Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Cardiff to Tramore

Tenby boat ramp
Touring is hard.

From the sidelines it looks deceptively easy as the driving, food preparation and planning is all done for you but then, that's the hard part. There's no escaping the plan and you have to be where everyone expects you, when they expect you or things come unstuck and this tour of the UK, with its constant shifting on most days, is starting to wear thin.

It has for me and has stripped bare some of the insulation that I put over the raw nerves which at home I can cover just by withdrawing into my castle and raising the drawbridge. No such luxury for me here. The best I can do is sleep on the coach and turn up the volume of the iPod.

Before anyone jumps in to remind me of how lucky I am, let me assure you, I already know that. Its just that I have some particular drawbacks to me which make this a tad more demanding than most would find it.

I also don't find enough time to write, which is becoming a major problem, as it is through writing that I have always rationalised the irrational and defragged my hard drive when the segments become frazzled.

Today we crossed the Channel of St George, from Pembroke to Rosslare and arrived in Ireland. In getting to the ferry, we stopped for a couple of hours in a remarkable seaside town of Tenby, on the south west coast of Wales. Built in and around a fort, including a section on a near in island, it was all cobble stone narrow streets and buildings built right to the footpath and stonewalls and an old church with a crowded, ancient graveyard ... but it also had a sense of fun and colour and mad seagulls and a delightful walk around the cliff tops. Finding time for yourself is difficult on these tours as they endeavour to provide as much bang for your buck as they can, but in Tenby Sue and I cribbed two hours for ourselves and wandered the streets, found a cafe down by the quaint boat ramp and fought the seagulls for a slice of home made sponge cake.

It was an outstanding bright light in a dull, ordinary day.

Crossing the channel was made much easier by favourable conditions. Little or no breeze meant little or no waves but I still didn't go much on the swell. I got some shots but restricted my movements around the vessel to a minimum as each excursion had me walking like a drunk Thunderbird puppet.

Our first forty minutes in Ireland were a short but pretty drive to Tramore. The Majestic Hotel overlooked the short bay and then onto the Celtic Sea. We had dinner in the hotel but it was a late arrival after a long day and the twenty minutes waiting to be served when I was the only person at the bar and then being charged double for my drinks, didn't make it any shorter! Unfortunately, the couple we sat with for dinner mad it even worse.

Went to bed exhausted.

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