First of all, a photo of our walking group before our last dinner together…
We had our leader and his wife, who served as our “back marker,” six others from England, four of us from the US, and one from Belgium. Liz, third from the left, back row, was a dead ringer for Meryl Streep…I’m not convinced she wasn’t 🙂 Although I haven’t heard any stories of Ms. Streep being a walker and Liz is a powerhouse! Really great group.
Following our breakfast the next morning our group began to break up one by one. It’s always a bit melancholic…we’ve bonded as a group by this time and enjoy each other’s company. We always hope to see each other on another Ramblers Holidays walk and say so, but the odds of this, we all know, are slim.
Sara and I shared a taxi with a walker from NY to Fishguard Harbour. Her train to London was coming right away, while we had a three-hour wait. The time passed quickly, though, partly because the (huge) ferry that runs between FH in Wales and Ireland was coming in and docking. Incredible control over a very large ship as it was gently sidled up to the dock.
Sara and I were bound for Cardiff. The story behind the reason for our visit is truly incredible, so much so that I hope it will see publication. Suffice it for here to write that it involved my mother in her early twenties, a young Welsh serviceman passing through her hometown en route to serve after training in Canada, mum’s parents inviting him to their home for dinner, a lovely thank you note from him that mum had kept from those 73 years ago, and the internet being able to tie all of these bits and pieces together. We were stopping to meet the serviceman, now in his nineties, and his son. What a memorable evening we had, with good conversation, sharing photographs, telling stories and reminiscing, a delicious pub meal and an overnight stay. Evenings like this come along seldom in life…what an honour and pleasure to have this opportunity. There are pictures…we’ll see how publication works out and perhaps I’ll be able to post one here. I so wish this had been mum visiting, but I was honoured to be her stand-in.
This morning it was up early and on board a train bound for London for an afternoon commitment of Sara’s and a serious date with a washing machine for me. We spotted a white chalk horse on a hillside…
…but I don’t know which one this was. I can’t possibly search through the white horses of England to find its name on my iPad….it’s just toooo slow. My iPad is a trial in patiences, but I’m not complaining! However, it seems that I’ve burned out the charger for my camera and unless I can find a new camera battery, my posts may be reduced to just my unillustrated writing until I get home and remedy the situation. Probably a common fate of mixing converters, adapters, charges and foreign countries.
Tomorrow brings a train trip to southern England.