On this Saturday in Wales our original plan was to go to ironbridge gorge and a historic farm. However, the group was quite happy to find out during our 7 am breakfast that we were going to cancel the day's plans and just have a free day in the middle of nowhere. I decided to catch up on sleep while some people decided to go out for an early morning hike. They did not have a goal originally but ended up reaching the top of a summit before turning back. Many other groups took their free morning to hike or chill around the hostel.
After a short nap, I finished reading a game of thrones and ate a quick lunch before going out on the trails with Jennifer. We decided to not go very far, so we just went high enough to take some pretty pictures and turn back. We had already spent previous evenings hunting the abundant sheep and exploring some trails. Also, the trails were crowded with people from all over that had come to climb the tallest peak in the UK. With this being a holiday weekend, it was just flooded with people.
When we returned to the hostel, we learned of a plan to visit a small town about 15 minutes away that had touristy shops and perhaps wifi! I decided to go ahead and join in on the trip while Jennifer decided to stay and read/pack her bag. Dan the man was going to take us to the town and we couldn't return before 6 because the coach was in the way of hikers parking their cars. So around 2 o'clock we boarded the bus to leave for this town. Before we left however, James asked Dan if his nickname had been "Dan the Man" in high school. Dan replied, "No. They called me 'Stan the Man.'" The people who were listening to the conversation were very confused. James then asked, "Why do they call you that?" Dan was walking off the bus when he said blatantly, "Because my name is Stan." When he had left the bus, everyone was laughing and so confused! How then did we come to think his name was Dan? Why had he left us call him Dan for 3 days and not say anything? It would explain why he never answered when we said "Dan." Soon though Stan returned to the bus and we were on our way to the small town. For the rest of the day the group was very entertained by this name mix up and when we got back we shared this new knowledge with the rest of the group and they thought it to be quite funny too!
The town we went shopping in was a very touristy town with lots of shops and restaurants and a small little park right in the middle. The shops were filled with traditional welsh gifts as well as more touristy things. And low and behold there was wifi in this little town! After shopping was done, the group convened at the restaurant that had free wifi and we sat there until about 5:30 trying to contact people and get on facebook since we had been without wifi for almost 3 days. The group had made a joke of not having wifi, but nonetheless people were quite happy to be able to surf the web once more.
After returning to the hostel, we had an extremely yummy dinner. However, there were a couple people missing from the group, Casey, Annie, and Jordan. As I left the dining room, I noticed a commotion outside. There I saw Casey and Annie helping a woman walk who looked very pale and had a limp to her walk. They took the woman inside and Jordan was saying how they were heroes and were getting an A in the course! 😊 Apparently the woman had sprained her ankle a couple of days prior but she had signed up to do a charity hike and so she decided to do the 8-hour hike anyways. Casey, Annie, and Jordan were luckily doing the hike as well. After reaching the top of the highest summit (which they were rewarded with a cafe and wifi) they started their decent. About 10 minutes into the hike they found the woman and helped her the rest of the way down. It was a very rainy and cold day, and they were all very glad to be back to the hostel.
Later that evening the group got together (except for the heroines who were excused to expire early) and reflected on the trip. We were asked to give feedback on the trip, such as what we liked and didn't like and what thought could be done to improve the trip. Then I expired for the night, still reflecting on the trip. I also came to realize that after this day, we were officially starting to work our way back home. I am both happy and sad to be going home. I have made some good friends from this trip, but I miss my friends and family back home as well. I will miss Ireland's culture the most, and the scenery from Wales. It was a great trip and I think one day I will come back to visit! 😊
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