Friday, 17 February 2012

Flags and Road Kill

After a lazy morning doing nothing much at all except have a lie in and scoff bacon and egg rolls, we decided to head off out for the rest of the day.

With no particular destination in mind I looked at a leaflet handed out by the site that promises a farmer's market no less in Ludlow.  So off we set, only we get to Ludlow, and it's a quaint enough place with roads going through houses and everything, but could we find the bloody market?

From there we make our way back to Bishops Castle where we park up and have a little mooch.  Just craft shops and stuff, herself is not very impressed, but we do buy some stuff in a pet shop.

Now there's two things that have struck us about this area.

  1. Flags.  They are everywhere.  All the roads criss cross the border, and it seems that the locals are fiercely proud of which side they live.  It seems that every other property is either flying Y Ddraig Goch or The Coss of St George.
  2. Road kill, there is lots of it, rabbits, foxes, grouse......... One lady was even pulling into the petrol station with a grouse tangled in her front grill!
Anyway, we are on our way to Montgomery to have a mooch around there, and we add to the roadkill total as a bunny wabbit runs straight out under Mandy.  Herself is upset.  I thought it best not to ask if it would be ok to go back and pick it up for the stew pot!

Sorry, my mistake, there are three things that have struck us about the area. The third being Castles, and lots of them.  Not proper tidy ones like Pembroke or Kidwelly, but lots of little dwtty ones, or big country houses pretending to be castles.

We arrive in Montgomery and I am starting to get that sinking feeling again.  My only previous experience of this town is its frequent mentions on BBC Wales Today News or BBC Wales documentaries with Derek the Weatherman bumping his gums about the place.  Well, sorry Derek, but it's a shithole, and I'll stick to watching it on BBC thank you very much!  Oh, and it's castles don't allow dogs in the grounds either.

Never mind, newly bought AA road atlas tells me that Powis Castle is not too far, so off we go.  We get as far as the entrance gates, and the welcome sign is not very welcoming.  No dogs allowed, says the sign in  big bloody letter at the entrance to the estate!

Are you starting to get a feel for our day out yet?

Things are now getting a little fraught in Mandy, herself and I have words, but a local nature reserve comes to the rescue, and we spend a pleasant half hour strolling around ( we even did a bit of twitching), albeit with the dogs not allowed off their leads.

I start to feel guilty and want to buy herself a decent outdoor coat cos hers is Ok for in town and stuff, but no good in the Great Outdoors.  I remember that we passed a mountain warehouse shop yesterday on the way North.  Can I find it again though? Can I *#*#! and after some miles I just give up.

Not a very good success rate today is it?

I spot a brown tourist sign for Lake Vyrnwy, so with the dogs desparate for a stretch we head off in that direction. Ten miles and numerous brown signs later we come accross another sign that tells us the lake is 16 miles further.

Call me picky, but if you see a brown tourist sign for an attraction, and that attraction is 26 miles away, the sign should bloody well warn you it's that far.

You've seen Chevvy Chase in National Lampoons going to Wally World?  Well that is now me at the wheel hurtling though the Welsh hills!  We are now on a mission, and we will see the lake.

After some driving that Gwyndaff Evans would have been proud of, we arrive (Hooray!!!) , and it's a stunning place.  We drive over the dam wall and head up the southern shore looking for somewhere suitable to stop off.

We walk along the shore, the dogs take a dip in the icy water, and we see some of the biggest picnic tables ever.

Time to head back to site, via Harry's for provisions of course.  The awning is now down and packed away ready for the off in the morning, settling in with a nice chilli and a few bottles of Perroni to wash it down.

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