Although we got up at 4:30am and were packed and on the way to Wales by 5:15am, we got waylaid. First stop was McDonalds to satisfy Rachel’s craving for a bite of porridge (oatmeal) that was really a bit of all right. Then we got turned around a few times trying to find the A26 junction and ended up back on Lewes Street in Newhaven when I grazed a curb and set off the passenger side air bags. I just couldn’t keep this car from crowding the left curb when driving on the left on narrow lanes and roundabouts. And thus ended the quick getaway. The car sustained no other damage, but I was a bit shaken up.
By the time I got AA to tow the Peugeot 208 to Brighton and returned with a VW Polo, revised our extensive travel plans to eliminate the distance to Scotland and restrict our range to southern England and Wales, we had lost our touring advantage and departed at noon.
Along the way, it rained and poured, sprinkled and shone sunny, over and over and over as we passed big port cities on the fast motorways, often cruising along at 70-80mph. Hungry by 3pm, we stopped for a late lunch at Cholderton’s Farm Store where colorful hens and cocks with tufted feet paraded about, and we enjoyed wonderful food and a much needed break.
Crossing into Wales on a wide motorway over a huge toll bridge over the Bristol River, we found industrial Wales more modern than the rural shirelands and downs of England. We filled up a service area west of Swansea and topped off our tanks at a Burger King to save time, then headed off to the Gower peninsula winding past picturesque tidelands and small towns on the edge of the moors, past pregnant wild ponies with long forelocks and bushy manes, fields of brown or white sheep with the iconic lone black, and a dryer landscape less lush and more visible and familiar. I really like the look of Wales.
Reaching the shoreline at Port Eynon, we towed our baggage through a field to the Youth Hostel and settled in, but not before Rachel and I ran down to see the ruins at the mouth of the bay. The moon is nearly full and the tide is way out, and we’ll greet the dawn with the tide fully in.