We really needed this weekend away in Rosie. We’ve been so busy and struggling with life lately that we needed to slow down and take it easy. That’s what having a camper van means to us; that’s what makes the difference. So we packed up and set off on what was quite a lengthy drive through sunshine and rain to Pembrokeshire.
Our campsite Celtic Camping is near Abereiddy in the parish of St David’s. It’s set above the cliffs by the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, is on National Trust land and has extensive facilities including a bunkhouse, several fields for camping and a very laid back feel. We opt for the hook up field and pick our spot facing the sea. The views are fantastic, so tried to photograph a panoramic picture.
It’s an opportunity to properly use our new awning and light. Now the old awning had Dubber in a frenzy every time we put it up. It wasnt complicated but add a breeze and a twisted guy rope and you can get your knickers in a twist very quickly. Usually meant it was my time to put the kettle on and make a cuppa.
But with our new Kampa ‘inflatable’ (ooh!) awning it’s so much easier. There’s a blue pump thing that Dubber uses to inflate two beams and the cross beam and then it’s up essentially. It’s lovely and light and stays quite cosy even when the evenings get cool. It’s become our sitting room for when we’re camping but also has an inner tent providing another bedroom if others come to stay (see my next blog).
And then there’s always a place for a bit of decoration.
So we are settled quite quickly and have time to lazily watch the view, cook ourselves dinner and have a glass of wine or two ..and a gin.
There was overnight rain but we stayed nice and dry and after breakfast headed out to walk the Pembrokeshire Coastal Walk. The scenery is stunning, with rocky cliffs and sandy bays, waterfalls and a blue lagoon where crazy people go coasteering. Yes it was new to me too. Young people wearing wet suits and helmets jump off cliffs and then climb back up them for pleasure. Crazy.
Anyway we have a lovely walk to Abereiddy, a small village where the coasteerers set off from. There doesn’t appear to be much there other than a well equipped food van on the car park. We will come back to that. We continue on to the next village Porthgain where we know there is a pub. After a couple of sharp showers the sun is out and we take off waterproofs and bare our arms on what turns out to be a beautiful day. This time of year is great for walking because there is so much wildflower around the edges of the path. I’m sure that we are doing so much more to preserve our countryside and flowers are returning that we haven’t seen in a number of years. This is National Trust land and they do a great job at preserving land so that we can enjoy it.
We arrive in time for lunch at Porthgain, a small village but obviously well visited by tourists with gift shops and a gallery, a restaurant and a pub, The Sloop Inn. There is a lovely little harbour and the tide is out. A man and his dog are digging for something in the muddy sand. There is a strange building clinging to the cliffs that is almost fortress like and on researching it, it is a relic of slate quarrying days. The slate used to come via a tramway, to be worked on here before being shipped out. For a time when the slate mines closed it became a brick factory and later for crushing road stone. Along with the large brick hoppers it is now an important national monument.
We unhitched Rosie from the awning and headed out to St Davids. It’s the closest town or is that city as it has a cathedral. It has an impressive cathedral and remains of the Bishops Palace. There are quaint shops and a supermarket; we have a list of things we forgot to bring. Need to have a list permanently in the food box to check before we come.
We sampled the local beer too.
Back at the van we make dinner and sit out in the evening sun to wait for the sunset. Unfortunately the clouds moved in so it wasn’t as spectacular as we thought, but we are happy just to admire the view before the Skipbo challenge starts.
Another day and a trip out in the van today. We are heading to Tenby. It’s one of those places everyone except me has been to. Even Dubber tells me he came here as a child. First impressions are very good. It’s an upmarket holiday destination. No kiss me quick hats, more fancy gift shops, wine and coffee bars. Inside the town walls there is a lovely feel to the town. We wander the shops and have a spot of lunch whilst people watching before we have a shower of rain. We walk to look over the beach and make a visit to the Lifeboat, and next door was the old lifeboat station that became a home on Grand Designs. A bit public!
After another killing at Skipbo, Dubber really does get fed up with me winning, we bunker down for the night and the next day we pack up quite swiftly – another asset of the new awning, it deflates really easily.
We say goodbye to the sea and make our way back towards Cardiff. We are stopping off near Cowbridge with friends Bev and Dick and enjoy a beautiful lunch in their garden. There’s nothing better than relaxing in someone’s beautiful garden and enjoying lunch with lovely people.
So the awning was a real success. I have another good win at Skipbo under my belt and at last I’ve visited Pembrokeshire, which was on my bucket list of places to visit in Rosie. Another week and we are taking her out again. Can’t wait.