Jubilee weekend in Wales

It feels like summer! British summer anyway, which from what I’ve been told, equals about two weeks of great weather and a lot of rain.  Don’t expect too much. In fact if any of you were following the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in London this weekend, I heard the weather during the river pageant was awful. Incidentally, all my news about the Jubilee celebrations came from a little battery-operated radio, as I spent the holiday weekend camping near the coast in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

While I hadn’t intended to escape the Jubilee celebrations, myself and a few CouchSurfing friends from Leicester had haphazardly planned a 4 day camping trip the same weekend. We explored the coast, saw the ruins of a 12th century castle in Llawhaden , and the Pentre Ifan Neolithic burial site, and even went swimming to explore a cliff cave (it was cold). And at night we either cooked at the campsite, or ate at a local pub. Our Sunday night pub dinner included a concert by several very loud, drunk men, singing in Welsh, of which we obviously understood not a single word.

I enjoyed Wales even more than I had expected, and the highlight was hiking 6 hours between Newport and Pwll Gwaelod along the coast path, with hardly a cloud in the sky. According to the trail guide, the highest point at ‘Dinas Head is 142 metres or 465 feet above sea level so it can be hard going but the views are worth the effort.’ After 4 days camping, and packing up in pouring rain, we were definitely tired and just listened to the radio on the long drive back from Wales. It was interesting again to hear news updates on the Jubilee celebrations, and old folks phoning in who had lived through the British Empire, growing up in Nigeria or India. Interesting stuff.

Meanwhile, my parents were hosting another CouchSurfer last weekend in Chicago, who will be my host when I move to Exeter in July! What a small world, and getting smaller every day! But before I can think about Exeter, this month I have to finish writing my dissertation, and begin the editing process. So it’s back to work for me.

Iechyd Da (‘cheers’ in Welsh)

The view from our campsite

Hiking the coast path


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