Geoff Brock & Bruce Gamble

September 2014: Wales


A busy few days spent with our good friends Ros and Adrian

Monday 1st September 2014

We took a midday train from Paddington to Newport, where we were met by our hosts. A short while later we were sitting down to afternoon tea, cake and scones. What a good start!

We were very pleased to see Eleri that evening when she joined us for dinner after she had finished work.
Tuesday 2nd September 2014
The next morning, we were up and off early for our "secret" adventure. Well it was meant to be a secret, but Ros couldn't help herself and told us about it the previous day! Ros drove us for about 85 miles north, along some quite winding roads and through some lovely scenery to Devil's Bridge in central Wales. From there, we were booked on a steam train to Aberystwyth. Before that, however, we had to have coffee and cake, of course.
We had made good time on the journey here, so there was just enough time for Geoff and I to visit the Devil's Bridge Falls nearby. There was quite a steep climb down under the three bridges, but once we got down, it proved to be well worth the effort.

From the falls, it was only about a five minute walk back to the station where we had parked and had our coffee so there was also time to pop into the speciality fudge shop to buy a few treats for the train journey.
Geoff was in his element to be going on the Vale of Rheidol Railway. Bruce was also looking forward to the trip, because it involved travelling in a first class carriage (another R&A treat!) and looking at the scenery.
This miniature engine was available for supervised rides. What a pity we didn't have time!
The train stopped a few times along the way, but most passengers were travelling all the way to Aberystwyth. About half way there, we paused to allow a train coming in the opposite direction through.
About an hour after leaving Devil's Bridge, we arrived in Aberystwyth.
It was time for lunch and a beer.
We had around two hours in the town before the return trip.
Here, Adrian is showing us where he stayed as a student, one or two years previously.
At 3:45pm we caught the train back to Devil's Bridge.
Once again, we paused to allow another train to pass.
Geoff pointed out that we had a different locomotive on the way back. (He notices this sort of thing!)
That evening, we had another delicious meal of cottage pie followed by an equally delicious dessert comprising nutmeg ice-cream, blackberry ice-cream, home-made short-bread and limoncello. What a treat!
A huge box of chocolates was opened. That was a mistake, Ros. I hope you didn't think there were going to be any left after Bruce had got stuck into them!
Wednesday 3rd September 2014
After yesterday's excitement and long journey, it was Adrian's turn to drive. We started off in the direction of Chepstow, with a stop en-route at the butcher in a lovely little place called Usk.
Our chaffeur, Adrian.
Once we arrived in Chepstow, we agreed to meet Ros & Adrian at the coffee shop and went off to explore the town.

Chepstow Castle
Geoff had made arrangements for us all to meet Lyn, a friend of his, for lunch, so we drove to the Groes Wen Inn at Penhow, where she was already waiting for us. We had a very nice lunch and a chat there. Afterwards, we followed Lyn's recommendation to go to Dewstow Gardens. It was a real treat, with its hidden gardens and grottoes.
What a lovely, peaceful place it is and a real find. Even Ros & Adrian hadn't heard of it until today.
Thanks to Lyn for her recommendation.

After saying our goodbyes to Lyn, we drove back with Ros and Adrian and had yet another excellent meal at their place (rack of lamb with summer pudding for dessert) and in the morning, they drove us to Newport station to catch our train home again.

Thank you Ros & Adrian for your warmth, kindness and hospitality!

©Geoff Brock and Bruce Gamble