More of Cymru

June 13, 2022

Cymru, is how Wales is spelled in Welsh. You figure it out. I can’t.

After our hike, we moved about a half hour north towards Conwy, to one of the nicest campsites — if not the nicest — that we’ve experienced in the past six weeks. While the camping pitch at Cfen Cae Campsite is typical for Europe, in that it’s just a large grass field and you pick a spot to pitch your tent, the barn was anything but typical. The washrooms (another British term for bathroom) were like a nice full bath in your home: nice shower, toilet and sink all in one fairly large room. And there were four of five of these. And they looked like they were built yesterday and cleaned a few minutes ago. Also in the barn (yes, it really was the old stone barn, but converted) was a washer and dryer, a microwave and kettle, sinks for dish washing (including liquid soap and sponges), and a full “honesty shop” with everything from sundries to food and drinks. Many of these niceties were available in the campground on the Isle of Man as well, so perhaps it’s just how nice and clean and new looking everything was that made it special.

Some of the Honesty Shop items for sale in the old barn at Cfen Cae Campsite. On the left is a fridge full of water, soft drinks (“fizzy drinks” here), cheese, butter, yogurt, etc.

Once again, how well do you think this would work in most places around home? Yes, there are definitely areas of the States where you could do this. It’s just refreshing to see it.

The midges (small, incredibly pesky gnat-like insects) were also non-existent here; they were pretty bad at our last camp. It wasn’t cheap, at £20, but then most official European campsites aren’t. Still, it’s a lot cheaper than a hotel room, and with more amenities than many hotels.

The next morning we packed up and rode to Conwy, a small walled city on the northern coast of Wales. It’s known as Britain’s best-preserved medieval town. We walked around the town on top of the wall, then dropped down to the harbor for a walk along the shore.

A view of the Conwy Castle from atop the old city wall. The castle, and the 1300 feet of walls, were built in just four years, from 1283 to 1287.

In Conwy, along the harbor, is the smallest house in Great Britain. It measures six feet across by ten feet deep by ten feet high, and has a bedroom on the second floor and a living area and modest kitchen area downstairs. It was lived in during the 19th century but the city deemed it unfit for habitation in 1900 and it has been a tourist attraction since not long after that.

We left Conwy and headed north towards Chester, England, which was founded as a Roman fortress in the 1st Century AD. It’s known for its’ Roman walls made of local red sandstone. We took our time riding smaller roads from Conwy to Chester, and arrived fairly late in the afternoon, so we didn’t see much of the town. Michal and family had arrived earlier and unloaded their bicycles to ride into town. We arrived at the campground and set up camp beside them. While standing around waiting to pay the owner of the horse farm for camping, a gentleman approached us and asked about the bike. We ended up having a great conversation with Donald and his wife Yvonne. Donald is from Scotland, with that great accent, and Yvonne is originally from Brazil, but has been in Scotland long enough to have also acquired the brogue. They recently bought a home in the Chester area to be closer to their son, and are living in their RV while the home is being remodeled. We could have talked with them for hours. Part of what we enjoy most about traveling the way we do is meeting people like Donald and Yvonne.

Diana with Donald and Yvonne. This is what traveling is truly about!

Tomorrow we head to London for a couple of days.

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