October Half Term 2011- Birthday fun in the Brecon Beacons

Birthdays… I have been so lucky. Being a late October babe has meant that I have never had to be at work or school (back in the day!) on my jolly birthday! It’s always been in half term! So I’ve pretty much always gone away!

This year, having enjoyed our previous adventure through Wales, we decided to hit the Beacons, and also teamed up with Dad and Jenny for some R&R, beer, food and walking.

Keith and I started our adventure with a night near Worcester, on a lovely little site on the river. It was lovely, we had a nice wander up the river towards the next village and stopped at a fab farm shop- I bought some marvelous Blackcurrant and Chocolate jam. Yum Yum!

The following day, we set off ready to meet Dad and Jen in Crickhowell and had 2 nights on a lovely, basic little site, overlooking Table Mountain.

Crickhowell is a cracking little village, we really enjoyed our time there. It’s everso pretty, if you are ever heading that way you should be sure to pop for a look around. We enjoyed a walk up to the top of Table Mountain and the views were brill!

The next day, we nursed our sore legs (!) and set off towards Brecon. We were treated to a lovely autumnal day, the colours on the trees were amazing..

In Brecon we visited the cathedral, which was stunning and enjoyed an afternoon of looking around the shops. We then carried on to our site at Aberfran. The site was lovely – all talk focused on where we were eating that night as Keefy had booked a table at a local restaurant http://www.felinfachgriffin.co.uk/.

We enjoyed birthday gin and tonics in Dad’s van and then waited for our taxi to arrive. Our meal that night was absolutely the bees knees!!! It was totally yummy- by far the best meal I’ve ever eaten! So if you’re ever nearby GO, GO GO!

The next day Dad and Jen had to head back to work, so we stayed another night in Aberfran and set out on a little wander round the local area. Our little wander turned into an 11 mile hike (never let Keefy in charge of that again – we didn’t even take any water!!!) but the scenery around that part of the world is truly stunning so it was a pleasure to explore it (I can say that now- at the time, I’m not going to lie, tempers may have got a little frayed in the dehydration of it all, and the ” Its just over that next brow of the hill…” speeches got a little wary after the 20th hill!!)

Next stop following our stay in Aberfran was Pen Y Fan, the highest peak in the beacons, and we were booked onto the site at the National Showcaves of Wales for the remainder of our week. The walk up Pen Y Fan was HARD!!! BUT, we both LOVED IT! Unfortunately it was a pea souper at the top, so we didn’t get to see the view, but we were treated to some snapshots half way down. I absolutely loved it – I can’t believe I’m saying it! I think Keefy struggled at one point, just before the last haul, and I think he found the true meaning of the Kit Kat mantra “Have a break, have a kit kat” as he gobbled his kitkat down in record time and then shot up the mountain quicker that billy goat gruff.

After a well deserved cuppa in Daisy at the bottom, and a reflection on what we had achieved as the cloud cover broke, we head off to the Showcaves site. I have to say the showers on that site were great, and although we wouldn’t usually stay somewhere like that it was just what we needed at that point in the week, especially as Daisy’s water system had decided to give up the ghost. We also enjoyed our visit to the caves, they were fab. A must if you are ever in that neck of the woods.

All in all, a fab week in Wales, we will definitely return, and attempt Pen Y Fan once more but hopefully so we can enjoy the view next time! 🙂

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The problem of eating garlic the night before going on long journey.. October Half Term – 2010 – Snowdonia, Wales

So, we had survived our first motorhoming adventure, and were well and truly hooked. As soon as we got home from Bonny Scotland we couldn’t wait to start planning our next adventure. We drew up a list of all the places that excited us, and after much deliberation, we decided to book a week in the Snowdonia area of Wales for our next jaunt, during the October Half Term. As my birthday falls within that week, and I had never been to Wales, we planned to take the train up to the top of Snowdon on the day of my birthday. I was highly excited about this!!

On our way to Wales we had an overnight stop in Coventry, to see my good friend Krystle for a catch up/ Ali BaBa’s (Ali BaBa’s is a LEDGENDARY curry house in the Cov – absolutely AWESOME). Now, just to deviate from the motorhoming here, whenever I go to Ali B’s (or any curry house, come to think of it), I just cannot help myself – I have the same three things : Garlic Chicken Balti, Garlic Rice, and Garlic Naan (AKA the unholy trinity). Keith decided to try out (or copy!) my recommendation that night too, so we both had the unholy trinity. We didn’t stay in Daisy that night, we kipped at K’s house so the next morning when we set off on our merry way, we were fed, watered and excited to hit the road towards Conwy Castle. Because we had both had the UT we were blissfully aware that actually we both were oozing garlic from every pore known to man. We stopped for petrol along the way, and this was where I encountered one of my most embarrasing moments I’ve ever had. I went in to pay for the fuel and the conversation went like this:

Lady behind counter- Good night last night?

Me- Erm, yes thanks…. (slightly wondering where she is going with this one)

Lady- Would you like some mints?

Me- erm, no thanks, I’m good with just the petrol…

Lady- Are you sure?

Me- Yeeeees thanks…..

Lady- I really recommend the mints dear,

Me- Erm,can I ask why?

Lady- Well, I don’t mean to be rude, but as soon as you walked in, all I could smell was garlic.

Me (Highly embarrassed by this point) – OH! Well, I did have some garlic last night…

Lady- I’m surprised your other half didn’t smell it…

Me – Well he had the same…

Lady- Crikey… I would hate to smell the inside of your van then love!

By this stage I was absolutely mortified and all I could do was quickly take my card off her and run out!

I suppose the moral of this should be something like don’t over do the ol’ garlic, especially when camping, blah blah blah. Have we changed our ways? No, of course not. Just can’t get enough of the triple garlic. Yum.

Anyway back to our hols. We had a fab time visiting all the different areas and were treated to some lovely weather. Our itinery was as follows:

Conwy, Snowdon (Llanberis), Llandudno, Betws-y-Coed, Cae Du (South of Barmouth)Beddgelert, Shrewsbury

Highlights were:

1) Getting to hold a Bird of Prey at Conwy Castle

2) Going up Snowdon on my birthday was wicked. We were SO LUCKY with the weather as you can see in the slideshow at the bottom of the page…

3) Watching the Sunset at Cae Du Campsite. If you ever are in that neck of the woods, you should definitely visit: http://coolcamping.co.uk/campsites/uk/wales/snowdonia/gwynedd/cae-du.

Note the Cae Du that we stayed at was the one at Gwynned, not Beddgelbert. The night we stayed, we were treated to a rather large storm that lasted the whole night! We were still fairly inexperienced with pitching up, and we chose the worst place to park for the night (not for the view though, that was spectacular). I can honestly say that I did not sleep a wink – I properly thought we were ending up in the sea, I kept checking the handbrake every 10 minutes, and the turbulence (is that even the right word?!) well- it was insane. But- would we do it it again… without a doubt, yes. The view was just unbelievable and worth the lack of sleep, and we managed to escape being towed off the site, unlike our neighbours….!

A few photos..

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