The school holidays and the main tourist season will soon be upon us, so we made the most of the weather, shut the shop for a week, packed the dogs and our bags and set off for a field on the wonderful coastline of Cardigan Bay, just a few miles north of Cardigan/Aberteifi.
Our home for the week was a simple little corner of the field, but with nothing else to be seen beyond the hedgerow, save for the flat-calm sea which was often the deepest blue, but was just as often a shimmering white or shades of red that would put a post-box to shame
We could not have picked a better week, in fact we sometimes felt that the weather was too hot, not so much for us, but certainly for Jac, the older of our two dogs, who feels the aches and pains of age and who suffers in the heat. There was so much of Cardigan and the north of Pembrokeshire that we wanted to see, but for Jac’s sake we kept the travelling down to a minimum and gave him plenty of days on the beach, where he loves to meet other dogs and to chase a ball or a Frisbee. His problem is that he runs himself into the ground, then suffers for a day or two whilst he recuperates, so we had to restrict his fun and do our best to get him into the water as often as we could, which would not only keep him cool, but also help his aching joints by letting him exercise in the deeper water without his weight bearing on his joints.
Things didn’t quite go to plan in the early days, Jac was suspicious of the deeper water and he was content to wade up to his knees and elbows and Meg didn’t quite grasp the point of the game, either.Then we started to see a change of tactic, with Jac still exercising caution whilst Meg charged into the depths ahead of him. It was really funny to see Jac standing in the shallow water and gazing in awe as Meg plunged on….it was also funny to see Meg’s tail acting as a rudder as she dipped her head under the water to retrieve a sunken ball.
Finally, Jac got the message and he spent about 15 minutes swimming in about 4ft of water, doing the doggy-paddle to retrieve a ball (I made sure that I used one that floated) and bring it back to me to throw it again…..sorry, no photos because it was way too deep to be risking taking the camera in with me!
One of the few trips inland that we made, was to see the “Bleeding yews of Nevern”. In a tiny chuchyard a few miles out of Newport, is a rare avenue of magnificent yews and one of them exudes it’s ruddy resin through a few splits in its bark where bows had formerly rubbed together and self-grafted, but now have split asunder. It is easy to understand how those of a religious fervour might believe that something more spiritually meaningful was happening!
That same day we had driven to the village of Cilgerran, parked up and walked to the castle, which has slipped in and out of the hands of both English and Welsh occupancy over the centuries. There was an amazing statue of Owain Glyndwr, made of wicker on a steel armature. Owain was the last truly Welsh Prince of Wales and is a figure of much legend and folk-lore, revered by Welsh historians. True to the popularly held beliefs of the man, he has been represented somewhat larger than life!
There had been some amazing sunsets early in our week away! The skies had been completely clear of any clouds, so the sunsets had been brilliantly white and impossible to look into, but on our penultimate night there were wisps of clouds and the sky came to life; true to form for a westward facing coastline.
On a drive home to the caravan one afternoon, i stopped off to walk along a short section of the coast through Ceibwr Bay, a magical, remote little bay where seals come to feed. When we were here in the October of 2016 for our 40th wedding anniversary, we were lucky enough to see a seal basking in the waters far beneath us as we stepped closer and closer to the precipitous drop of the cliffs.
Today, there was no such joy, but that really didn’t matter, the sky and the sea were an amazing shade of blue; the deepest of azures! This little stretch of coastline really is worth making the effort to visit!
In the late evenings, the sky was awash with colour, but at all other times there was just clear blue, save for the jet-trails of the plane loads of tourists rushing off to their holiday destinations. We had a smug sense of righteousness about making the decision to stay in Wales.
All good things come to an end. Tomorrow I will be on duty at 5:00 a.m. on Bala High Street, assisting with some filming work for a new “Visit Bala” web site; we hope to film the entire street before the traffic starts to pass through the town. When that’s over I must prepare some work to take to Shrewsbury for a demo that I’m doing in the evening. It’s going to be a long day!