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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Deep in the undergrowth and back to comfort

Thursday brought hangovers to the young visitors in the Cain cottage. I awoke to hear someone quite ill in the bathroom next door and I tried to turn over and go back to sleep. After dozing for awhile Gareth and I realized the whole house was awake around us and we had better rouse ourselves for the walk we had planned with the family. Gareth's parents take long hikes almost every day, usually about 9 -10km, rounding up with a hearty pub lunch. The lunch part I completely got, but the school of thought I come from normally involves a bit of a walk to see a nice view or to get somewhere, not to take a detour of a few kilometers. Still when in Wales....

Gareth's Dad was really gracious about the fact that we had all rolled in drunk, slept too late and delayed their plans and we took off through the fields and down through a forest. It was really very pretty and I always appreciate greenery now since I live in the desert. Jenny was stung by some nettles right through her jeans but she recovered pretty quickly. Gareth climbed to the top of an old ruin - I thought he might try and jump off - he just has a boundless sense of adventure and a lack of fear but thankfully his Mum's cries made him come down, through a dark tunnel infested with god knows what! We then made our way down to the beach and it was absolutely breath-taking. I love the sea anywhere, but it was so unspoiled, nature as intended with views of the Welsh and British coastline speckled in places with sunlight and clouds in other areas. I got a bit excited when I thought I could see Ireland - but not from where we were unfortunately. We played on the beach with the doggy and looked in the rock pools for baby crabs. Then we climbed up again to the forest and found a rough path along the coast. The sky threatened rain but I could still hear the buzz of bees on the hedges. There were a few close calls with buzzing in my hair - which induces a worse panic when I'm hungover - and I think Gareth was tiring of my silly phobia. He was also hungover and  I think most of our patience was stretched a little thin!

We came to a beautiful lighthouse where I thought we might have a short break for tea but apparently we weren't half way there yet! We managed to convince Pete that we needed some water but I think he thought we were just lightweights (being completely right!). I was relieved to see a proper path leading back up towards various villages but Coral and Pete thought the low road through another forest might have been more interesting. There were many nettles to manouevre and little streams to jump across which normally I'd find quite fun, but I was feeling a little weary and longed for the normal path. Jenny, Owen and myself were obviously feeling the same as we all hung back, plodding slowly uphill through the forest, we could hear Pete up ahead and it's shameful that people twice our age were not even fazed by the physical activity whilst we tired so easily. Gareth came back a few times for me, particularly after I got nettle stings (managing to get some thorns up my coat sleeves!) and eventually it seemed we were on a road, looking at some lovely cottages and country homes. Finally we were at the pub, but we had missed lunch! The chef was nice enough to provide us some plates of chips and we made do with crisps and chocolate. I still couldn't face an alcoholic beverage and was quite surprised that Gareth could, but he never ceases to surprise me. Pete was jovial and asking me if I'd enjoyed the walk; the truth was that I really enjoyed the first few km, it was my own fault I was hungover and just wanted to sit for the last km or 2. After a few beverages Pete and Jenny decided they would walk home with the dog. The rest of us thought the rain was finally going to come down so we would take a bus back to St. Donat's. The bus-driver was ever so sweet and didn't charge us even though we had about 3 stops; Take note Bus Eireann!

We arrived back to the house as the heavens opened; only for us to realize that we had no keys. Jenny and Pete weren't home so Gareth decided he would climb through our bedroom window to get in. How I wish I had it on camera! So we happily came in out of the rain whilst poor Pete and Jenny got caught in it. For food, a Smorgasbord was decided on - this family could not have been more after my own heart - there was Le Rustique, rocket salad, beetroot, corn beef pie and lots of fresh bread amongst many other tasty delights. My favorite food is tapas, mainly because I find it hard to choose so little bits of many good foods - in any culture absolutely delight me. We all curled up to watch "The Shawshank Redemption" as I had never seen it. The rain battered the windows and the wind howled down the country lanes as we snuggled, drank wine and watched a great film in lovely company. We all retired to bed early and another part of our journey had been completed - leaving me with a feeling of perfect contentment. Saying goodbye to Coral and Pete I felt there was no question I would be back in this wonderful hearth of happiness without any realisement of how wrong I could be.
Hold onto perfect moments and savour them for a few more seconds....

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