Thursday, 26 August 2010

Vacation Blog Day 15

Saturday, August 14, 2010
What a day! We left our cottage in Trefriw at 9:15am, and arrived at our cottage near Barry 12 hours later. How did that happen? We decided to not go to Stoke-on-Trent and look for china. I didn’t want the pressure of having to buy something after going that way on purpose, and I’d heard that the best shops are defunct now anyway. So we took the scenic route – A470 all the way from Betws-y-Coed to Cardiff, and then the short jaunt over to the cottage (including, of course, 3 miles on a single lane road).

We didn’t have any breakfast, so we stopped in Betws (which I learned is pronounced betoos) for bacon and cheese things and chocolate things at the bakery. We didn’t fill up with gas there, thinking prices might be better off the tourist route. About 2 hours down the road we were in serious need of toilets, so stopped at a place called Machinations – a sort of toy museum/gift shop/cafĂ©. We checked out the animated wooden toys, the menu (pricey!) and the books, and got back in the car. Just a little further down the road we stopped at a Spar grocery/convenience store to get lunch meat to put on the bread I had. We ate in the parking lot. Just after that we stopped and filled up with gas at 1 or 2 pennies more per litre than that at Betws.

The next stop was Devil’s Bridge. It was only 30 minutes off our road. There is an old story about an old woman losing her cow across the gorge, and the devil appeared and offered to build a bridge if he could have the first living thing across it. The next morning a bridge was there, but the old woman outsmarted the devil by sending her dog across the bridge. So the devil was too embarrassed to ever return to Wales, and the woman got her dog back. At any rate, there are three bridges there now, one on top of the other, and the bottom (oldest) bridge is probably about 900 years old. We hiked, climbed, and scrambled first down the side of the mountain, across a foot bridge, and back up the other side. We got muddy all over, my knees popped with each step, and William nearly fell asleep standing up, but we made it. Elijah really enjoyed the walk, laughing all the way and getting down in the mud whenever I let him (there were a couple of safe landing spots).

We were just away from there when the torrential downpour began. That lasted about 45 minutes and had just cleared up when we took a wrong turn that took us back north and around through the road construction again… We were fairly back on our road when we arrived at Brecon, so we stopped there for dinner. That town isn’t very user-friendly and doesn’t appear to have public toilets. We found a burger/kebab place and ordered when my mom called me (hi, Mom!). She wondered if I wanted anything of Meemaw’s. Was it Donkey, Donkey that we always read there? Too late now, I guess. After dinner we asked the cook if there was a Tesco or something nearby. He said Aldi’s and Morrison’s, just down this road. SO we fetched the car, found the road again, and there was Aldi’s – closed. On down was the Morrison’s – a gas station. We used the toilets and bought a jug of water, a jug of milk, and a loaf of bread for breakfast tomorrow.

It wasn’t too much longer now. Maybe we weren’t ready to arrive yet – we took another wrong turn and were headed for downtown Cardiff on a road with no U-turns allowed. We managed to get back in the right direction, and in spite of my sudden fear that I’d written down the directions wrong, we made it to our house.

This place is looking to be the best so far, with actual soft beds, toys, rock walls, and horses. I’ll keep you informed.

Today we started counting and realized it is 7 weeks until Bob’s final out processing from work. I’m trying to not think about that, as it gives me a stomach ache.

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