But no – on second thoughts, look for us in Solva, Wales. The archetypical smuggler’s cove, you keep expecting to see a one-eyed pirate with a parrot on his shoulder and a wooden leg saying “Aaaaaaarrrrrrgh me hearties!”

This is a place of quite breathtaking beauty.

There is the odd tendency for kitsch throughout these islands, no place-names mentioned.  But in this place, Solva, there is nary a garden gnome or plastic flower in sight. There doesn’t need to be. The gardens grow lush and colourful, and not altogether where they are planned to be (such as on top of stone fences, which can’t be doing the stone fences much good).

The birds are singing their delight at living here. The seagulls are so content that they just sit on the water amongst the myriad yachts and enjoy the act of being.

stdavidsSo – today we left Ireland. I woke up at 2.00am and thought “Do I need to pinch myself? I am in Ireland. Ireland.” But it didn’t last long, because the wake-up call woke us up at 6.30 and it was all systems go to be aboard the Stena ferry at 8.00am.

Chrissie, bless her darling heart, had given me some sea-sickness tablets in anticipation of my usual reaction to (1) being on a boat or (2) sitting in the bath too long, and watching the water. So, drugged, I slept the 4-hour crossing to Wales in a hideously uncomfortable position and then could not rouse myself sufficiently to make the most of St David’s, whence we drove as soon as we had collected our Hertz car at Fishguard.

Nonetheless, St David’s was remarkably fantastic and we walked and photographed, and ate an ice cream that was alleged to have been locally and freshly made; Robert had dairy, I had strawberry.

We decided in honour of our friend Jenny Morris to stay in her home town of Solva. We found a b&b with a friendly cat, and then walked around the harbour, the beautiful harbour, a smuggler’s cove full of moored sailing boats and colourful rowboats and phantom pirates saying “Aaaaaaarrrrrrgh.”

God! What a place. Will we stay here for another day, or will we progress to the Salisbury Plain and seek out Roman ruins at Bath? Tomorrow will tell.

©jane grieve

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