Tuesday, 5 June 2012

West is Best

There is something special about West Wales.  The late great Grav was a world wide ambassador for the area and was renowned for his catchphrase 'West is Best'

Friday 1st June

Herself had the day off yesterday so the van was almost packed and ready to go. We were hitched up and on the road just after mid day heading west towards the Caravan Club Site at St Davids.  A splendid site perched on the very edge of rural West Wales (next stop Ireland).

Mandy behaved impeccably throughout the 75 mile tow, even taking the long steep hill up towards Llandewi Belfri in her stride (No we did not see Dafydd - The Only Gay in the Village).  We arrived early afternoon and set up in bright sunshine, hoping against hope that @DerekThe Weather had got it wrong.

Mr and Mrs Shag arrived some time later, having had to work today, and then taken a rather interesting route to get here.  A BBQ in the evening sunshine and a box of strongbow sees us through till about 1am and time to hit the sack.

Saturday 2nd June

We rise to overcast skies, but at least it's not raining! Dependant on where you pitch, the views on this site can be quite breathtaking.  Breakfast was cooked on the Webber, but a it was a bit chilly to sit out so we ate inside.  Not a bad view from the breakfast table though!  How much a night would a hotel with this view from the breakfast table cost you?

It's at this juncture that your scribe has to confess to having a bit of a senior moment.  We have recently has a gas point fitted to the van so that the Webber (have I mentioned that yet?) can be hooked up without using canisters.  Well since we arrived I had been having trouble getting the thing to warm up properly.  Having gone through all the options in my mind like ...... is the van running out of gas? ......... is the connecting tube too long and losing pressure? ......... is it just shit? ....... I come to the conclusion that the hose is too long.  I get my Leatherman out and am about to cut into the hose to chop 2m off it in length.  I go to turn off the grill and notice that I havce had it on the low setting all the time.  The high setting is marked by the gicveaway word 'Hi' on the dial.  I quietly fold away the Leatherman and take myself off to a quiet spot to 'have a word with myself'.

After breakfast Mrs Shag announces she wants to have a look around St Davids.  Having looked around it a few times previously, we are not that interested (read 'not vaugly'), and will head off in a different direction for the day.

Any ideas of doing any sort of walking with the dogs are blasted out of the water when herself takes a tumble on exiting the van.  I was having a swill in the bosh at the time, and as I am hard of hearing I didn't hear a thing.  First I know is when I come out of the washroom all sparkly clean and notice that herself is in a crumpled heap, sobbing, on the awning floor!  I get into trouble for being a little unsypathetic, but it's not as if she's never fallen before!

It is decided that today's mission is to hunt down a new set of steps for the van with wider treads, but via the scenic route.  We guess that there maybe a caravan dealer in Fishguard, and head north (well, south a bit at first) from the site, cove hopping as we go.  We called into the very pretty Porthclais, the not so pretty Abereiddy and the quite smelly Pothgain enjoying the stunning coastal scenery as we went before reaching Lower Fishguard.  We park up near the Harbour and let the dogs out for a paddle in the stream flowing into the harbour.

Even though it's overcast it is quite hot, and as such it's ice creams all round, served by a young girl in the kiosk who, despite living in deepest West Wales where inbreeding and bodily abnormalities are a given, appeared not to have enough fingers to do the sums.  I had to tell her how much my order came to and then how much change she needed to give me (3 ice creams for £1.05 seemed reasonable enough to me!)

Herself does not like ice cream, but gets enjoyment watching me demolish a rum and raisin whilst the dogs have a vanilla each!

I look at my watch and panic!

Wales are playing the Baba's at 2pm (in 10 minutes) and I'm 15 miles from my TV!  Driving like a man possessed gets me back on Site by 2-15pm and me and Mr Shag settle down to watch the game with a slab of Stella for company.  A depleted Wales side just about squeezed past a very talented Baba's line up.

It's still fine, but looking out over the headland, it looks like @DerekTheWeather is right and the weather is closing in. We get our food cooked outside, but by early evening it's blowing a gale and pissing down, so it's another evening sheltering in the awnings.

Sunday 3rd June

It's been a rough night, it's still windy, but the rain has abated.  It's Jubilee Day, and the Site is awash with red, white and blue. I am flying the flag of Owain Glyndwr under a Welsh Dragon windsock in my own little act of defiance, so bollocks to the royals.

The Site has loads planned for today, including a 'Name the Scarecrow' competition.  My entry goes into the box, though I doubt even if it's pulled out I'll be winning any prizes!

Herself is unimpressed, but I thought that 'Phil the Greek' was quite a good suggestion, and quite topical.

Mr and Mrs Shag are off out to visit boating chums, and we are still in the hunt for some steps, so we head off out in different directions for the day.  It's raining on an off but we get some steps after zig zagging across Pembrokshire at All Seasons in St Clears.

They has some steps, with wide treads too.  Two versions were on sale, both manufactured by Royal )a brand we trust).  They had a normal set, and a set that had been 'vagazzled' to include a set of battery operated LED lights operated by remote control.

In my heart of hearts I know deep down that herself will not entertain the idea of purchasing the standard set, but I have to try it on.  I get the look, and we are now the proud owners of a pimped up Vagazzled set of steps to get into our van.

It is now hammering down and we turn back west towards the campsite.  As we approach Newgale, the rain eases off and we take a short detour to Nolton Haven and enjoy some time on the deserted beach with the dogs, before heading back to Site.

Despite the cold, the kids are out in force on site. Don't get me wrong, I like the sound of kids playing, but can't abide little girls that continually scream! And  do we have a screamer here on site, who insists on running round and round our van.  The dogs are not impressed with the screaming and my nerves are in shreds.  Time to take action, and for the second time today the leather pouch is pulled out (in jest only I must add).  Herself calls me back suggesting that going after the little girl with my Leatherman may not be such a good idea!  She's right of course .......  trip wires or snares would be a much better idea.

The rain held off all evening but with high winds it was far too cold to sit out.  Even Mr Shag stayed cwtched up in his van in the warm.  He did have an excuse though, because his knees are ...... err ...... shagged, and the cold damp air was playing havoc with them.  He spends most of his life on them (All day in work as an apprentice carpet fitter and all night at home begging Mrs Shag for you know what!)  and they are showing signs of wear and tear. 

Monday 4th June

We wake to clear blue skies accompanied by bright sunshine, and breakfast is cooked alfresco.

Mr and Mrs Shag are working tomorrow so have to head off.  It's quite hot, my back is in half and my leg a bit tight after a bad case of cramp in the night (herself thought I was having a cardiac arrest the fuss I made) and I make a half hearted effort to help Mr Shag pack away his awning (read put poles in bag).

We wave them off and then head off out for the day and end up at Newport Pembs.  We pay our fee to park on the hard sanded beach and walk the dogs to the sea.  Tali befriends a red setter  and the pair cause mayhem on the beach, whilst Cerys decides to fill in a border collie belonging to a male gay couple.

Having now made ourselves the most popular people in the vicinity we head back south to the van stopping off for provisions and fuel en route.

We spent a lovely late afternoon and evening sat in the sun drinking lager and cooking on the Weber, enjoying the views from outside the caravan whilst the dogs lazed in the sunshine.

The awning is dropped in readiness for leaving tomorrow and we settle down in the van to watch the concert taking place in London in front of Madge's pad.  Half the UK seems to be there to watch it! Now unless you were prepared to camp out on the street for weeks and had a spot close to the front I really didn't see the point. Those at the wrong end of the Mall may just as well be in Norfolk! I'm just glad that I am about as far away to West as you can get in mainland UK away from it!

As Liz lit the beacon outside Chez Buck we notice that a beacon is also being lit on the hilltop over looking the site.  A quite amusing sight to see with dozens of people outside in PJs looking up at a bonfire on top of a hill.  The sense of occasion is not lost on me and I reflect that even though I'm no great fan of the monarchy, London and the UK can't half put on a party!

Tuesday 5th June

It's pack up and go home day today, and true to form we wake to the sound of rain hammering on the caravan roof.  We have had this van since November, this trip being our 5th away in her, and we have yet to pack up in the dry.  Coat and Mongo hat on I get on with the task of doing all the outside jobs whilst herself packs away inside.  We are hitched up and away by 11am but heavy traffic dictates that it takes 2hrs to tow the 75 miles home.  Mandy takes it all in her stride, even the climb up Nant y Caws hill, and I'm quietly beginning to rate her as a towcar.

Home now, and the van stowed away in its hidey hole until next time.  Despite Derek the weatherman's best efforts to ruin the long bank holiday weekend we had a smashing time.  We did a bit of exploring, spent time together and with friends, had a laugh (and a little cry), and all in one of the most stunning locations in the UK.  As Grav used to say, "West is best bois bach", and the great man was not wrong.

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