easier and finger for harder.  Back brake, front brake, always use your back brake and never your front brake.

So, off we went.  My daughter was a bit wobbily at first and needed a lot of reassurance to keep going.  She gritted her teeth though and kept at it.  She’s very determined when she wants to be.  She struggled a bit with the hills though and had to get off and walk up a fairly big one.  I’ll be honest so did I.  The smaller slopes were okay , but this was a bit steeper.  Anyway, we got to the top and decided to go down the hill and look for a path a bit flatter.

We went in the order we had been in all morning, my son first, then my daughter and me at the rear, so I could see if my daughter was struggling.  I reminded my daughter as I had all morning, “back brake, back brake, use your back brake.”  So we came down the hill using our brakes, and my daughter panicked and used the front brake too and flew off her bike.  There’s that horrible moment when you see something like that happen but you can’t stop it or get there quick enough.  She landed with a right whack on her arm.  A lovely couple with their two small children were nearby and came to see if we were alright.  My little girl was really shaken up and we decided to return the bikes.  She held her arm in a funny way all the way back and the nice lady wheeled her bike for us.  They were staying at the same campsite as us.  She was very pale and still in a lot of pain.  I asked the other lady’s opinion and she said it was better to check it out and I agreed.  She asked the bike hire place if someone could give us a lift back to the campsite and they did.  I then went to reception at the campsite and confirmed the nearest A and E was at the hospital in Chester.

We spent three hours at A and E where they told us that fortunately her arm wasn’t broken and suggested Calpol or Nurofen for the next 24 hours.  Relieved, but hungry, she had hurt her arm at 12:00 and we were told not to let her eat or drink until she had been seen, so at nearly 4:00pm we raided Edna’s fridge in the car park and made our way back to the campsite.  The children were determined that we were going to carry on and not go home.

We got back to the campsite and went to pop Edna’s roof up but it wouldn’t go up.  The left side did but the right side wouldn’t unclick.  I tried several times and by this stage was feeling pretty exhausted and emotional.  I eventually made the decision that it wasn’t going to go up so we had two options, to go home or try to sleep without the bed in the roof.  Did I mention that my kids didn’t want to give up?  So my son cooked pasta for tea with chopped tomatoes and one of those big smoked sausage type things chopped up in it.  My daughter didn’t want to try and sleep across the front seats and I thought her arm might still be hurting her so my son offered to try and sleep across the front seats.  He managed it for a couple of hours and then joined us in the double bed.  It was fairly cosy, but we were all so exhausted that we slept soundly until morning and were pretty warm too.  There was a fair bit of condensation though.

Morning was bacon sandwiches time and after a lot slower morning than the previous day, we were all feeling refreshed after some much needed sleep and ready for a better day.  We left and headed for the Anderton Boat Lift.  http://canalrivertrust.org.uk/Anderton-boat-lift  We had a brilliant day out.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it said the boat trips weren’t running yet on the information leaflet, yet when we got there they were running them early, though we couldn’t go on the actual lift just up and down the River Weaver.  The gentleman who did the commentary was brilliant.  He lived and breathed the local area and was extremely knowledgeable.  The lift has an exhibition and it joins the River Weaver to the Trent and Mersey Canal.  It was originally built to help carry salt from the area and was a hydraulic lift but it became electric later.  It was falling apart and then a short while back they decided that instead of letting it fall apart they would restore it.  It’s a great bit of industrial engineering.  In the area is also a country park and the canal has a marina a short walk along.  There’s plenty to see another time so we have decided to return another day when the lift is open and explore the country park and canal a little bit more.  They also had a nice gift shop with a good assortment of books and gifts which didn’t all cost a small fortune.  We were home by 4:30pm ready to see their Dad and tell him about their weekend.

Anderton Boat Lift

So that was our first camping trip in Edna.  A suspected broken arm and the roof didn’t work.  As my Dad once said to me, “it’s not about the mess you get into, but how you handle it when you’re in it and how you get out of it.”  I think we managed quite well.  I’m glad we went to the hospital because otherwise I would have worried that she had broken her arm and we were a lot warmer without the roof popped up.  It was a memorable first outing.  The best view was of the boat lift.  Would I do it again?  Of course.  Just give me a bit of time to recover but I’m planning the next adventure already.

Camping in Hertfordshire

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We are going to visit relations this weekend.  In the Summer we always camp at Hertford Camping and Caravanning Club site but as it’s Winter we are staying in one of a chain of budget hotels.  Not quite as nice a view.  I wonder if the camper van will be warm enough to stay in next Christmas.

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