While waiting for international borders to open, to be able to return to Venice to save Bella Rose, we embarked on a road trip to the recently opened Wales. As they say at home, “Local is Lekker!”
From North London, we meandered through the Cotswolds, stopped for a picnic at Ross-on-Wye and then endured a stroll in bitterly cold rain along an almost deserted Poppit Sands, the highlight of our getaway.
TOO COLD FOR A DIP
Another blue flag bathing beach, Poppit Sands is a sandy beach on the west coast of Wales, dominated by sand dunes at the mouth of the Teifi Estuary.
A couple of surfers braved the cold temperature and less than idyllic surf conditions. I didn’t dare stick my toe in the uninviting water. Nor did I take out my DSLR to capture the memories and only used my phone’s camera.
Stopping off for hot chips, at a nearby chippie, provided the much-needed warmth.
FIRST NIGHT OUT SINCE LOCKDOWN
The Cliff Hotel & Spa is located on the coast of Cardigan Bay overlooking Poppit Sands and Cardigan Island. Due to COVID, the restaurant was closed and dinner was served inside the room. It felt as though we were in a different, stranger world with the social distancing and not coming across any other guests. While checking in, we ticked off the food we wanted and selected a timeslot, to give us enough time to explore the expansive grounds overlooking the spectacular views of the jagged coastline, reaching Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire. A pod of dolphins fished, diving deep, in the middle of the bay, disappearing as fast as they appeared.
We woke to clear, corn-flower blue sky and delved into the countryside, having instantly fallen in love with the coast and countryside of Mid-Wales. From Cardigan Bay, we headed to the Black Mountains in the Brecon Beacons National Park for a short stroll before reluctantly having to head back to London.
I’ve experienced Wales a few times before and had always appreciated its welcoming wildness. Groups of jubilant hikers at every national park entrance. The lush hills and mountains rolling and snaking as far as the eye could see. Motorcyclists in convoy at every bend and ‘truck’ stop offering snacks and beverages. Was the whole of Wales this active? Were they this adventurous every weekend?