I can understand why some people think camping is their worst nightmare. It can be a hit – or – miss situation, but this time it was easy, and everything went very smoothly (once we waited nearly an hour for our pasta to boil, and my dad tipped the whole thing in the grass. The fact that he said “Pasta salad anyone?” did not make it any better)! We stayed in Rhandirmyn, in Wales. It’s a lovely campsite, with river walks very close by. We didn’t actually use the car at all after arriving, we just walked everywhere. We have two very small backpacking tents, so it doesn’t take long to pitch up (I think my record is about 10 minutes, not that I’m really competitive about this or anything).
One of the main highlights of the holiday was the village festival. We had a local day, looking at the flower displays in the church, and later we went to the open day at Coleg Elidyr, quite a well-known specialist college. Having been to Rhandirmyn a few times, we’ve always driven past these places but never really known anything about them!
Dinas nature reserve is one of our favourites. We’ve made it a kind of tradition to go there every time, because it’s especially beautiful in the evenings. The joke is , however, that we’ve never really seen any wildlife there! My dad and I also went up to the cave of Twn Sion Cati (or Thomas Jones) which you can walk to as part of the reserve. As far as I know, he was the Welsh version of Robin Hood. The cave isn’t spectacular or anything, it’s more of a giant cleft in the rock.
On our last day, we went to Caerphilly castle. It’s the second largest castle in Britain, after Windsor, and the first to be built in the “concentric circle” formation. It’s very spectacular, especially the tower leaning due to subsidence, which apparently beats Pisa’s Leaning Tower! The castle has been the backdrop for loads of films and TV shows, and you can definitely see why. It’s particularly atmospheric, and was actually too big for us to see everything in a day!
I don’t know if it really counts as a holiday, but we went to visit my grandmother afterwards. She lives in Somerset, so it wasn’t too far to travel, and basically on our way back home. Not much to write about, apart from my first ever experience of a circus! I had absolutely no idea what to expect, but ended up really enjoying it. I’m going to admit that I still find clowns a bit weird, and was pretty freaked out by the contortionist, but the aerial acts and acrobatics were very impressive. I have to go and pack for my next holiday now! Heading off to Switzerland on Monday!