After our busy weekend it wasn’t easy to get everybody unpacked, repacked, up and out on Monday morning, but we needed to if we were to make it over to Wales to visit Polly 😀 A rather later than hoped for start meant that we didn’t manage to meet her at The Big Pit or the ironworks (which we had thought would be a good start to our History project of working forward from the Victorians) so instead we met for a romp and a dog walk at Margam Country Park which was just what we needed after a long drive through annoyingly heavy traffic 😀
We had a lovely few days in Carmarthenshire, the highlight of which for H was probably a tie between spending time with Polly’s dogs and riding her horse! L also enjoyed riding and A had a go but decided she really doesn’t like the movement. On Tuesday Polly took us to see one of “her” castles at Llansteffan, which we approached and left via a lovely walk along the beach – it’s far too long since I did that! There must have been lots of jellyfish in the last high tide, since we found tens of them stranded and half-buried in the sand, some really large – up to a foot across! Gwen had to be helped up the steps, since her back legs aren’t what they were (she’s a grand old lady now) but she made it in the end and frolicked along with Gorch as much as she could 🙂 The castle is lovely and H, L and A all enjoyed rolling down the hill while we were there, then we found a slightly different route back to the beach for our return walk. Wednesday started with very bad weather but it cleared up enough for us to go to the red kite feeding station which is very cool. Sadly I had managed to forget the big camera when we left on Monday (remembered the batteries, forgot the camera – sigh!) but H had his and took lots of pictures, so hopefully he’ll have a few good shots.
Thursday brought glorious weather! H was persuaded to get up early to fit in a ride first and then we drove to the coast to meet up with Tadcu and Mamgu for a dolphin-watching boat trip. There was a lot of swell, which meant we didn’t see any seals, but we did see at least four dolphins, to great excitement 😀 Once we’d all recovered from varying degrees of seasickness we picknicked and then played in the sea. H was very taken with the skimmer boards we saw some children using on the sand and decided to go and hunt one out for himself. He’s confident he’ll be able to get it home 😉
We headed home on Friday, opting, after a leisurely beginning, to visit the Ironworks at Blaenavon since that way Polly could bring the dogs too and it gave us a good start on our journey. We had a picnic when we got there (which led to a discussion with H about picnics vs eating out and how different things might be for families of different sizes) and then spent a couple of hours learning about the development of the industrial revolution. We watched a fascinating interpretation of the blast furnace in action, found out about pig iron, visited workers’ houses furnished to show different years in the history of the site and climbed up to the top of the balance tower, where we admired the iron horses as well as the stunning view. Then, reluctantly, we bade Polly and the dogs farewell and drove home again.