Emerging from the crazy two day turnaround since arriving back from Mallorca with its endless rounds of unpacking, washing, drying then the whole process of packing again, I was ready for some rest and relaxation over the coming days. My Bacardi and Fanta Lemon days by the Pollenca pool seemed like a long way away at this point. When Alan suggested leaving the house at 6am I wasn’t exactly thrilled but knew that it was a hell of a drive down to rural Mid-Wales where we had booked the next 3 nights at the Rhandirmwyn (randy moy yan is the pronunciation!) Caravan and Camping club, and any opportunity to miss rush hour had to be attempted.
The reason for heading to mid-Wales was to visit Alan’s Auntie Hazel who is in her 90’s, fit as a fiddle and still lives in her own rural farmhouse – what a legend! Alan had spent time down here a few times a year as a kid and had brought me down over the years to visit. We really wanted to introduce Abigail and Imogen to Hazel and spent some time in the countryside away from hustle and bustle.
Car loaded in our usual Tetris style, we were pretty much on schedule and made good progress down the A1 heading towards Chester. We had promised the girls pancakes from Maccy D’s and we seemed to drive for ages until we found the holy grail in the town of Hyde just outside of Manchester! Phew! Happy girls and happy parents, now we’d had a coffee fix, we proceeded to head down to Wales.
The journey down was pretty uneventful and true to form Abigail was asleep the second the engine was turned on and Alan had fun winding Imogen up as she protested every time he switched Radio 2 on from Radio 1. Happy families!! Alan was gutted he had missed the Ken Bruce music quiz and Imogen’s beloved Capital Radio was out of range so at least that was one blessing.
Llangollen and a wine stop
On planning the trip we decided to take have a short detour and take a nice relaxing stop off in the pretty market town of Llangollen, famous for it’s canal, steam train and according to Alan it’s large loop of geo-caches which had recently played host to a ‘Mega Meet’? Unlike where we were heading to this place was heaving with tourists helped by the 25 degree heatwave. Plenty of shops here catering to your Welsh dragon, healing crystal or flag needs!
As we were here and our legs needed stretching, we found a few caches up near the train station (and helped some fellow caches seconds behind us find one) following the riverside path to the park.
We decided to take a plodge in the river and cool off with an ice cream. Such a pretty spot and very popular with day trippers. We watched a gang of kids use a rope swing to launch themselves into the river putting me a little on edge.
At this point we found a nice pub with a beer garden facing the river. There just happened to be a get cache on a lamp post outside of it too! Happy days!
Back on the road
Back in the car we still had around 2.5 hours of driving to do. Although the distance on the map doesn’t look too great Wales’ rural windy roads mean you don’t get anywhere fast. Still some cracking scenery to enjoy and I had avoided my usual car sickness, so all a bonus!
Rhandirmwyn – Caravan and Camping Club
At Around 5pm we found our campsite for the night and paid our balance, securing a great pitch in a quiet field right next to the park.
The Park was a basic offering, but enough to keep the girls from getting bored.
The actual site seemed to be located in a valley which was brilliant as it sheltered us from any wind that was around the area. All the staff were very friendly and kept popping over to see how we were doing.
As with a lot of Wales that we have visited there seemed to be poor mobile phone signals outside of the towns. And here was no different it was a total covering of no signal on the site. This gave us the opportunity to switch off and read a book.
We seem to have developed a tradition of a campfire chilli on he first night, made and frozen at home in the cool box. Bit of cheese and a few nachos and it’s a perfect easy to cook dinner. Needs to be accompanied by a wine box too!! It was a gorgeous summer night so we settled back in the chairs and let the girls run crazy. We were pleased we had reached the camp site and was looking forward to showing the girls some of the sites of the area.