Sunshine in Wales, never believe it!
16 of the 18 Mileaters gathered outside the car park of the hotel in Oxwich. We did have to pinch ourselves that we were in Wales on the Gower and the sun was shining. Now the first walk was supposedly a nice gently amble along the coastal path. Some will dispute this as a gentle walk wouldn't be the best description. Not many of us had the breath to count all the steps up to the top! We got there and wow what a lovely view and very pleasant walk but so hot incredible for late September and in Wales.
Back at the hotel some brave souls ventured in for a swim. Well the hotel was right on the beach. Only trouble was it was a good half a mile walk to reach the water when the tide was out. Due to the Covid restrictions mileaters were not being put off at having our pre-dinner drinks together. So a gathering on the beach each evening was under taken for a drink and a chat before dinner.
Now in we go for our evening meal, just bear in mind they have known we were coming a year ago and several days prior to our arrival much correspondence had taken place.
18 people wanting to eat together did give them some headaches but to accommodate us all they put us in the lovely Chestnut room 2 to a table . Now 2 of our members had to become engaged just so they could sit together on the same table. This was quickly broken off at check out. I could say our meal times were eventful to say the least, but Basil Fawlty and Manuel spring to mind. I will hence give a few examples. Maybe they do do things differently in Wales, but when presented with a bowl of soup and Manuel asks " would you like a spoon with that ?" " No, I expect the soup to just jump into my mouth!" Blank expression on Manuels face " Yes please"
Katie was presented with her ice cream pudding and once again Manuel " would you like a spoon?" The spoon saga didn't stop there , next evening my chocolate desert came no cutlery was brought so I asked for a spoon . Manuel brought me a tablespoon! Then Tom also had to ask for a spoon where upon he was brought a choice of 3 different types of spoons.
Don't get me wrong in England it is customary to have cutlery with a meal, obviously not at this hotel! After all Wales is famous for its Welsh love spoons but not for eating with. At the first mornings breakfast the tea pot came lovely cup of tea. Second morning lovely pot of hot water! No tea bags, you have to put them in yourself.
Now another of these strange customs so Lynne and Sue thought were to have your cornflakes after your cooked breakfast, not to their liking at all. But Manuel did get the hang of it. Don't get Lynne started on the marmalade. Who would have thought having marmalade on breakfast toast was so unusual it did quite baffle the waiting on staff and finally we did get some. Lynne was all for auctioning hers off to the highest bidder.
I can fully understand getting all 18 of us feed took a hell of a lot of working out. So, to achieve this Katie and Peter had to have their breakfast at 8am while the rest of had to wait until 8.30am. So when we duly arrived at 8.25 am, we found Katie and Peter all on their Todd surrounded by a room full of invisible guests having breakfast. We can't just point the finger at Basil and Manuel the equipment played its part. The toaster got its own back on us by throwing the toast or warmed bread out the back of the toaster! It did help though when some people who were having the continental breakfast needed to thaw out their frozen croissants. Thanks be to the toaster that day.
Manuel bless him, had taken away our starters plates and very seriously said " what dessert would you like now?" Much to his surprise I said " Actually we would like our main course before desert" to which he looked very taken aback and in a confused voice said " ye ok then " Well perhaps now you can see why it gets the Fawlty Towers experience.
Let's get on with the second walk. This started from the very famous worms' head. It wasn't a particularly sunny day but it was still warm . The walk took us along the coastal path towards Rhossilli bay. Stunning views all the way. We stopped at the trig point at the top of Rhossilli down for a well-earned lunch break. At this point 3 members were taking the shorter route back to the car park ,while the rest of us walked on. The downs were scattered with some lovely welsh ponies, not bothered in least by us walking right close to them along the way.
We came to a rather steep descent and this is where I came a cropper , slipped on the wet grass and took a tumble, resulting in a sprained ankle , OUCH. But in true mileaters fashion I was soon surrounded by very concerned and helpful people. Dear Stuart lent me his walking poles as there was still nearly 3 km to go. As it was going to be a very slow hobble for me the rest went on ahead and Mark and I made very slow progress back to the car. Nearly back to the road my saviour Suzanna was waiting in her car at the end of the footpath , Godsend as I really needed the loo . Too which she whisked me off to , very much appreciated I can say. So that was the end of my walking holiday, I missed the last 2 walks so someone else can write those.
Dear Sally did take me for a drive around Mumbles pulling into car parks so we could look at the views. I did have a hobble along the high street and managed to stop Sally spending too much of Toms hard earned money (for which he was truly grateful). Alas all good things come to an end, the last walk was over 3 cliffs bay and only 4 mileaters did this. Arend and I sat in the sun in the car park while the walkers got on with it. A very memorable walking holiday in more ways than one! Everyone is safely back home in Martinstown.