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Sunday, 8 October 2017

One Week in Wales: Day Three

strumble-head, pembrokeshire, wales
Image: Lorna Holland
If you haven't started the series yet, catch up here before continuing with the story!

Do you remember where we left the story after day two? A peaceful, quiet, perfect evening. Well, day three couldn't really have been more different.

Everything started with the tent. He assured me it was fine, he'd used it before and it was secure and comfy enough to give us a canvas roof over our heads throughout the camping nights of the trip. We'd brought our sleeping bags and roll mats, but no matter how we configured the layout, we just couldn't get comfortable. The floor was bumpy, we were uncomfortable, and it was ridiculously warm with two of us crammed into the tiniest tent in the world.

Before long, he gave up and went to sleep in the car. That left me alone in the tent, and without his constant tossing and turning, I soon managed to fall asleep.

Fast forward a few hours, and I wake up all of a sudden. It's just starting to get light outside and the unfamiliar surroundings disorient me, so I reach out to pull my phone out of the pocket on the side of the tent to check the time. It's just gone 5am.

mailbox, pembrokeshire, wales
Image: Lorna Holland
As I start to wake up a little more, I realise that something's wrong. My phone is covered in water. I try to turn the screen on again, it flicks off and won't respond. Scrabbling about for the torch, I discover that's not the only thing which is damp. My sleeping bag, my pillow, my clothes and shoes are all dripping wet - there are giant puddles all over the floor of the tent.

"It's waterproof," he said. Yeah, right.

Tired, annoyed and slightly panicking about my still unresponsive phone, I quickly pull on my wet clothes and clamber out of the tent. Of course, it's a beautiful dawn morning outside - there's no trace of the night's rain left except the lake inside our tent. I stomp over to the car, phone in hand, and knock on the window. My boyfriend, asleep in the reclined passenger seat, nearly jumps a mile as he sees me looming outside his window. Funny as the sight was, it really didn't make me feel any better at the time. I thrust my phone in his direction, shouted something about how his tent had broken my phone and waited to hear his solution.

After we'd both calmed down, explained the situation and attempted several methods of resurrecting my poor phone (apparently blow-drying it under the hand-drier in the toilets wasn't such an ingenious idea as we thought) we decided to head along the coast to our next night's stop, Fishguard, to find a phone shop as soon as everywhere opened at 9am.

Bearing in mind it was still barely 6am by this point, there wasn't a lot else we could do, so we bundled the sopping tent into the boot and set off. After stopping at an early-to-open convenience store to buy some rice and borrow a paperclip to extract the sim card, we made a temporary phone hospital out of the repurposed first aid kit filled with premium Basmati rice.

When we did eventually get to a grey and miserable Fishguard an hour or so later, luckily there was one phone shop in the town. As soon as it opened we were in there, and miraculously, the man managed to work some kind of magic and bring my phone back to life, although it did remain safely tucked away in its rice cocoon for the next 24 hours.

wales, holiday
Image: Lorna Holland
With disaster averted and a whole day to kill, a very tired and grumpy couple were well on their way towards making the most of the remainder of their holiday.

We didn’t really know what to do with our day, so we pinpointed a random place on the map and decided to head out to explore. The place we chose, Strumble Head, was a remote part of the coast, only accessible by hair-raising narrow tracks that could barely be classified as roads. However, with the weather picking up and soon blossoming into another bright and sunny day, it wasn’t long before our spirits were lifted and we started to enjoy our trip again.

Strumble Head was beautiful and scenic, with only a lighthouse, some walkers and a small group of students and their teacher for company. We escaped from the sun and spent some time in an old shelter on the clifftop, just watching the world go by and taking in the relaxing atmosphere after our eventful morning. It was serene, enjoyable, and just what we needed.

Heading back into Fishguard, via an impromptu walk up to a unique rock formation we also spotted on the map, we had some lunch at a small café before checking into our B&B for the night.

A post shared by Lorna Holland (@themaxdog) on

Dinner was a truly delicious pie in a rather upmarket pub, served with seasonal vegetables and homemade gravy. Afterwards, we headed down to the old town for a short evening walk before turning in for the night. The quayside was quaint and calming – a real gem of the town, especially when compared to the busy port which dominates Fishguard.

Funnily enough, that was the one and only night we tried camping during the week - we spent some time sitting in the car booking last-minute B&B deals for our remaining nights, one of the best ideas we had all week!

Don't forget to check back tomorrow to read the next post in One Week in Wales!

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