Saturday, June 25, 2011

Rainy day at the Chestnut Centre

A rainy saturday and Keisha was not over enthusiastic about leaving the house, even when tempted with the idea of meeting up with her friend, Cameron. This seems to be a common pattern she's quite tired after a week at school and likes to chill out and we sort out a few things around the house. We decided to meet up with our friends at the Chestnut Centre Otter, Owl and Wildlife Park.

We arrived around midday and had lunch it was soon apparent that all the ideas about not wanting to go out soon vanished, I understand that Cameron too had expressed similar concerns.

Keisha's favourite were the Fallow deer. They have a great range of owls. The otters were most entertaining especially the giant otters (from South America). The only Scottish wildcat we could see was our friend Sally. All the children enjoyed running around the wildlife park.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hot rock, surf and speed boats

The weekend saw us heading down to the Pembrokeshire coast line for a long weekend of camping with our friends Fran and Gordon. We stayed at St Davids after Gordon and Mike doing a weekend last year and us stunned by the beautiful coastline and deciding to return on mass (see easter blog last year). We stayed at http://www.lleithyrfarm.co.uk/ at Whitesands Bay. The campsite was lovely and we stayed in the summer camping field and set up near to the adventure playground which was a huge hit with the little ones and included a pen full of rabbits and guinea pigs. Louis found his entertainment in the water tap and went through numerous sets of clothes by sticking his head underneath. There was plenty of space for kicking the ball around and for doing a spot of kite flying. We pitched our two tents with ease and enjoyed the evening sunshine and went into St Davids for a spot of dinner. We ended up after having difficulty locating parking although we found an abundance of parking the next day in the http://www.grovestdavids.com/. The grove hotel was lovely we sat in the conservatory and the food was served piping hot and delicious. The children cleared their plates and appreciated being served proper food instead of being fobbed off with the usual childrens menu. After a late night of Louis singing nursery rhymes til midnight like a rolling drunk we awoke to a rather noisy dawn chorus of crows intermingled with a more subtle delicate song of the other birds. The phrase stone the crows immediately came to mind.






The next morning after a cooked breakfast of bacon (from the well stocked shop) and eggs from our friends hens, we headed off to Whitesands Bay http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitesands_Bay_(Pembrokeshire). The sun was out but so was the wind and so we hired a couple of windbreaks but the sand was whirling and the picnic blanket was not visible under the sand. This did not deter the children and they had a fantastic time in the sand and the waves. How come children are not bothered by sand everywhere??? A further spot of kite flying was enjoyed by all.





We headed into St Davids after a spot of lunch in the cafe at the beach, eating soup off a wooden spoon is an experience not to repeat, apart from louis seemed to really enjoy the woody taste and continued to eat his soup from the cup in this manner.
We visited St Davids and went in the cathedral and viewed the bishops palace


The cathedral was an amazing experience with beautiful architecture and we were even treated to a welsh choir and soloist practising for their evening concert. Back to camp for a bbq and evening of good company.

Sunday the trip to the beach was repeated again a resounding success, Fran and I were treated to some time alone to explore the shops and have coffee

Sunday afternoon, Fran. Keisha and Louis and I were in for a treat on the boat Aquaphobia leaving from St Justinians, note that this is about 3-4 miles from town and that parking is about 10 - 15 minutes walk from the carpark if you are not lucky enough to get one of the few free spaces down the bottom. There are steep steps down and then up to the lifeboat station and then down the lifeboat launch ramp to board the boat.








We were treated to a trip around Ramsay island and had 22 seal sightings and were treated to many species of birds nesting in their colonies around the RSPB protected island ( you can volunteer and spend a few days on the island). The trip lasted an hour and half included a close look at The Bitches and in some caves of the island. It was a great memorable trip enjoyed by all. http://www.aquaphobia-ramseyisland.co.uk

Whilst the speed boat adrenalin junkies were out Gordon and myself enjoyed hot rock at Initiation slabs. Normally one should take heed of such names and be wary of the climibing routes. Here the friction is excellent. On this occasion the name is most appropriate. We enjoyed three quality routes
  • Gemini - a nice crack that trends at a slight angle up the slab, a breeze!
  • Versary Slab - slightly harder than the last route but more fun
  • Capricorn - the first part of the route was a little tricky (almost 4b), but the route eased it was good fun.
By the time we topped out of our 3rd route the tide had come in this was not surpising as the bay is rather a narrow feature. We were surprised at the time and dashed back to the campsite for tea with our family.

We went to The Bishops a delightful gastro pub on the town square for a meal and we treated to a game of connect 4 and jenga which were available along with a number of other games for customers use.

Next day saw us packing up, Keisha cried when the tent came down declaring she loved camping. Roll on the next trip .