Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Welsh Rabbit and Other tales

First there is no such thing as a Welsh Rabbit, a discovery that left me hugely disappointed.
Second wonderful speller that I am , It was always a Welsh RAREBIT, a kind of bread , definitely not the four legged kind who hops around!

Among other things on this rain lashed afternoon, we face the bleak prospect that it might be difficult to climb Snowdown. My spirits sink. We have slowed down considerable, the roads are narrower, the visibility poor. It rains hail and snow, and we plod our way to Betsy-e coed.

Wales is one of those places I've grown up reading about. The prospect that it was one of those places I could get to without the formalities of a visa made the prospect very appealing. And that was how the adventure first began. Sitting in our car I hope for better weather. I can cope with rain, but snow and hail would mean we would have to abandon our first trek here in the United Kingdom.

Bridge across forever..

Our little B&B had the nicest two hosts. Every morning over breakfast, we would quiz them on walking routes and they would point us out in the right direction. Sometimes with tattered maps we would head out, and when maps become futile our instincts would assume radar and take us places.
We have never been as lost, so willingly. Who would complain about roaming around in such loveliness.  For Wales is a place where, the journey matters more so than the destination.
We also found that when they said 3-4 miles it could easily mean 6-8 :).
While we were there we walked a healthy 10 miles a day. It was when we got back that I realized how tired my feet really where, a few toes swollen and some others a bit sore.

Betsy - e -coyd could not have been a more perfect choice as anchor for our stay. In the middle of Snowdown national park, there was plenty to do and a great choice of pubs and eateries to pick from.
A little path through wide green fields took us to the heart of the village. We stop to watch lambs play. The fields take us to a hanging bridge and the rivers waters run swift and cold. We stood by the bridge countless times. The views were wonderful. There is something romantic about staring out at the water from the confines of a bridge. It is almost as if I was looking at  a picture frame of steel.

Mountains and more mountains..
We were never too far from water. The mountains silent and passive, all around.
We walked by rivers, sat by streams listening to the sound of water gurgling past. As I write this I try to recollect specifics and realize there weren't that many. You could quiet literally pick a direction and discover a walk. We follow the river, gently tumbling along and suddenly the pace quickens,  the water changes complexion. The old friendliness is gone. I think twice before wading into the stream as I had done just ten minutes ago. And there it starts to rain. We brave it. The rain drops hit the surface forming perfectly round circles before sinking in. The water  dips as if to catch them.
And at home in a distant far away I think of the magic of the monsoons and remember Roy in her God of Small Things

"It was raining when Rahel came back to Ayemenem. Slanting silver ropes slammed into loose earth, plowing it up like gunfire."

 We were witness to water in continuity with itself. Mallards swim on unconcerned, the rocks beneath them showing up in shades of brown. Trees grow along the side reaching out to the river at their sides

Mallards swim in icy streams..
Between walks, we had tea.  We never did have the Rarebit, but feasted on Berra Berth, a wonderfully fruity bread, lightly toasted and  generously spread with butter.

Bere Berth, a close relative of the Welsh rabbit :)

I realize sheep have lives. I have no doubts why they are being reared, but I am certain that the fresh air and green fields is a great way to grow up. Lambs run around. They have their own games, quick and light on their feet. The mums keep a close watch.

I have never had so much fresh air in a long time. There are walks and more walks. Water gently cascades through moss covered rocks , the ground is slippery in places. The air smells green.

Along the way somewhere..
The woods are lovely dark and deep. The sunlight barely manages to trickle through small openings in the green canopy. Dark bark gently sway with the cool breeze. Roots surface and form hard lines along the muddy path. Leaves remain strewn
The woods are lovely dark and deep..

Did we climb Snowdown? That remains a story for a different day.



  1. A mile does stretch ... well, more than a mile :-)

    Why is the lamb coloured?

    I liked the Rabbit vs the Rarebit :-)

    1. Hi Anil - Think the lamb was just marked for the owners to keep track of their numbers.

      and what you say about a mile is sooo true

  2. This has a nice quotes+rhyme quality to it. Nice! I so get what you mean about the steel frame. I always have a feeling of endless possibilities when I look from a bridge. I love your first picture. I wish you would paint that! :)

  3. Thank you Sunanda.. I most definitely will have that picture painted and framed and ready for you when you come visit next year :)



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