Soon after our couple of days in Cornwall we ventured to the South of Wales and spent four days in and around Swansea. We stayed with his delightful Aunt & Uncle who are also keen adventurers themselves, telling us stories of their motor bike adventure around Europe and their most recent adventure on a huge sail boat around the Atlantic Ocean on their own! Jon’s Aunt & Uncle have been to so many places around the world and it was just so inspiring hearing their tales. It was just so lovely to be out all day and know we could come back to an environment that was very cozy and welcoming.
Before we arrived in Swansea we spent the first day in Cheddar Gorge and Bath city centre. Cheddar Gorge was awe inspiring, it was a prettier drive up to Wales through the Gorge as oppose to going the usual route on the main motor way. Although it was raining, there was no wind so it was a pleasant stop to take in the scenery and the rain actually added to the magical feel. I love the smell of nature during and after the rain, it’s so earthy and robust don’t you think? In Bath we stopped for lunch and enjoyed a mooch around independent arty boutiques. We had been to Bath a number of times before, it is just such a beautiful city to visit with it’s grand Roman sandstone architecture and Victorian houses, cobbled path ways and quirky shops. The atmosphere in Bath is relaxed, it is clean and Idyllic.
The second day we did a five hour walk around a nature trail within ‘The Vale of the Neath’. It reminded me of Ingleton Falls in Yorkshire and we were surrounded by lush plant life, rivers and streams and breath taking waterfalls. Waterfalls tend to be more my thing than Jon’s, as I just find them soothing & magical, he is more of a mountain man and loves the epic scale of fells, massive hills and mountains watching over the valleys below. It was a lovely walk, it started off blustery but calmed down an hour into the walk. It was sunny and quiet most of the time and it felt like we had the whole nature trail to ourselves as it was off season.
On the third day we went exploring on the Brecon Beacons. This was more Jon’s domain. He has a love of walking up steep hills and fells to see if he can get to the top. I usually decide half way to stay where I am and peacefully enjoy the views. It was nice to see snow on our walk, it added a pretty yet crisp look to the scenery. The day on the Brecon Beacons was a chilly one and very windy. I wore at least 4 layers of clothing and kept my hood up around my head and face. Towards the end of the day and whilst we climbed one hill together, a great thick mist crept in over us and it began to hail and snow. The moment we got back to the house my skin felt amazingly smooth and fresh. The cold air and wind really gets your blood pumping and seems to brush away all the grit and impurities. This is a great beauty tip if you want clean, soft skin, just spend a few hours on the Beacons!
On the fourth and final day we managed to visit two separate destinations. In the morning we spent three hours at Three Cliffs Bay and in the afternoon we stopped at the Worm’s head for two hours. Again the weather was pleasant but changeable with a slight wet mist in the air that you couldn’t see so much but could feel and I noticed my hair slowly getting damp. At the Worm’s Head I was intrigued by the strange cloud formation over one of the hills which was next to the pub we had some chips in, looking out to sea the sun was shining and there were barely any clouds but that odd fog or cloud looked like it had come to a halt on that hill and wasn’t breaking up. Visiting anywhere in Wales, always pack walking shoes or boots, most places outside the cities are muddy and the weather changes constantly, so pack thermals and waterproofs.
All in all it was a bloody good mini break and I noticed we managed to spend time in four awesome but very different types of natural hot spots. The first day a breath-taking Gorge and pretty Cityscape, the second day a woodland like nature reserve, the third day the mountainous plains of the Brecon Beacons and lastly two destinations around a beach and cove. We managed to make sure our mini break had variety and I think that is important if you want to keep things fun and fresh. Many people who go on any type of break tend to stay in one place for too long and that is when things become stagnant and boring. It is good to keep things moving. Where ever we plan to go we think about how to break up the holiday into sections, we plan to stay in one location for a few days and then move on to the next location. This is what happened in Morocco, Croatia and when we venture up North to see my family-we plan day trips to other areas around Lancashire to really make use of our time. Now we are off to Nepal so I won’t be blogging as much as I usually do for about two weeks. I will try (as always) to do mini updates. We plan to spend time in Kathmandu, Pokhara, Bandipur, Bhaktipur and Chitwan as our main destinations. See you guys in two weeks, wish us a safe (long) journey and I hope everyone has a pleasant weekend.