Cheers from London!
I purchased my first Starbucks last week when I stopped there to read for a it! I have never appreciated hot chocolate as much as I do here where it will actually warm up your body and spirit! It was the greatest treat after the water activities this weekend.
This was an adventure weekend which meant we were outside as much as possible & being adventurous. The first night after a long train rifde that even involved switching trains to reach our secluded destination followed by a bus ride to the cabin we enjoyed a delicious dinner. After which we decided to go exploring along the one road that was nearby. Our group joked that we were acting out the beginning of a horror film because we were in the middle of nowhere, there was no light out, we have no cell phone reception, no map and were walking in the woods. Luckily the only scary thing to happen was a car driving down the road and the realization that we were walking through cow poop. Our hope when we began the walk was to make it to the beach we could see from our lodge, but then never happened although we did see a lighthouse in the distance and some nice cows. After our hike we went back to the lodge and played card games for a while until bed. My first organized activity was sea kayaking in Fishguard Harbour. We dressed in many layer including a wetsuit, skirt to keep water out of the kayak, helmets, and a safety vest so I was plenty warm which was a delight considering I anticipated uncomfortable cold. We started on the beach where I am pictured then went out into the bay and explored a few caves. The water was not too rough so it was very relaxing especially since I did not capsize unlike other people in my group. We played some games with our kayaks (I was second in the race right behind our instructor who cheated) and learned the local history which included an attempted french invasion. While kayaking we were able to see a lighthouse and what remains of the old fort that stopped the french.
Given the cold temperature they had us change into warm clothes before returning.
Our lodge was literally in the middle of nowhere. It was a 30 minute drive to the nearest town and even the neighbors were about a mile away so we were really able to enjoy being isolated, the limited access to wifi also helped with that feeling. I never found out the name of the horse below, but he was the most social horse I have ever met. All I had to do was say Hi and he would run across his field to say hello.
After kayaking we went on a 7 mile hike through Mathry in Pembrookshire national park. They drove us 30 minutes, pulled to the side of the road and had us get out with only a map of the area and knowing when dinner was. From there we walked along the coast that was utterly stunning. It changed from high cliffs, to rocky beaches and back again. For the four hour hike there was a 360 degree view of the water, cliffs, and open fields either growing food or with grazing animals.
I really like all the sheep I have seen all over the UK and I realize that it was because it was they remind me of Roxy with their white fluff, fat stomachs, and funny way of running.
In this picture you can see the cliffs from which coasteering occurred. You can see another group doing it while we walked by on our hike!
Our hike took us along the coast for most of the time only to go through the woods at the end where we walked into a cow pasture and even found a hidden swing the trees. We had to climb up a very muddy hill that most people fell down on, not including me, to reach this swing consisting of a small log with rope tied around it. Once you got on the tree swing you immediately flew off the mountain about 15 feet in the air! It was so much fun and added to the adventure of the hike and the weekend!
On the last day my activity was the best, coasteering. We dressed from head to toe to in gear that would keep us warm and afloat. The day we went there was a storm so they took us to the blue lagoon where the waves wouldn’t hit us so much. We were very openly judged when we walked past a group of students studying the rocks because swimming in March may not be the most normal act when the water is 30 degrees, but at they provided us an audience as we jumped.
This is the picture of the lagoon and the ruins to the right are where we jumped from after we climbed up some rocks. I loved swimming in the water and would just hang out in it for fun, it wasn’t much work with the life vest on! This lagoon is actually green despite this misleading picture and the improper name, this comes from minerals found in the water. The area was actually an old quarry which is what the remains we jumped from came from then when the quarry was abandoned the sea rushed in creating a 25m deep pool. This is one of the locations where Red Bull has their diving competitions every year because the height of the ledges are olypmic diving board height and the scenery makes it a desired destination.
After the coasteering, and a very nice shower, we made our way back down to London via train where I finished the book I began last week!
Today I (finally) saw the changing of the guards at Buckingham palace and while it’s concerning that I waited three months to see this I did get to see the guards in their famous red coats as opposed to the gray ones they have been wearing for the winter. The area was packed full of tourists which made me think about what it would be like to come here as a tourist, since I have never considered myself one. I imagine it would be overwhelming and stressful trying to pack everything in, I know it was been those trying to fit everything in three months so I cannot imagine a few weeks. After I went to a local park in Westminster to eat my panini then to the overcrowded British library to work on an essay.