It has been some time since I last ventured west to visit my matey Paul in Wales.
We couldnt meet up last weekend as he was in Paris watching the mighty Welsh Rugby team lose to France.
We have been close friends for the last 20yrs.
Paul managed to escape from London and return to the land of his fathers several years ago. He found an old barn in Monmouthshire which was being converted into a house and within a few months had finally moved in and settled down to enjoy the fine views across the Wye Valley.
I arrived at Pauls about half past 8 friday evening and was greated by his two dogs Wellington and Katy.
A few sherberts later in the local hostalry saw us sitting up till the early hours talking and catching up on each others news. Katy however was ready for bed well before we were
Saturday dawned bright but breazy and our plans were to drive to the coast so that Paul and another friend called Jeff could show off their Surfing skills.....in march!!!.....We loaded up the car with 2 surf boards on the roof, large bags of wetsuits 2 dogs and 3 blokes.
They both regaled me with tales of daring do while riding the surf. I was impressed and firmed up my driving with much anticipation.
As we approached Cardiff the weather had turned and was now drizzling. After a two hour drive we finally arived at Ogmore beach with yells from the dudes of " yeah, lets surf" They jumped from the car skipping and leaping towards the sea wall where spray could be seen being whipped away on the wind. They came to a sudden stop. Their shoulders dropped as they looked across at the sea crashing against the cliffs and rocks and not a square of sandy beach in view. The tide was in. Being brave sufer dudes, not fearing wind or rain, they now huddled down into their jackets and we slouched back to the car and the heater.
Paul viewing the waves
Not to miss out on their water based activities, Paul suggested another beach further up the coast. We piled back into the car and headed a few miles further west. Upon our arrival, both Paul and Jeff surveyed the waves.
All seemed well until Paul spyed the Parasurfers and realising that their image might not stand up to the scrutiny of these aparant professionals we again retired to the car with excuses of "its too windy"
One final choice...Porthcawl near Bridgend. Very unlikely to have any snobby para surfers and the boys would finally be able to impress the local girls with their skills on the boards....Not....The tide was still high, the wind whipping the spray as the waves dashed against the rocks.
The intrepid adventurers gave the dogs a run across the cliffs and we then drove the 2 hours back home and headed off to the Pub to impress the locals of our tale of excitment and adventure.
After much quaffing of ale and long tales we finally returned home and enjoyed a fantastic barbeque of huge tiger prawns, and steak...it was only midnight and the night was still young.
A fantastic weekend. Our journey to the sea, although not a surfing success was actually a great little road trip with the three of us thouroughly enjoying the day.
I can recomend the Wye Valley beers and to top off the trip, Paul agreed to be Bestman this coming september.
Back at home now and the back cabin conversion resumes tomorrow.