Land Of My Fathers(Llanelli Male Voice Choir) - Blackpool,England to Ammanford,Wales - 17th August 2016

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August 17th 2016
Published: August 21st 2016
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Who the heck are Eddie Stobart and Arnold Clark? They have been following us around Europe and the UK since the BBA V3 started in March..

If you know who they are then OK, otherwise more about them later.

We have survived the second night on the BBA V3’s worst and hardest bed. But only just!

OK ,you will say if you pay 45 quid a night in Blackpool at the height of the English summer this is what you get. And you would probably be right.

We knew the ‘cosy apartment ‘would be small as the dimensions were given on the webpage when we booked but they didn’t say anything about the bed. In fact there hadn’t been any recent comments from previous guests about just how hard the bed was! Perhaps the English like a, that was hard bed to sleep on.

It is another fine, warm morning already and it is time for us to move onto West Wales. We certainly can’t complain about the weather since the weekend from the time we arrived in Arncroach and all the way down to and including Blackpool. Shorts and summer shirts all the way as well as the sandals have reappeared from the bottom of the suitcase. In fact it is taking time to adjusting to wearing sandals again after so long in sneakers.

We said our farewell to Blackpool and can happily leave having ticked off the Illuminations off the bucket list which will mean we will probably have no need to come back here again.

As usual the owner of the apartment building appeared as we came down the stairs with our luggage. He has had this uncanny knack of appearing whenever we came down the stairs. A bit spooky really but we were aware he had cameras all over the place and could easily tell from his own quarters in the front room when someone he wanted to talk to was going out. He wished us a safe journey and hoped we had enjoyed our stay. We had enjoyed our time here except for the hard bed which we didn’t trouble him with now that we had had our two nights on it! We didn’t want to sound like whinging Kiwis.

Getting back to the M55 to traverse onto the M6 heading south was a bit tricky and we had a couple of narrow streets to negotiate first. It was like a James Bond movie with cars appearing in front of us in what became one lane and no room to pass with opposing drivers sometimes flashing their lights for us to go first and sometimes it was out turn. Seems the English drivers in Blackpool have restored Gretchen’s faith in a bit of courtesy.

Onto the M6 and into the hurly burly of trucks, trucks and more trucks with the occasional car thrown in.

We are looking forward to the quieter roads of Wales but first we need to get ourselves past Chester.

Now back to Messrs Stobart and Clark.

Almost since day one of the BBA V3 we have seen Eddie Stobart trucks on the road virtually right around Europe. We reckon that over 50% of the trucks we have passed (hardly any have overtaken us) or have seen on the other side of the highway have been Eddie Stobart’s.

Well it all started with ‘Steady’ Eddie who started out in the 1940’s with his son taking the business through until 2007 when it became a public company and now has many other interests to make money for its shareholders.

Arnold Clark has been the prominent sticker in the rear window of many a car we have passed or passed us in the UK and Ireland especially. This family run and owned car company has been in business for over 60 years and is owned by the Scottish billionaire Arnold Clark.

Today wasn’t going to be any different to most other days when the BBA V3 has been on the road, Eddie Stobart trucks and Arnold Clark sold cars either passing us or us passing them.

The mystery has been solved!

One of the rather nice features of driving on the highways in the UK, when you get over the rather boring views from the car most of the time, is the fact there aren’t many if any billboards alongside the highway. Those that do exist are father back from the edge of the highway which leads us to think that they are banned from a distance too close to the roadway. At least when you do get a view it is not blocked out by a billboard advertising some brand or other!

It was getting on towards lunchtime when we got off the motorways and joined the A483 and the A5 down to Oswestry after earlier crossing the border from England into Wales and then finding ourselves back in England again due to the irregular squiggle of the border in North Wales.

We pulled into a Tesco car park and again we were taken aback by the request to ‘pay and display ‘while we shopped in their supermarket! We have had a few of these thrown at us during our trip around the UK and each time have decided to risk it, shop and get out without paying. It just seems a bit over the top to pay for parking when shopping at a supermarket.

We stopped in at a rest area on the outskirts of Oswestry for lunch and tried to find a parking spot where previous car drivers and their occupants hadn’t just opened the door and dropped their rubbish, cans, etc etc.This country has a long way to go on keeping the environment looking tidy.

Back on the A483 and the road became quite deserted as we drove into the heart of rural Wales with wide open spaces, very little populations and lots of sheep.

Getting closer to our destination of Ammanford we came across Llanwrtyd which claims to be the smallest town in the UK.Just why they should make that claim is not clear as the town didn’t look that small and in fact Mr Google says that it is not actually the smallest town as that title belongs to Fordwich.Perhaps once you have put up a notice making the claim it is yours until the authorities tell you it has moved elsewhere and someone has forgotten or no one really cares!

We arrived into Ammanford and found our accommodation, an Air BnB apartment loft over a garage at the rear of the owner’s property. Very nicely appointed and spacious this will suit us very nicely and about triple the room we had at the Blackpool apartment. And the bed feels comfortable!

The plan while we are here is to take a look around the Brecon Beacons and also head out to the West coast and St Davids.Lets hope the weather behaves although prospects look a bit dodgy after such a recent good spell.

PS;what a way to start our short stay in Wales but with the Welsh rugby anthem.Enjoy on Youtube and sing it with gusto!


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