Wales 2 - The Revenge
Already in my head, with the blog title and I’m imagining a Killer Whale caper in same vein as Jaws and replace the humans with Seals with surfer dude hair and Cute Penguins in bikinis and you have a beach horror story worthy of David Attenborough.
Yes again I visited Wales but this time with YAK (Andy) and in late August and we booked a lovely 4 star cottage that was actually a converted barn. We are heading off to South Wales somewhere called Llangadog its in-between Carmarthen and Swansea.
(Note from editor – that area covers over 40 miles, you need to specify, memo from Marvin – I already said the name of the village what more do you want? Note from editor – oh missed that, my bad, why are you putting notes from me, you’re the editor!!?! Marv’s Memo – enough 4th wall breaking meta-shit I’m finishing the blog, Editor’s Note – Alright hurry up, fancy a Cornetto?)
Anyhoo let’s start this journey with the actual booking; a couple days after we booked, Andy received a call from “My Sharona” giving us friendly advice. Now advice and a long winded rulebook/tour guide are two different things. Come to think of it I was gonna have to set up some rules for this blog in the same style as the introductory email we received from the owner:
“Thank you for visiting this site and reading its contents, however by engaging in this site, please adhere to these rules below:
- No copy and pasting this contents into your site, it’s not yours to take and copy infringement is a crime
- No laughing out of turn, cue cards for laughing will be provided
- All Jokes must be laughed at between the hours of 8am – 7pm
- You have 20 minutes to read this blog after that the men in black will erase your memory but will instruct you to read this blog again
- When reading this to a blind person please put on silly accents
- Please recycle all materials other than glass which is a bugger to get rid of
- Please follow me on Facebook, twitter and Instagram
- Directions to the barn can be found here (insert image of google maps on a iPhone)
- Your allocated parking space is between the sandbags and the local bike also known as Rhiannon
- Make sure reading of the blog is accompanied with biscuits and tea
- Please leave comments, any negative comments will remain as I still like to think you hate me enough to bother
- Share this page and your biscuits
I’ll spare you any more of my bad humour but the email we got from the owner, was highly detailed, helpful but seemed very strict but all for good reason, its 4-5 star farm resort with livestock and family owned and if you treat with respect, you are a great human being. Again in case I’m dragged into court of libellous offences, the owner will be called “My Sharona”, yes I will play that sing now! All bad jokes aside, I would highly recommend this place due to amazing reception we received from My Sharona http://www.rhiwddu.com/
So for anyone who has read the first Wales blog, you know we drove from Reading and it took 3-4 hour and it’s roughly the same from Manchester although one thing I didn’t really notice until this trip round was the name of the towns. As we are coming from North Wales where its’ dominantly more traditional Welsh people, the names of towns got more ridiculous, the further into the centre you got. It’s like someone got the bag from scrabble picked out 19 letters to help name the villages but whoever packaged the board game got overly generous with vowels, Ls and Gs before selling it on. I think Reading under Welsh Scrabble logic would be renamed “LLanreeadilanogg”
That brings me to fact time
- There are just over 500,000 people that speak Welsh and 60% don’t want to admit they don’t know how to speak publicly in case they are hanged.
- Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyllllantysiliogogogoch is the longest Welsh word but I’m pretty sure this name was submitted by drunk man half asleep on a typewriter or a cat who was actually trying to type “feed me”
- Carmarthen should be pronounced “Car Marvin” which I normally hear form Andy when he needs my attention before we head to a drive thru
Anyway back to travel, we arrive in Llangadog and we already make ourselves noticed for 2 reasons, I’m the only black man in 20 miles and I’m wearing glasses so they probably think I’m Reggie Yates. Secondly we end up in the middle of the village… blocking traffic oops! Andy is tired from driving, I’m tired from picking CDs and we’re tired from the winding roads but we’re blocking all the traffic……somehow. However the blockage wasn’t our fault, the bus driver was probably not in a hurry as he couldn’t get pass us. We are all sat there, there’s like 10 cars waiting and nothing is moving, Andy leans out of our Peugeot 207 to speak to the single decker bus driver to see what is going on and his only sheepish Welsh reply was “I can’t get through” we are sat there for no lie, 8 minutes….8 MINUTES and we decide to speak to him to see what’s the hold up…. It’s us!! However know that saying “You could get a bus through there” I think we could apply that here. I know this has very little to do with travel but it’s just a pre-warning, the roads and driving mentality is different in Wales!
Drive a 4 ton monster tractor in a single but somehow dual use road at 50mph….. FINE.
Getting a tiny single decker bus past a Peugeot in a gap that you could get a bungalow through where the speed limit is 15mph…… TOTAL GRIDLOCK
After that embarrassment, we head to the barn, actually before we go any further some friendly advice, if you are in central Wales and you are going to occupy self-catered residence, assume sure you stock up on shopping. Believe me if you see a Tesco just go to it and assume you won’t see one ever again, there’s normally nothing for miles in rural areas here and you can’t eat the sheep.
The barn is lovely; it’s spacious with modern furnishing and great amenities, Fantastic views of the ambient valleys and excellent peaceful location. There’s 2 pigs who I’m pretty sure are animal versions of me and Andy, Ginger is the bigger friendly one (Andy) and Poppy is the short, shy black one that has fits (Me). Ginger did headbutt Poppy to get some food and Andy has done that to me to get the last Rolo.
In terms of what you can do here is pretty minimalistic, however you are in the heart of the Brecon Beacons and the views anywhere in this area are breath taking or is that the constant wind??
I would advise going to the national visitor centre, nice café and views and great starting point for hiking trails (http://www.breconbeacons.org/national-park-visitor-centre). It’s about 1 hour drive from Llangadog (40 mins from Swansea) but you will go past castles, gold mines, lakes etc. There only seems to be a couple of roads in this area and they all lead to the same place. I pretty sure if you zoom out of Central wales the roads will be a cross of the UK national railway sign and the Sega Dreamcast logo.
For one of the days, we ventured to Swansea, and what a treat it was…. Wait a min…. getting tired, hungry and angry….. NEED FOOD!! Quick Andy, find me food or lose your arm to my hunger
FEED - BACK TO NORMAL
Ahh that’s better, we come all this way to Wales and we are still attracted to the sins of Chinatown, we end up in No1 Dim Sum, I have no link to the place but your tummy will find it. The portions were as generous as the hostess was shy, so very! Ignore the cracked plates; let the gorgeous food speak for itself. As for Swansea, it’s an alright town, it’s like most other cities but everyone looked either really Spanish or really rough. However rough in welsh doesn’t really work as the accent is far too pleasant and everyone is in far too much of a great mood. If you have depression move to Wales.
Seriously nothing sounds horrible in a Welsh accent, repeat the below sentence in a Welsh accent
“I’m sorry sir, but we’re gonna have to repossess your house and your cat, for the lack of repayments, can you move your car I can’t get through”
You’ve lost your house and your cat but you have a smile on your face for no reason now!
As for things to do, for the “I’ll only go if it’s free “cultural types head to the Waterfront Museum https://museum.wales/swansea/ for fun facts on Swansea and technology and if you are in for something offbeat head to Swansea Museum http://www.swanseamuseum.co.uk/ it’s like a normal museum but feels like a primary school teacher did one half and the black people society did the other. There’s a lot of old wartime and music memorabilia that’s fronted by black people, Swansea you pioneers, JFK would be proud.
The town also has a few historical sites and a road literally dedicated to food and partying, there’s even a place called Pop world http://www.popworldswansea.co.uk/ and with Spice Girls in one poster and Nicki Minaj in another, I hope they do mixes! I want my Starships and Say You’ll Be There crossover mix NOW!
Quick note – if you are easily offended homosexual prepare to see the word “faggot” EVERYWHERE, however again with the Welsh accent you’ll be at ease “Can I have a Bacardi and coke and 2 faggots Myfanwy?”
For you activity lovers, there are a lot of outdoor companies but I didn’t get time to do these, but there’s quad biking, archery, abseiling etc. Also you are not far from Pembrokeshire which is where I stayed before, so outdoor fun and theme park galore.
I hope you enjoyed this and if you are looking a relaxing time head to Brecon Beacon, just prepare to dicey driving and sheep :)