The Americans have landed!
Today we were up bright and early, bags packed and loaded in the car with a wet and windy drive down the M1, headed for London Heathrow’s Terminal 4, to collect our clients off their flight from Minneapolis.
It always with slight trepidation but also with a feeling of excitement to meet a new group of people. You never know what you’re going to get!
What a lovely bunch of ladies! 🙂
Of course you can always trust your instincts about how they will be from email and telephone conversations over the preceeding months whilst planning their tour but, you never really know.
We faced a four hour transfer from Heathrow to the start of the tour in Newport, Dyfed in the region of Pembrokeshire. The weather was a mixed bag with periods of heavy rain and sunshine but, we were soon passing Bristol and crossing over the bridge into Wales. We were afforded some fantastic views across the Severn Estuary which certainly perked the ladies up and out of their jet-lagged state. I think they were amused that we have to pay to get into Wales but, it’s free to get back into England!
Within no time we were passed Cardiff and fast approaching the industrial views of Port Talbot: at one time it was Europe’s largest integrated steelworks and (with 18,000 employees) the largest employer in Wales. With its 1970’s deep-water harbour improved in the 21st century, it’s capable of mooring some very large vessels. Why mention it? For me, after this point the M4 soon finishes and you really begin to feel that your into the heart of South Wales with rolling hills turning into something more substantial and the emergence of typical Welsh hill farming communities. After passing the town of Camarthen we turn right at St Clears and continue now on much smaller roads in the direction of Newport, cutting across the headland. As the roads narrow we are met by the sight of circling Black Kites, a half dozen or so. A delight for the twitcher on board (Jan).
A quick leg stretch to bring circulation back into the joints and half an hour later we reach Newport and our lodgings for 2 days, The Golden Lion Inn.
The Inn, as expected from the description and photos on their website is perfect. Exactly, the sort of thing the clients wanted, unless I’m mistaken. I’m sure they’ll correct me if I’m wrong.
Settled into their rooms and free to explore their surroundings for a short time before dinner. I decide to head towards the beach and take some local photos. I’ve not been here for quite some years, so excited to take in the views.