What a trip!
I left my hotel Saturday morning at 11:00am, spent an hour tooling around lost in London, but finally made it to the M4 and got on the road toward Wales.
Most of my trip was uneventful. Once I got out of the city, I spent three hours passing through beautiful countryside, past hills dotted with ewes and lambs. But I eventually had to get off the freeway and two lane roads here are just wide enough for one car going each way, at least most of the time they are. (Though if I had been driving anything bigger than my Nissan Note I probably would have been scraping the hedges to get by) My googled directions sent me west to Carmarthen and then back East to get toward Llandeilo then northwest toward Cardigan. By this time the sun was nearing the horizon.
An hour later, I made it to Newcastle Emlyn, where a very nice lady encouraged me that I was headed in the right direction. I passed through many villages and towns, by several pubs (I almost stopped, but I thought that the windiness of the roads might be a bit much after a pint of good Welsh Ale) until I suddenly found myself in Cardigan. As lost as I was, I knew that Cardigan was on the other side of where I wanted to be. I turned around and went back. However, Cardigan is a town of one way streets. So I spent another half hour figuring out how to get back to the road I needed to be on to find my cottage. It was pitch dark by now.
Thank goodness for the Welsh. They are the nicest people. I stopped at the first pub I passed (the only lights on in the tiny village of Cilgerran), where the two patrons, Nigel and his mate, and the barmaid proceeded to draw me a map that would take me right to where I needed to be.
Because Nigel told me there was a small red brick house on the corner where I should turn, I found the road I needed to be on. Did I say that it is pitch dark now? I followed the map carefully (at least I thought I did), but still didn’t see my cottage retreat. I stopped at a house and knocked on the door. I said to the young lady who answered, “I’m terribly lost. Would you happen to know where Treforgan Farm is?”
She smiled and said, “No, but I’ll go ask my brother.” She ran to the back of the house leaving the door wide open. I stood for a while and was approached by a very pregnant cat, who I petted, as I wasn’t sure if she was allowed inside.
The brother came to the door. “I’m sorry,” the tall, thin, young man said. “I don’t know where Treforgan Farm is.”
“Thank you,” I said. “I’ll try further on.” I went back to the car and pulled up the drive a bit to turn around. By the time I got back, the young man was waving at me. I rolled down my window.
“I called my mum,” the young man said. “She said go left out of the drive, go down just past the next set of houses and it will be on the left.”
Thank you, soooo much,” I said to the young man and went on my merry way. I found the houses and carefully pulled into the drive after them. After all, the sign did say Treforgan Place.
I pulled up the winding drive and stopped in front of a mansion-like house. I didn’t see a bell (it was dark remember), so I knocked on the big wooden door. I heard my knocking echo through what was apparently a giant entry hall, followed shortly thereafter by the echo of footsteps.
“Good evening,” I said to the gentleman who answered the door. “I’m looking for Treforgan Farm.”
The gentleman smiled at me. “It’s just next door he replied. Go left out of the drive and in at the next one.”
“Thank you,” I said and got back in my car one more time. I turned in at the next drive, wound my way up the hill and pulled in next to an old Audi. I walked around to the front porch and was greeted by a trio of cats. Fortunately the motion sensor tripped on the lights and I was greeted by Jeff, the proprietor of Treforgan Farms. I can think of few times when I have been happier to meet a person. More on Jeff later. He showed me to my cottage and imagine my delight at what I saw (see pictures in Ceredigion or Bust!-Part 2).
So here I am in Llangoedmor, where I will be happily relaxing, reading, blogging, touring and writing, for the next two weeks. I will post on even number dates so check back to see what I’m up to and how I’m progressing.
Next Time: Cardigan and Cilgerran