Published: July 26th 2011June 20th 2011
Acrobatic synchronised alcoholism. Excellent!
20th June 8.10pm Newgale
Another gloomy Welsh evening, another several cups of terrible, over-priced coffee. Business as usual really. Forgive me for sounding a little tired and grumpy, I’m a little worn out from today’s walk but otherwise have no real reason to be out of sorts in any way. The past few days in St Davids have been very enjoyable, so much so that I ended up staying at total for five nights, which was three more than I had anticipated.
This extended stay can be generally put down to a combination for bad weather, good people and alcohol abuse, all of which I shall now elaborate on. As evidenced by my last entry, walking on that day wasn’t really an option, or at least not one that I was willing to entertain for even the briefest of moments, so immediately added at least one more night to the two I had already spent in the fantastically located, if not a little windy, caravan park overlooking Caerefai Bay. However, in contrast the entire rest of the day at around 7pm the rain ceased and it actually turned in to quite a pleasant evening with the
Right Back At Ya
Hugh showing me some love.
sun even making a few brief cameo appearances here and there.
Taking the opportunity to stretch my legs after a somewhat arduous day indoors, I went for a walk for a couple of hours before retiring to the Farmers Arms for the evening. After all, it was Friday so I figured that I’d eventually get talking to someone and end up having a few drinks (I’d actually avoided any form of alcohol for the past 48 hours, which by the standards of the rest of the trip as no mean feat and meant I was well overdue for a couple anyway). Still being a little peckish I ordered the soup of the day and a half of stout and settled in to eat and read for a while until an opportunity to engage someone in conversation presented itself.
Finishing the book I was currently reading (Soul Music by Terry Pratchet, a good, light-hearted, fun read by the way) after an hour or so and not really getting the feeling that I was going to find anyone to have a drink or ten with, I busted out the pen and paper and started work on one of my planned
Bubba, deep in thought.
writing projects. After all, if I was going to make it as a famous food, wine and travel writer I figured I’d actually have to write something sooner or later. I’d had a few ideas for a piece on the great English Fry Up knocking about in my head for a while anyway, so decided to bite the bullet and get on with it. To my great surprise and pleasure the words just tumbled out of me and onto the page and I made a lot of progress in a relatively short period of time.
After a while hunched over writing feverishly, a local lad by the name of Chaz suddenly plonked himself down next to me and asked me if I needed any help with what I was doing. Chaz, it must be said, was more than a little intoxicated, but nonetheless turned out to be a lovely fella and we soon found ourselves having a good chat. Soon after we were joined by his mate Bubba and they informed me that they were heading down the road to another pub and would I like to join them. Far be it from me to turn down the opportunity
A couple of local St Davids girls
for a few drinks and some good company, so we headed off towards the City Inn, which according to Bubba was “an absolute shit hole, but it’s open till 1.” Good enough for me!
Upon arrival at ‘the City’ (which was a little grimy, but not as bad as Bubba had led me to believe), we ran in to a few more local lads who were friends with my new acquaintances including Hugh who worked at the Farmer’s Arms and recognised me from the day before as “the guy with the Stone Roses tattoo. That’s wikid man!” Street cred established from the off, Hugh, Bubba, Chaz, myself and a bunch of other locals had a laugh and a few drinks until closing time and then headed back to Hugh’s flat. Not having any booze to bring along, I capitalised on a spare half bottle of red sitting on the table and after that and a few more scavenged beers toddled off to the tent and some booze induced slumber.
Upon waking up the next day I immediately regretted the red wine, but it was far too late to do anything about it and it was a nice day
out so I had some breakfast and a coffee, sucked it up and headed off for some more walking. I jumped on a bus back to Whitesands and then walked back to the campsite, all of which took a little over three hours. Still feeling a little fragile and not wanting to push things, I chose to forgo the next short leg of the walk, grabbed my day pack and headed in to town to buy dinner supplies and finish off the writing that I had started the day before.
Discounted pork stir-fry bought and writing satisfactorily completed I headed campwards for dinner and a few pre-match ciders before heading back to ‘the City’ at around 10 where I’d arranged to meet Hugh. Upon arrival there was no sign of him, but I did run in to Rob, one of the lads I’d met briefly the night before. We got a few drinks in and were soon getting on like a house on fire. After an hour or so the place filled up and all the familiar faces from the night before appeared along with a few new ones. One of these new faces belonged to the rather stunning
A local lass models one of the tropical fashion accessories that are so popular in these parts.
Adele. Chatting to Rob earlier I had mentioned staying in Porthgain and hanging out with Paul. Turns out Paul and Rob were best mates going back years. Adele, as it so happens, was Paul’s younger sister, and when Rob relayed the information that I knew her brother she immediately ran over to me, introduced herself, explained who she was and dragged me off to a table so the two of us could have a chat. Now this was indeed a turn up for the books! I’d only been in the joint a little over an hour and a gorgeous blond vision of bubbly Welsh loveliness was dragging me off for a private chat.
As unused to the situation as I was, I did my best to play it cool and ended up having a good old chin wag with the lovely Adele, who it turns out was an aspiring actress currently studying in Cardiff and was also apparently quite interested in Australia and Australians, all of which was just fine by me. I was pretty sure I was in there, a thought that I maintained right up to the point a little later where I saw her sat on
The Beach At Whitesands
I did do SOME walking in between all the drinking.
some other fella’s lap engaged in a serious game of tonsil hockey. Turns out he was some other local lad who she’s been in love with for ages. Counting myself a little unlucky that he turned up when he did, I didn’t take it too hard as even charming, worldly Australian types are always going to lose out to the guy she’s been holding a torch for.
Yet all was not lost dear friends, and I did have more luck with another local lady, who while admittedly was less of a stunner than dear Adele, was certainly more interested and willing and I soon found myself en-route to her house. Now I’m sorry to disappoint those of you who were keenly anticipating something of a more raunchy nature, but this tale doesn’t end the way that either of us were hoping. In addition to being more interested and willing, she was also waaaaaaaaaaaaay more drunk, and before anything untoward and bedroom related could transpire she was hunched in the garden giving the plants a most unwanted fertilising. Now in hindsight this should have come as no real surprise as when I’d met her she’s just bought an entire jug
A Rocky Outlook
Waves wash in against the rocks.
of some horrible, sugary cocktail and was drinking the lot through a straw, but then again I was also quite pissed at this point so somehow managed to overlook this vital detail at the time.
So after putting the poor lass to bed I found myself in the rather bizarre situation of sitting up and drinking a rather nice bottle of Rioja with her dad and his mate that had just got in from a night out. He turned out to be a really decent bloke and we carried on in this fashion until the sun was well and truly up. Details are at best hazy, but I think it was 9am by the time I made it back to the tent and collapsed in a heap.
Rising late next afternoon, needless to say I didn’t feel fantastic. Red wine had struck again and once more I had come off second best. Terrible hangover notwithstanding, I decided to pack up and catch the bus to the next town. However, by the time I’d got sorted and made my way into town it soon became apparent that I’d missed the last bus by several hours (as it was a
More impressive rocky formations (well at least I think they're pretty impressive, perhaps you are harder to please).
Sunday). After briefly flirting with the idea of trying to hitch my way, I though “bugger it” and headed back down to the campsite to set up again for another night. It seemed that I couldn’t shake St Davids if I tried, and this turned out to be true, although in a much better way than I had expected.
Walking back down to the bay it seemed a food van selling delicious smelling and well-priced fare had appeared by magic at the front of one of the other campsites along the way. Not really fancying another rice and tune a meal (and not being arsed to cook one anyway), I turned in to get some food into my poor, empty, hungover stomach. Turns out a few of the guys I had met over the weekend were there too so I sat down to join them and before long who should turn up with a half carton of beer but Chaz. Yet again renouncing my promise to stop drinking I had a few beer sand a delicious chicken kebab while enjoying the unexpected company and last rays of sunshine of the day.
Turns out that the only two faces at the table I didn’t recognise were fellow Aussies, a couple who were surfer friends of Chaz’s visiting him while on a tour of the UK and Europe in a quite impressive self-constructed people mover come camper van. Not really fancying setting up the tent again, when we finished eating I enquired as to whether or not anyone had a couch they were willing to give up for the night. Chaz graciously offered me a spare bed, and as the other Aussies were crashing at his house too we headed back and spent the rest of the evening just chilling and watching a movie.
So as it turns out, yet again the gods have smiled on me and I had another fantastic weekend full of awesome people and good times. Pretty much everyone I met was really, really nice and on more than one occasion we got one like a house on fire (although it must be said my luck with the ladies, as ever, has left a bit to be desired.) St Davids is a lovely town and the people great, chilled out surfer types. In fact, the place reminds me a lot of my home town of Margaret River back in Australia before the tourism really took over and ruined the quaint, small town vibe that used to make it so special. It ended up taking me a good five nights to get out of St Davids, and a little something tells me that I’ll be back there again someday, one way or another.