Back in the day, Mrs FOMOist and I developed an embarrassing addiction to a series called The Valleys, a Welsh version of infamously awful Jersey Shore – which we may have also watched religiously. A quick rundown of this amazing plot goes as follows – carefully selected group of youngsters, fueled with alcohol and high sex drive, plucked out of small-town and relocated to Cardiff for endless nights of partying and days of dreadful hangovers.
Yes we may have
had bad taste in TV, but the series piqued our interest in Wales, particularly the scarcity of vowels in words, obsessive overuse of the letter “w” and the Welsh accent, which we had to go listen to in its natural habitat.
While discussing the possible holiday with friends, we were rightly advised to go explore the countryside. After being there, we can confirm that going to Wales without exploring the numinous countryside is not worth it at all.
So with a couple of our friends, we hired a campervan and drove around South of Wales. We arrived on Saturday morning, collected our extremely comfortable campervan from really friendly guys at GoBongo Campervan Hire and set out for our first destination – Cardiff. First impressions were great and the best part was the location, Cardiff Caravan and Camping Park is an easy 20-minute walk to the city centre. Once parked, we walked to the nearby Y Mochyn Du pub, where I had to try Welsh Faggots from the menu – how could I not? Satiated with our meal, we headed off to the city centre, getting distracted by the sun-soaked patch of green grass at Bute Park, where we may have dozed off for about an hour. Cardiff is a nice enough city, but definitely not representative of what Wales has to offer. Once in the city centre, the boys and the girls were out in full swing with majority of them quite unsteady on their feet already (19.30ish). After walking passed a number of bars filled with hen and stag party-goers, losing themselves to the blaring sweet Top 40 tunes, we settled for this cozy little bar called Bunkhouse. Umbrellas hanging from the ceilings, fairy lights swirling around, single beds laid out in place of couches and music you can enjoy without shouting at each other, this place was our retreat for the rest of the night.
Campervaning (if at all a word) is a much better experience than camping. The campervan we had was really comfortable with a double bed on the normal car level and another double bed on the pop-up roof tent. With a good night sleep, we made the most of the Cardiff warm weather with a walk along the Cardiff Bay area and started headed to our next destination in Pembrokeshire.
The weekend we went to Wales was apparently one of the hottest May weekend in London with temperatures soaring to over 25°C. Given the reputation of Wales, I was expecting constant rain for this trip, but Wales was in a showing off mode, with temperatures in early 20s. After a quick stop to check out the expansive Swansea Bay, we reached our final destination in Pembrokeshire – Little Haven. The drive to our campsite in Little Haven was an adventure in itself with windy and hilly roads, single lane traffic where the drivers have to be polite and pull off the main road to let the on-coming traffic pass. After a few wrong turns, reversing and U-turns, we finally reached Little Haven Campsite. It is a family-run campsite, which I am still convinced is just an extension of the owner’s house. We were the only campervan on site so we had the entire site to ourselves with 360° views of the Welsh countryside. Once the campervan was parked, we walked to the rocky coastline of Rook’s Bay.
Mrs FOMOist and I love sunsets and sunrises. Not so much in a romantic way, but just the feeling of being enveloped in the blanket of vibrant and constantly changing colours of the sky. The sunset at the Rook’s Bay was a stunner, with the calm of the sea disturbed the roaring waves crashing into the rocky coastline. After admiring the coastline, we almost missed dinner with all (3) pub kitchens in the area closing at 9.00pm, but we were lucky enough to get fed by extremely hospitable people at The Swan Inn.
After another comfy night in our camper and taking numerous pictures of our feet against the beautiful landscape, we headed to the little town of Tenby. While we were discussing where to go next, one of our friends was convinced that Tebay was closeby (it was over 4-hour) drive, so we settled for somewhere much closer and I am glad we did. Tenby is a seaside town in Pembrokeshire, surrounded by an imposing medieval stone wall, with a vast coastline and beautiful little Victorian alleyways littered with plethora of shops, restaurants, cafes and bars. Apart from being quaint and welcoming, Tenby also has a little gem of a coffee shop called The Stowaway. A small independent coffee shop set in a grade 2 listed arch on Tenby Harbour, serving delicious coffees and hot chocolates, complimented with a range of homemade scrumptious cakes and pastries. It is cash-only, but if you don’t have the cash, the staff is happy to serve you with a promise of you bringing the cash from one of the ATMs located in the square nearby.
After a relaxing stop at Tenby, we headed to our final destination, Llangorse Lake at the Brecon Beacons. The drive and the destination were both exquisite, except for the constant Welsh rain that I was apprehensively expecting. The rain adding to the mysticism of the surrounding with tall green mountains, playing hide and seek behind the curtain of thick white clouds.
And this is how Mr FOMOist left the world of innocence and entered the much wiser world of 33 year olds.
To view where we have been and where we are headed, take a look at our Travel Map.