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A Morning in the Welsh Countryside (Part 1)

Submitted by Bethany on Tue, 10/09/2018 - 10:00

One of my favorite things about travel is meeting new people, and just recently we met a new friend through Instagram! Margi and I found each other because we both post about housesitting, and when we realized we were housesitting within 15 minutes of each other we decided to meet up. We first met last Saturday for a cup of tea and lunch at a local pub, and then today Margi offered to take us with her on a little road trip! 

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Margi has a car, and is used to driving on the left side of the road, so she picked us up this morning and we went on a bit of an adventure. Navigating the roads around here is always a bit of an adventure - some of them are so incredibly narrow! Seriously, can you imagine a road like this being a two way street

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Well it is! Little roads, or "lanes" as the locals often refer to them are all over around here, and they are a little scary to drive and walk on. Drivers just have to keep looking ahead and paying attention for any traffic that might be coming at them. Often two cars will meet in the middle of a lane, and one will have to decide to drive backwards until they get to a point where they can pull off to the side enough for the other to pass. Sometimes this takes a while - about a week ago while we were walking we encountered what we coined a "Welsh Standoff". A truck and a small car were nose to nose on one of these roads, both refusing to back down! Traffic backed up behind them almost 15 cars deep, it was crazy. As we walked by people asked us what was happening, and as we explained, they simply shrugged and put their cars in park, as if this happened all the time. Luckily today, though we did encounter people coming at us, we were always able to pull off to the side, and avoided partaking in a Welsh Standoff. 

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We didn't have any particular destinations in mind, just general areas to explore, and so every time we spotted something interesting we would pull over and hop out of the car. One of the first stops we made was the Church of St. Rhydian and Illtyd in the town of Lunnon.

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The original grounds of the church date back to the 6th century, and the building that stands here now was built in the 13th century. The church is still active and there was evidence of a wedding held here over the weekend, including a flower garland over the main entrance and confetti stuck in the gravel pathway. 

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The church is surrounded by gravestones, some erected as recently as 2009, and some dating back much, much further. This particular stone and inscription was fitted to the side of the church wall itself, and dates back to 1746. Here is the poem etched in the stone:

"Death with his dart hath pierced my heart
whilst I was in my prime. 
My husband dear, your grief forbear, 
twas God's appointed time.

My tender husband dear, now cease to weep, 
death to the saints is but an early sleep. 
Go on thro grace in God's appointed way, 
then joyful shall we meet at ye great day."

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There was a portion of the church that looked reminiscent of a castle. I so wish we could have gone inside, but alas it was locked. The views from the top of this tower must be breathtaking.

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We wandered around the outside of the church for a while, enjoying the view of the water and exploring the headstones. This angle of the church is gorgeous as well. 

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And here in this pic you can see our new friend Margi! She is from Australia and is so sweet and friendly. We are enjoying getting to know her. (If you want to follow her adventures on Instagram you can find her here!)

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After the church we got back in the car to continue exploring. We ended up in what Google told me is an "area of outstanding natural beauty" and boy was Google right! We pulled over on the side of the road to just admire our surroundings. On one side of the road were spectacular views of the countryside and then the coast. 

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On the other side, sheep and horses were roaming and grazing, completely on their own! There were no fences, nothing holding them in, they just wandered about as they pleased. 

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I tried to make friends with one of the horses but this is as close as it would let me get. 

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It was quite a magical and beautiful morning! The weather was also that quintessential perfect fall weather - cool and crisp but not cold, and the sun was shining which has been a rare event around here lately. I'll have to save the rest of the photos from our trip for tomorrow, so check back in then! 

XOXO, Bethany