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  • Writer's pictureManasa Mynampati

A trip to Wales!

For our anniversary, we drove from Brighton to Wales for a 4-day trip. This was our first trip with our kid. We packed our bags and kitchen essentials and headed to Cardiff. We booked a comfortable cottage close to the capital and the beach through Air BnB. We drove for 6 hours and reached our destination.

The temperature was around 25 degrees even though it was already August. However, something unexpected occurred. We were denied access to the accommodation as someone was already occupying it. We had an unpleasant experience travelling with a toddler in hot weather after our hotel reservation was cancelled, and we were left stranded, but we managed to get a refund from Airbnb in the form of a gift voucher. Long story short.. we booked a nearby hotel for that night. We've already lost a whole day of our trip! I have always been disappointed that we haven't had the chance to celebrate our anniversary on a trip. We searched on Airbnb without expectations, needing a kitchen for my child. We found a cosy lodge near Brecon Beacons in Cross Hands, just an hour's drive from Cardiff. We were pleased with how fast the host confirmed our reservation, which was a great part of our experience.

The next morning, we woke up, got ready, packed our bags and had a continental English breakfast (Pancakes with maple syrup, butter croissants with honey, bread toasts with porridge, orange juice, etc). We left the hotel and went to explore Cardiff for a day.

@ Cardiff museum

Due to the intense heat, we opted to stay indoors and selected the National Museum Cardiff. Compared to the Natural History Museum, London, this museum may appear smaller, but it offers a variety of interesting exhibits for kids, including dinosaur skeletons, mammoths, Indian herbal medicines such as Sunamika leaves, and more. We spent our evening and then headed to our new lodge.

I must credit Elizabeth, our host, for making our trip fabulous. They had a lovely home, and this lodge was an extension to their main one, with a separate entrance and car park, a spacious living room with a small kitchen and a beautiful Garden. My kid went to bed early. My husband asked me to sit beside him in the garden and gaze at the sky without blinking. While not sure what I was looking at, I started to enjoy the night breeze and the starry sky. There was a sudden, bright line moving across the sky that disappeared in a flash. That night, there was a meteor shower, and we were lucky enough to catch a few more glimpses.

The highlight of our trip was the four-point waterfall in the Brecon Beacons, but our host suggested we head southwest towards the coast as we were under a heatwave, and the entire South Downs was under drought. She lent us all the beach stuff: a tent, towels, chairs, etc. We arrived at Saundersfoot Beach and found it to be bustling with activity. We found a spot, popped our tent, and had a good day at the beach. By the evening, the sea went back by 500 metres from the beach. We rented a SUP, and while we were still paddling, my kid fell asleep on the board.......

Our 4-day trip came to an end today. Woke up very late and lazily packed our stuff. By the time we handed over the lodge, it was 10:30 AM. When we said goodbye to the host and handed over the keys, she recommended taking a different route to Brighton to avoid traffic and enjoy the scenery. As there was little difference in time to our home, we followed her suggestion and started on a narrow route through A483 via Glynneath.

The drive was so beautiful along the countryside and through the farmlands. We took a couple of stops to take pictures. There were mountain sheep with long tails grazing in the lands. My little one was so excited, so we got down to get a close view (of course, they ran away from us when she started asking them to stop for a good picture). The Powys county in Wales is one of the best locations in the UK for Heather. We drove downhill in the outer area of the natural reserve, admiring the purple mountains. The temperature here is usually low compared to the Southdowns in England, which makes this area a getaway from regular heatwaves in summer. When we reached Glynneath, Pont Melin-Fach (the reason for our trip) was just half an hour away. We made a turn and reached the car park, which can accommodate only a few cars (maybe 5).

Four-point waterfalls @ Wales

The weather was calm, with a light drizzle. We arrived at the first waterfall, which was more like a gentle stream. It was a calm and pleasant experience.

Watching the beauty of nature for an hour on the nearby rock filled our hearts with inspiration and joy, and we returned home safely with cherished memories.

But I should mention that climatic changes are more visible now than in previous years. Yet tourists are not taking it seriously. By evening, we could see plastic and even a medical cast floating on Saundersfoot Beach. At the waterfalls, we saw crisp covers and water bottles near the bench. By exercising patience and careful planning, we have the power to safeguard the beauty of nature for our children to enjoy for years to come.

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