Sunday, 29 May 2011

South Wales Geocaching Event

Pressures of work have made me late in writing about the South Wales Geocaching Event held just outside Tenby during the early May Bank Holiday. This is a regular annual event in its own right, but this year was also part of the build-up to the UK Mega Event. This will be held in Swansea later in the year. Unfortunately, the organisers did not realise that the dates clash with the National Eisteddfod, which means that I for one will not be able to attend.

I want to sing the praises of Trevayne Farm camp site, which hosted those of us, who wished to stay in tents or caravans. I got hopelessly lost travelling there, and even after phoning for directions ended up circling aimlessly round Saundersfoot and various small roads and even narrower lanes. Eventually, I phoned again in tears, and the nice lady from the farm drove out to find me and guide me to the site.

It was the first time I have been able to camp in years, and I enjoyed it a lot. I prefer a tent in which I can stand upright in at least one spot. Unfortunately, being on my own, I can't have the sort of canvas bell tent I used to have, as it is too heavy for me to lift up the central pole together with the tent. I ended up with a polyester tipi. It was fine in most ways, but the camp site is in a very open windy location, so nights were filled with very loud flapping noises!

The Tenby area was a great choice, because it is stuffed full with really good geocaches. Very many of them belong to Mushroom Mike, who was also organiser of the main event. He has some really sneaky hides.  I was proud of managing to find several tough ones, but was beaten by one.

My cache hunting resulted in me walking about 17 miles over the long weekend as well as driving a bit to get to some locations further away. I found 25-odd caches, including some in Tenby, Saundersfoot, along the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path and near Begelly. Many of the walks took me through glorious woodland, full of green light and bluebells. Deciduous woods are among my favourite type of scenery, and I was delighted to spend so much time in them over the weekend. I did not have a camera with me, but have taken a few pictures with my phone, which I hope give some idea of what I saw.

This reminds me of Robert Frost's poem, although this wood is very green
"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth"

Together with the main event, we had the camping event organised by Mollyjak. There was also a wedding-themed flash mob in Tenby on the Friday morning. I did not attend, because I did not want to  mark an event that I consider to be of no relevance to life in Wales (I think royals and their families/hangers-on serve no useful purpose to any society anywhere!).

The camping event took place on Saturday evening. Mollyjak (Lilian), with her willing helpers, made some truly marvellous cawl and Welsh cakes, which I found all the more delicious since they made my only hot meal of the weekend. Otherwise, I went "cavewoman", eating fruit, dried fruits, nuts and jerky! The Welsh theme of the event continued with everyone being asked to wear something Welsh or at least something red.