26th July 2016 Last few weeks in Wales

After a really relaxing time in Cardigan Angela and I decided it was time to move on. We said goodbye to our friends and headed off to where we worked last year.

Brecon Caravan Club site is a great base for exploring the countryside of mid and south Wales as well as exploring the Brecon Beacons National Park. We wanted to spend some time with Billie & Shaun who run the site as we have become good friends. We wanted to have a good catch up to to explain what we have been up to since leaving the club and what our future plans are. We had a few meals with them on their van which was very cosy and we invited them over to us a couple of times. We certainly put the world to rights on all occasions! Cannot wait to see them again wherever they end up next season. Who knows, we may even pop down to Brecon again later this year!

 

Another reason for coming back to Brecon was to explore the area as a camper. Even though we spent about five months here we didn’t really get to see that much.

We were not working at the moment so we decided to take the opportunity to watch as much tennis (Wimbledon) as we could, especially the Andy Murray games. It was a great tournament and brilliant to see all his games and even better to see him lift the trophy again Smile

My sister Amanda and her husband John (Team B) came to stay with us for five nights which was great. To my sisters amazement the weather was brilliant albeit a bit warm and slightly uncomfortable for sleeping in our van overnight. On the flip side though sat outside first thing in the morning with a cafetiere of coffee watching the campsite come alive with activity was lovely.

We managed to fit quite a bit in the four days that they were with us.

Day one – It was a very hot day and thank goodness the air con in their car is very good so kept us cool on the journey down to visit Cardiff.

There is so much to see and do and a day is really not enough. After parking up we headed for the main shopping area stopping of at a few shops for a mooch. One shop in particular that caught our attention was Beanfreaks a brilliant health food and product shop. We had a good look around and after taking some details down we left and headed for a watering hole for a nice cold drink.

We had lunch in Wagamama, a chain we have all eaten in and enjoy that style of cooking. We were very impressed with their gluten free options and the way that it was explained to you. Excellent customer service indeed.

After a few more shops we went back to the car park to collect the car and drive down to have a quick look at Cardiff Bay.

As it was still quite warm we decided what better way to cool down than with a lovely ice cream after which we headed back to Brecon.

Day two – Another really hot day so we went for a picnic at the very scenic Brecon Beacons visitor centre. We found a shady spot and sat for a while eating our packed lunch chatting away while admiring the beautiful views.

Day three –  We walked along the canal from the campsite into Brecon town centre to show them the sights. We also visited the cathedral where we had a bite to eat before walking back along the canal.

Day four – It was the last day of The Royal Welsh Show so we decided to go. A few years ago we all went to see The Three Counties Show in Malvern and thoroughly enjoyed it.

I cannot begin to imagine the amount of planning and effort that goes into the show itself let alone the logistics of organising the car parking and traffic management. There is even a free bus shuttle service running throughout the whole day taking people back and forth to the showground.

I’ve not seen this years attendance figures but to give you an idea of the sort of volume in 2015 over the four days of the event they had 242,726 visitors.

We spent ages mainly looking at the sheep and cattle before watching the main parade where all the cattle are paraded around the main arena. It still amazes me to see how huge and well defined the bulls are.

There are so many activities in the many arenas as well as all of the exhibitors selling the latest farm machinery or cattle feed to the many food stalls. It may be £22 for a ticket but in my mind it is well worth it when you consider how much it must cost to hold such an event and what you get to see. The key thing I think is to get there early and spend the whole day there seeing as much as you can.

Before my sister and John left to go back to Oxford our friends Terry & Karen, old work colleagues from the Hereford Camping & Caravanning Club site arrived for a few days.

We had a great time catching up with them and their lovely dog Barney. During their stay we had a lovely walk along the canal from the Brecon campsite to Talybont-on-Usk (about 12 miles) stopping for a pub lunch before our return journey.

During their stay as usual we had a really good laugh and we were looked after very well (especially by Karen). We were even treated to a full fry up one morning and didn’t have to do the washing up.

 

I think apart from seeing family and friends my favourite event was when Angela and I took on the walk to Pen-Y-Fan. We decided not to follow the main tourist route up from the Storey Arms but the more challenging and certainly more scenic route from Cwm Gwdi. As we set off we passed a couple of overseas visitors on the way up and apart from them we never saw any other person until we reached the summit where it was like Piccadilly Circus.

The place was swarming with people of all shapes and sizes, most of which I assumed walked up from the Storey Arms which is why we chose the route we did.

After our lunch and when we had finished looking at the amazing views from here we retraced our steps back to the car park. We still only saw a small group leave before us and a small group on the way up.

My advice if you want to walk to the summit and take in the lovely scenery is to follow in our footsteps. You will not be disappointed and will probably feel more triumphal.

 

About Dean

Angela and I decided that there was more to life than working hard to keep up the payments on the mortgage, to pay the gas, electric, phone bills etc. etc. SO............ In 2008 we sold our house, I initially took a year off (Unpaid) and Angela handed in her notice! We bought a motorhome and set off for a year of travelling! This was the best thing we had done in our lives (Apart from getting married) and we have no regrets. During the year I managed to secure a redundancy package which felt very strange. Almost sad as I had worked for the same company for 19 years (BT). It was always our plan to have a whole year off before thinking about the 'W' word. We began applying to the Camping and Caravanning Club (CCC) for the position of Holiday site assistants in August 2009. After the interview, work experience and induction we were finally given a contract at the CCC site in Inverewe (Scotland). Our plan is to work through the summer in the UK then head to Europe to overwinter before coming back to work the following summer season. Hopefully these few words and our blog will inspire others to get off the hamsters wheel and see that there is more to live than having a house and material things. A cliche I know but this is not a rehearsal, life is too short!!! Since our first contract in Scotland we have worked a winter contract in Oxford (never again!) not Oxford but a winter contract. Hereford for two years, living in a yurt for one! And Cornwall. In between our working we have also travelled a bit. Hopefully this website will give you an insight into our alternative lifestyle. Get out there and live the dream!
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