September 13, 2008

I take a short morning walk alone inside the medieval city wall and past the harbor. The boats are still on the seabed. Is it always ebb here? Shortly before ten o'clock, we are fetched by J and K. We drive a sightseeing tour in the old town to look at the beautifully painted houses at the seaside. The streets are narrow and we barely find our way out again. Outside Tenby we take off north on a slightly larger road.

Winding roads lead us north through a hilly Wales. At a hill with wide views we stop for the toilet visit. There should be a toilet, but the place where it once stood is empty. We continue furter north to a small town, Llanwrtyd Wells, where we have lunch at the Neuadd Arms Hotel: A Ploughmans lunch which consists of cheese, bread, pickles, vegetables and a beer with it. Tastes good. The inn has, in my view, lovely worn furnishings. A man with two fine dogs is very talkative. Llanwrtyd Wells is the UK's smallest town. The big annual events are the World championship of bog snorkelling, the 'Man v. Horse' half marathon race through the countryside (the horse is not much ahead of the runners at the finish) and the 'Real Ale Wobble' race whereby the runners' thirst is quenched along the route with beer instead of water.

We stop in Llangammarch Wells, where J grew up and her parents ran a hotel, The Cammarch Hotel. 'Wells' because a mineral water spring was found there in the 17th century. Llangammarch Wells was built and well water was offered as a cure for almost all sorts of aches and pains.The Cammarch Hotel was built to accommodate the workers building the railway line. There are four more wells in the area. Llangammarch Wells was an important spa because its water had a high barium content. The hotel, a stone building, remains. J visits the grave of her parents in the cemetary of the stone church. Stone seems to be the main building material here in Wales. The cemeteries are not as orderly as the cemeteries in Sweden. This is a sheep rearing area and J remembers that sheep would regularly be let into the cemetary to graze to keep the grass short.

Our rented cottage is located in the village of Llwyngwril on the west coast. The narrow road that goes through the woods down to the coast has cat's eyes which mark the center line of the road. They consist of small reflectors that reflect the headlights and then light up as cat's eyes. We drive through Llwyngwril to the town Tywyn further south to buy supplies.

Our cottage in Llwyngwril is in a small lane near the local pub. It is a two-storey stone house with kitchen and living room downstairs, bedrooms and bathroom upstairs. I take the "kids' room", which is a small room with bunk beds. In the evening we study maps and decide that the next day will be spent ascending the summit of Cadair Idris. K feels better, I have, however, got a sore throat.

Neuadd Arms Hotel


View south

View north

Neuadd Arms Hotel


Our cottage