Wednesday, 8 April 2009

From the middle of the Middle of Nowhere!

We spent the night in a small farmhouse not far from the beach. The weather during the night was stormy, and you could hear the wind and rain lashing the building. It was a solid, old stone farmhouse, so although you could hear and sense the strength of the storm outside, it was all calm within.

Alexander slept off his sickness, and woke as bright(and as cheeky!) as normal. We made breakfast (no cooked breakfast this morning - and no sticky toffee pudding for Nicole the previous evening, with Alexander being unwell!). After having gone through the storm, the day dawned reasonably calm, with lovely blue skies. The storm had blown itself out during the night.

We headed early to White Sands beach.

We spend a couple of hours there, walking on the paths, climbing out onto a spit of land (we could see the tide might be on its way back in which could cut off our retreat, so we quickly headed back to the mainland), walking up the beach, and a long play for the boys.

It was incredibly beautiful and peaceful, and apart from a few souls walking their dogs, we were the only ones there.

We dragged ourselves away from the beach and went to visit St David's. St David's is the smallest city in the UK, but it has the population of a village. It gets the classification of 'city' because it has an amazing Cathedral, it the "holiest site" in Wales, and has been a place of pilgrimage for over 1500 years. There was a monastery was founded here in the 6th century.

They have done a lot of work on the monestry and church,and it now has an excellent cafe, which we visited. The church cafe in the cloisters even has free WiFi access.

We spoke to a man on the beach in the morning who grew up in the area, and suggested we have a look at Strumble Head on the way up the coast.

We hit the road for another long haul. We stopped for lunch in Cardigan, where Nicole and a few other shoppers had a discussion with a 'queue jumper' in the supermarket. We walked up into town with our sandwiches,and sat overlooking the main street to eat them. We found a lovely little cafe for coffee and hot chocolates as we strolled around town, then got back underway to our final destination, Dongellau, at the base of Cader Idris.

The youth hostel was nowhere near the town - in fact we never even went into Dongellau! The Hostel was off a back-road, 1.5 km up a single lane track, at a place called Kings. It was remote, and beautiful. For the kids, there was a river right outside our door, and they promptly were in there building dams, throwing rocks, climbing about and having a great time! Alexander got his shoes completely soaked, but luckily we had bought him new school shoes, so he changed in to these and we stuck his sneakers on the heater whilst we went to dinner (a 5 mile drive to a lovely little pub on a local river).

The boys ate their ice-creams outside, then got back to the serious job of playing. We eventually made our way back to the hostel, which was very clean and comfortable for the evening. As the dusk settled, Phil sat outside with a beer and watched the kids play, until it was time for bed.

Camerons view: (Cameron wrote a diary for school, and he has given me permission to post his thoughts in the blog)

Today we left to the beach which was stony and sandy. We played at the beach for a long time and made castles with stones and sand. Then we left to a place called Cardigan. We had some yummy lunch and then we left again.
Finally we arrived at our hostel. It was so cool because there was a stream/river next to the hostel.

We played there until Alexander got his shoes absolutely soaking. We had a delicious dinner. I dont know where this was.

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