Going west – and getting lost

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Our little convoy left the ancient site playing follow-the-leader on the narrow roads. The car in front of me had instructions, in case we lost the lead car, on how to get to the car park for a quick comfort break before the next stop of the weekend. What could possibly go wrong? Well, for a start there was the traffic that separated the party. Then a sign for a car park saved the day. Except, when we nearly got there, it didn’t seem to match the instructions. Off we all went looking for the right car park… to no avail. So we went back to the first one. Which was nice and had the necessary facilities, besides being right on the beach…

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We tried calling, but there was no answer. We decided that the best course of action would be to stay put and wait for rescue. A decision not in the least bit influenced by the beautiful location… or the jam-and-cream scones with large pots of tea with which we were fortifying ourselves when our guide arrived. We must have looked like naughty children when she found us… the look on her face is one my own has worn all too often when catching my sons in mischief. I’m not at all sure she was convinced of our innocence… and faced with a table full of scones and clotted cream, I can’t say I blame her. I’m not sure I would have believed us either.

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Still I was glad to see a little more of the place, if only accidentally. There are some beautiful old buildings in Newport, including parts of the Norman castle and a church of the same date with some interesting stained glass that there would be no time to visit on this trip at least. There are the earthworks and trenches of an Iron Age fort, built on a prehistoric site that dates back some nine thousand years to the mesolithic area, as well as more recent history, such as the disused lime kilns beside the car park of the little port where we had found ourselves.

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That is the only problem with running a weekend workshop… inevitably you end up missing so many things in an area. Time only allows you so much leeway and choices must be made about where to go and what to do… and yet you still have to leave space for spirit, time to just be in the landscape… and for such eventualities as accidental cream teas. The places we has seen and were yet to see were perfectly chosen and all places we really wanted to see. Still, it does give us an excuse to go back… not that we are likely to need one. Wales is a beautiful country and rich in history and ancient sites.

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Even the land itself would be reason enough to return. Somehow, you can feel both its age and its life. Watched by the creature that seemed to smile on us from the headland, we all took directions from our guide and set off for the short drive to our next stop. We needn’t have worried… ‘up’ was the only direction we really needed. We had a hill to climb…

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8 thoughts on “Going west – and getting lost

  1. I suppose being part of a Workshop Weekend means you have to think about visiting places that can be reached and enjoyed by everyone, so the scope for spontaneous exploration is restricted a bit. Still, it looks such a beautiful place, I doubt you could go very far wrong no matter what direction you walked in.

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    1. Yes, you do have to take everyone into consideration… and go at a pace that suits the group. Which, for me, is slowly and with lots of stops at the moment 🙂 But you are right…in such places, it doesn’t matter where or how far you go. It is just beautiful.

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