Well, it turns out that my fears were confirmed. It rained for most of the week. But despite this, we had a good time and I took quite a few pictures that I like. Some of these were also taken on my phone.
We stayed at Rosebush Camping & Caravan park. It’s an adults-only site in a tiny village with a small lake and beautiful scenery. When we arrived it was sunny and dry (although the ground was wet from recent rain). After setting up the tent, we took a leisurely walk around the site.
A tiny toad – barely a centimetre in length. There were hundreds of these hopping around in the wet grass. We also saw a handful of large adult toads.
A view across the Preseli hills
The friendly campsite cat.
There is a large dam and reservoir near the village of Llys-y-fran. The reservoir perimeter walk is approximately 8 miles, and due to the intermittent rain we decided not (couldn’t be bothered) to walk around it. We simply walked around the dam area instead.
Last time I saw the dam, probably 12 years ago, it was possible to walk along the top of the dam, as far as the round tower. It’s no longer permitted due to “falling debris”. The pumping station at the bottom used to run, too. This made a huge plume of water and a noise like the end of the world. The pump was turned off on this occasion 😦 I still managed some nice photos of water spilling down the slipway, though.
Tenby & Caldey Island
We took a day trip to the seaside town of Tenby. To start with the conditions were OK, but not quite beach weather, so we walked around town and saw the sights.
St. Catherine’s Fort has four main bedrooms, 16 turret rooms and an old banquet hall with a life size statue of Queen Victoria and an old, half-broken suit of armour. In the basement there is an old armoury which used to hold 444 barrels of gunpowder. At one time the fort was used as a zoo.
Then it started raining on and off, so we decided to take a boat trip to nearby Caldey Island, some 20 minutes by boat. However being in an open boat isn’t much fun in the rain, and Hana has the scowl to prove it.
Once on the island, the heavens opened and we ran for cover. I tried to take photos of rain. It’s pretty hard because as soon as you get the camera close enough to the splashing puddles, you get water on the lens and lose the ability to focus.
After a few minutes, it cleared up and we had a look round the island. There is hardly anything there – apparently the island was and still is inhabited by Cistercian monks. There are several churches and other religious buildings, a post office, and shops that sell chocolate, fudge and perfume made by the monks.
By the time we returned to the mainland, the tide had gone out from Tenby harbour.
Oakwood theme park
On Wednesday the weather looked like it might be good all day, so we gambled on a day out at Oakwood theme park. The gamble paid off, and it was hot and sunny all day.
I didn’t take my camera as I didn’t want to be carrying excess baggage around, but I have scanned in the obligatory photo taken while we were riding Megafobia, a large wooden rollercoaster.
After we got back from Oakwood, we were in such high spirits from the good weather that we didn’t go into the tent for ages. I took these photos on the campsite. It’s not often I get to play with long exposures at night, mainly because urban Bristol is well lit after dark. These photos were exposed for 4 and 30 seconds respectively.
The last day
From 9am Thursday to 9am Friday (when we started packing to leave) it rained continuously, without even a minute’s respite. Our tent, being a cheap one from Tesco began to leak and by the time we woke up on Friday, was one or two inches deep in water. The area around the tent became a lake.
Hana was up before me, and from my lazy position still in bed, with my phone camera, this was the view of the groundsheet inside the tent, and the puddle outside.
By the time Hana had figured out how to get my camera out of long-exposure mode from the night before, the puddle had soaked in and diminished a bit – but it was still too big to jump over from a standing start.
As we were packing up to leave, a couple near us attempted to leave and tow their caravan home, but their car was stuck in the wet grass. We offered to give them a push; alas I got sprayed with wet grass from the spinning wheels. That’s the last time I offer to help anyone!
Speaking to the elderly owner of the campsite upon departure, he said he had lived in the area since he was born and had run the campsite for nearly 50 years, and yet had never seen such a severe rainstorm. Just our luck!