A Walk in Wales
February is probably my least favourite month. I get restless. I want to start new projects and not finish them. My winter wardrobe is boring. This year, I'm tired of the incessant rain. Dreary. Grey. I want to go somewhere sunny.
I'm going to take some virtual trips. Would you like to come along? Let's go to Wales. Wales, you say? Wales - where rain falls all the time? Yes, Wales.
On a very sunny, hot morning in July we left our cozy room in Woodmancote, bravely setting our GPS (Sat Nav) for Lampeter, Wales. I wrote a little bit about the trip here. We arrived in the town of Brecon and thought to find a place to take a short walk before lunch. Our rental car trundled over the bridge (very narrow) and up through the winding streets out of town, looking for something that resembled the walking path we saw on our map.
"Quick! Turn here!" And we veered sharply to the left, which isn't as dangerous as it sounds in Canada, because we were driving on the left hand side of the road already. Actually, we were in the middle of the road; there wasn't enough room for a left and a right lane.
We parked in a little pullout off the main (narrow) road, and walked down the steep lane. To the right the bank rose sharply up to the road and Welsh sheep stood in clumps on the incline.
At the bottom of the lane, a black and white Welsh cottage drowsed in the heat. Don't you just want to knock on the door and be asked in for tea? Instead, we followed the curving path to the left and crossed a small river - the Honddu. From the stone bridge, the path went left or right; which should we choose?
Left, we decided. We walked, slowly, because it was very hot. The trees provided shade and the trickle of water in the river gave an illusion of coolness. Mere illusion. The path led out of the woods and along a field with a farmhouse in the distance.
After a short while, we arrived at this stile. The path continued through the field, but we chose to turn back for two reasons. One was the heat; we couldn't bear to be out of the shade. (I write this while sitting beside the fire, looking out at the rain falling down, and I can hardly imagine it now.)
Here's the second reason. That cow on the left didn't look too friendly. We thought that perhaps the heat was making her irritable. Choosing discretion over valor, we stayed on the woodsy side of the stile.
Back we went, in the direction of Brecon. Did I mention the heat? So hot.
The path led alongside the river, where sunlight filtered through the trees and made pretty shadows on the water.
We had no intention of walking all the way back to Brecon, so we returned to the car, trudging up the steep lane. A row of houses lined the right hand side of the lane. White cottages, lavender, and stylish doors caught my eye. Forge Cottage is the name, and if you "google" that name, Mr. Google will take you to the very lane.
Lavender! Can you imagine it? I'm tempted to take the photo out to my shorn, flowerless plants and show them what's in store for them in a few months.
Back to Brecon where the Welsh flag flies above the Brecon Castle Hotel, built snugly against the ruins of the 11th century Norman castle.
I'm feeling brighter, are you? And outside, the rain has stopped and there are patches of blue. February isn't so bad, after all.