Pembrokeshire, Wales - August 2010

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August 28th 2010
Published: January 1st 2012
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August bank holiday weekend: what better time to participate in the favourite English past-time of camping? Early the Saturday morning, Doug, Fe and the two of us set off for Pembrokeshire, a new part of Wales for us all .... after a hilarious drive (one of those ones where your abs actually feel like they've had a workout) we neared the Pembrokeshire coastline and started our search for a campsite. With a lot of camping sites having minimum one week stays over this busy weekend, we'd decided to "wing it" and find somewhere when we got there! Easier said than done... as we trooped from campsite to campsite only to be told that the campsites were full.... or were lead up people's random driveways by a misbehaving sat nav. Eventually we found a campsite! And what's more, while the owner apologised and said he didn't have room in the main campsite area, but that he had some space in a paddock he hadn't been planning to open and was, hence, an empty paddock, we were ecstatic to have our own area, AWAY from the rest! And it afforded pretty views over the surrounding countryside right from our tent doors! We set up our campsite, and made our way to the closest town to pick up supplies and a couple of portable BBQs... what else do you need?!

That night we all realised that we'd not quite prepared for the cold as well as we ought..... as the wild and windy coast lived up to its reputation. Bunny crawled into her super warm sleeping bag, pulling the hood up and resembling a caterpillar for the rest of the night, with only a small space left to consume drinks (needing the further warmth of an alcohol jacket) this involved trying to achieve a complicated method of getting the whole can or bottle in, and then back out the tiny opening for her face. Pretty funny stuff.

Martin and Doug jumped over the paddock fence and went scrummaging for twigs and we built a small (mmmm not sure we're allowed....) fire in our remaining disposable BBQ trays. Was cool having an open fire though and the night was fun over drinks, fire, trying not to freeze our butts off before later crawling into our snug tents.

The following day we went for a drive around the coast, stopping off at a couple of beaches, exploring the captivating, rugged Welsh coastline (it really is quite awesome!), a pub lunch and then, oh oh, a surf shop. Now as far as most people in the Northern hemisphere are concerned, the "cool labels" whilst growing up were the European brands... to kiwis however, particularly coastie ones like us, we grew up with surf labels. However, try finding many surf shops in London... it's not an easy task. When we spotted a surf shop in a small sleepy welsh town on the coastline we couldn't resist going in. While Doug and Fe, having been caught in this position before, ducked in for a quick look and then quickly walked back out to avoid temptation (although they did still both end up buying some jandals etc...!), Martin and Bunny ended up acting like kids in a candystore, so excited by so many surf labels! on sale! and left a couple of bags heavier... not great for the current savings plan for 4 months in West Africa coming up! The evening resembled the first in many ways - why tamper with a good recipe!?

The last day of our trip, Monday, we packed up and headed south through Wales heading for a place we'd heard of but not yet been called 'Tenby'. This was quite bizarre, as we neared Tenby, suddenly the grey skies were whisked away and the sun came blazing out, as we pulled into Tenby we instantly loved the place. It was suddenly stunningly hot and sunny, the town of Tenby is very quaint, cute and full of character, and there was a shiny white SANDY Beach! The likes of which we'd not yet seen before in our explorations of the UK! This was an awesome place to end a fantastic weekend away with friends! We found a sunny spot in a beer garden to while away a few hours and then were sadly on our way. What a brilliant trip, Wales once again awed us as a beautiful place to visit.

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