Oh it’s good to be in Vera once again. It seems such a long time ago since we took her off site. We have come back to Pandy CAMC Site near Abergavenny. It is so peaceful here and we enjoy the company of Bill and Julie who are the wardens here.
Last night after we had arrived they invited us for drinks in their compound, we chatted and caught up with gossip and we put the world to right as you do after a glass of vino.
Then headed off to have have a meal at the pub on the corner, The Pandy Inn. This is a lovely little pub which serves great home cooked food and I would have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone. The atmosphere is relaxed and cheerful. They also have a splendid display of old singer sewing machines and sewing artifacts, which as you know right up my street.
Julie had recommended the liver and bacon with colcannon, this is a dish I love, and it didn’t disappoint, beautifully cooked, the liver was tender and the bacon crispy, the colcannon was delicious although it wasn’t mashed potatoes (which is the normal way of cooking the dish) but slices of potatoes like a gratin. However it was delicious.
Mike had Chicken Curry and half and half, which is something that I have grown to love since being in Wales. It is half rice and half chips…
Julie and Bill opted for the Pandy Special Burgers. They looked lovely and we had a super evening laughing and reminiscing about various sites we’d all been luckily enough to work on.
It was a hot night so thank heavens for the Transcool machine, I cannot imagine being without it now. It keeps me cool at night, like a portable air conditioning unit.
This morning we woke up to gorgeous blue skies and it started to get hot almost as soon as the sun rose over the site. Everyone eat their breakfast fresco style including us, enjoying the croissants we had brought with us and a nice fresh pot of steaming coffee.
We left the site around 10am and walked along the lanes towards Llanthony, and found the Offa Dyke’s sign posts… They all pointed UP….
We climbed and climbed, the sun now high in the sky and it was increasingly getting hotter, there was little or no shade as the track made its way up to the ridge.
Along the way we came across some wild horses, there was a group of warden volunteers putting in new sign posts, fixing styles and gates. We chatted for a while and then said our farewells and started to climb once more.
By this time it was gone noon. So we decided to look for some shade and somewhere to sit and eat some lunch before the final slog up the hill. We found the very spot, along the track, there was some Blackthorn trees growing along the edge and a small wall that would afford a lovely rest. That would do wonderfully we thought as we made our way across the heathland to a perfect picnic spot. Now what we hadn’t seen was that it was the most perfect spot also for the sheep who wanted to get some shade too.
However, we are further up the food chain than them so we braved it out and moved them on, they were not happy.
After a nice lunch and a drink, and fighting off the flies….. We started the ascent to the summit once again. Up, up, up, we climbed, but as we rounded the ridge the views are tremendous, the whole of the valley lies in front of you. A patchwork of green fields tumbling down the valley as far as the eye can see.
How can they call this a hill? The sign on the gate stated we were now on Hatterrall Hill, surely it was at least a mini-mountain, you can’t climb that high and it just be a hill. We were exhausted.
This is a different beauty from St David’s, a more gentle rolling beauty, typical of what we imagine the English countryside to be.
We finally reached the trig point, and watched the gathering of some wild horses around the cairn, the foals nuzzling up to their mothers and flicking the flies away with their tails. We sat down for a rest to eat the rest of the picnic lunch.
Who cares for these horses? They looked well cared for, someone must make sure that they are kept in good health, even if they are allowed to roam free in the hills.
On the way up we kept bumping into (not literally) an elderly couple from Scotland, we had exchanged pleasantries each time and smiling. But we finally got to chat to them at the top. Small world they were staying on Pandy camp site also. They asked which way we had come as they had reached the summit before us. We told them and they chuckled knowingly and explained that they had got lost and asked a local which way to the top, he had pointed the way and they walked up a road track. We however, had appeared to have walked the north side of Mount Everest…..
They left us at the top explaining the way back down, so we followed their route and wandered all the way back to the site. It took us 3.5 hours to get to the top, it took a little over an hour to get back…. I rest my case…
I am now sitting under the fiamma awning with my feet up, eating an ice-cream and contemplating the hard decision of what to eat tonight when Mike takes me to the pub tonight, cos I’m not cooking….