I did warn you the blog might get a bit sporadic. It's all about when time permits. Unlike proper writers I don't have the luxury of waiting for the muse to inspire byt have to shoot from the hip when time permits.
Monday and Tuesday are spent visiting my sister in Ellesmere (where? it doesn't matter, it's in Shropshire but irrelevant to the blog because we didn't really do much there) Tuesday we ran my brave young fireman nephew Peter to the last of his training exercises. To be fair, the poor bloke doesn't drive and somehow had trained to be a firefighter with all the training 35 miles away in an area but known for its public transport. My hat off to him!!!
To save my sister Alison any hassle we kipped in her floor first night and in the van the second. One thing that has impressed me with modern technology is how much harder they can make floors these days. Back when was a youth kipping in floors wasn't too uncomfortable. Now, due no doubt to the wonders of modern technology, I find them much harder!
One highlight was, whilst taking Peter to his training we took the opportunity to visit Bridgnorth which has the UK's only inland cliff railway. There are only about 25 or so fenicular railways in the UK. We'd already done Folkestone and the one at the Centre For Alternative Technology at Machynlleth but at Bridgnorth found a guide to them all. Possibly next year's quest!
Fast forward to today. A beautiful sunny drive down from Shropshire to Aberystwyth. Since we didn't need to arrive until 5pm we could stop at points en route: Welshpool, Newport and Llanidloes. All charming towns particularly the latter where I met a barber's shop with a Sten Gun in the window. Don't ask!!
It's different here. Driving down the Elan Valley you could well be in Scotland but go into the towns and everyone is so chatty and helpful. Not at all like the more reticent Scots. In Llanidloes they had an arts centre with an exhibition on wool and willow. We didn't think we'd get away!
Passing the Girlguiding training centre at Broneirion we carry on to a lake where red kite are fed. At least two dozen are in a flock over the waters, most impressive.
The campsite at Aberystwyth is a huge complex with bars, entertainment etc (i e. not us) but it's low season so they have a bargain deal of £10 per night which includes WiFi and electricity. That really is cheap! We go into town. The students have left for the summer and the summer tourist trade has yet to materialise. It's quiet. Still we find good pubs (was there any doubt?), and have a pleasant evening.