Friday, March 13, 2009

A day for nursery rhymes and songs

The real highlight of today was being able to phone home and talk to the girls on the first of the semi-regular GNOs (girls' night out) held since I have been gone. They all sounded as though they were having a whale of a time and Susan was especially chuffed. Didn't realise that by emailing me and telling me where they were going that she had inadvertently set herself up for the call. Heavens only knows what the new owners of Tasty on the Wharf thought when my call was received - little did they know that I was phoning in from Wales. Hope you had a great night girls and that the heads are not too bad this morning! (:-D)

Today was another day of beauty and contrasts. Most of what we saw and did can be explained in a few pics and select nursery rhymes and songs!
From Baa Baa Black Sheep in amongst the white ones to Mary Had a whole flock of Little Lambs;
From She'll be Coming Round the Mountain and how I hate s-bends to Tumblin Tumbleweeds across the top of the Brecon Beacons;
From Row, Row, Row your Houseboat Gently Down the Stream to Wind on the Water and over the rocks;
And we had better not forget Lets Go Driving in Our Car Car!

We drove south again today and for a while followed the route we took on Wednesday before we turned and headed east into the interior of South Wales. Here you find the second of the high peaks in Wales - the Brecon Beacons. Totally different from Snowdonia, this area of National Park is owned by private and public interests. So you still find a lot of grazing, timber felling from planted fir forests and there is even a 'hole' in the national park to allow slate mining to continue.

The slopes are so steep. At one point, they are about a 60° slope and there was one point where the car (in second gear) had to negotiate a 20% slope - first up one side and then down the other with my foot firmly on the brake. The hills are covered in hardy gorse, thick luxuriant moss and a tough grassy cover. Along the base of the hills the roads wind through natural and planted forests and must be just oh so beautiful in the summer when it is hot on the open hills and so cool and shady in the trees near running streams. This area is strewn with walking paths, bridle paths and biking tracks. At one point, just over the summit, we passed a couple on bikes with their young children in one of those covered pulling carts - my god, that would literally KILL me! They can have it - hope they enjoyed the climb. There are lots and lots of B&Bs and cabins for let - though most of them looked unoccupied at the moment.

Before our ascent, we had stopped for lunch in a very busy little town called Builth Wells. There was an estate agents shop near the cafe and we staggered away when we saw an advert for - 3 bedroom house, plus 2 maisonette cottage on about 2 acres of land for the princely sum of £565,000 - that's a mere $1.2 million to us Aussies!

We had lunch at the very quaint Cosy Corner Tea Rooms. Just steps away from a very busy corner and intersection, trucks passed within a whisker of us as we ate. Michael opted for Cottage Pie with Salad and I had Lasagne with Chips and (freshly shelled) peas. Of course Michael had to finish my 'big working man' portion!

Across the road was the Builth Wells R.F.C. building. It is nice to see that they follow more than just one football code! And we just had to wonder what the hell Brains Beers that they advertise tastes like - ugh!

And tonight it is back at the Bungalow - sorry Kamala, no great menu tonight - leek and mushrooms on toast as we try to finish our perishables. Had a couple glasses of cider with my mushrooms and toasted you all out partying!

We are in a B&B for the next couple of days so won't be cooking (so there will probably be a nice meal menu for you to drool over!!). We're aiming for an early start so Michael can do another local mountain walk up Moel Famau to the Jubilee Tower remains atop it.

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