Sunday, 5 July 2015

A Trip to Carmarthenshire

I was off on a book buying jaunt with Brian and the two Staffies on Friday.
We started off at Trecastle, where Bob (who runs the acoustic nights at Baskerville Hall) sells antiques. He wasn't there that day, but I came away with a Zorro annual, which made me very happy. The book unit there was having a half price sale.
Brian spotted a picture on the stairs of a steam tug boat which he recognised - it had worked for about a hundred years up in the North East, and when it became obsolete, the Maritime Museum in San Francisco bought it and took it all the way out there. Where it sat, for a few years, quietly rusting, because they had no money to restore it. However, eventually they got the funding, and now it's on display in San Francisco, while a picture of it has ended up in South Wales.
By the time we got to Llandovery, it was really hot. Also my camera had stopped working (it's fine again now), so I can't share any photos of the rather fine statue of Llewelyn ap Gruffydd on the castle mound.
Llandovery was playing host to a Town Cryers' competition this weekend. It's a pretty little town.
We had lunch at the West End Cafe, near the car park, which apparently is a favourite for bikers on summer weekends. Friendly staff and tasty food - Brian had a roast beef dinner with all the trimmings and I had the "light breakfast", which filled me up nicely.
The road from Llandovery to Llandeilo is quite narrow and twisty - and about halfway along it there's a monument in the shape of a broken pillar. This commemorates a stagecoach which plummeted over the edge of the road into a ravine, killing all eight horses, and about a dozen passengers. We didn't stop to look at it closely - it's on a bit of a nasty bend!
Llandeilo is on a very steep hill.
This weekend, they were having a jazz festival.
We stopped at the bottom and went in the antique centre - it's got a garden centre on the side of it, too. From the outside, it didn't look that big, but once inside, we went up steps and round corners and across a courtyard, and through rooms - it's enormous! I got a little model of Scott Tracy from Thunderbirds, which I'm keeping for myself, and I was quite tempted by a Stingray Play Suit from the 1960s, in lovely condition. The little boy who first had this either can't have wanted to be Troy Tempest very much, or he must have been very careful when he put it on!
The chap minding the till there came from the same part of the country as Brian, so they spent some time reminiscing about the ship building and characters they'd known, and quoting the song, the Lambton Worm.
Then up the hill to the charity shops - and a rather wonderful ice cream shop, with comfortable seats on one side for people to sit in and eat the ice creams (they didn't even do tea or coffee - just the ice creams) and a take away counter on the other side. They also seemed to make cakes for special occasions. Brian had the Turkish Delight flavour, and I had the peach and ginger - which was gorgeous, but there was a big chunk of peach in it which was frozen so solid I couldn't bite into it!
We sat eating our ice creams (with Denzil the Staffie watching us very carefully) on a bench near the school. A group of children and teachers were working on a garden plot in the school grounds, and as they did a red kite flew overhead, really low. We shouted to them to look up (I think they thought we were mad!), but they did see it eventually. We saw a lot of kites during the day, so I suppose the children there are used to them.
As we went up the hill, we could hear the school samba band practicing, with lots of big drums!
Back at the bottom of the hill, Brian moved the car round to the railway station.
The walk we went on is totally unsignposted - if you didn't know it was there you'd never find it. First we crossed the railway tracks (there's no bridge between the platforms), and behind the opposite platform there's a narrow path through the trees. This leads to a little suspension bridge over the river, and on the other side of the river is a little shingle beach. The river is the Towy. I thought that we were at a point where two rivers came together, but from the map it seems that there's actually an island there, and it's all the same river.
On the way back, we stopped for something to drink at a roadside garage and cafe near Sennybridge, where we sat watching the red kites fly overhead.


Anonymous said...

I think the Stagecoach memorial you mentioned is between Halfway and Llandovery, (not far from the Powys border), unless there's another memorial?

VforVendetta said...

hate to correct you but the monument is the other side between Sennybridge and Llandovery just past Halfway.As far as I know no one was killed in the incident and the monument (this one isn't the original) was put up as an early warning against drunken driving

Eigon said...

Thanks - you're right about the location. I was told that everyone on the coach had died, but as I said, we didn't stop to read the memorial because of the narrow road.

Anonymous said...

Ahh - even more homesick now :-)