Split Shift

My last post on Wales was On the Road to Abergwaun

We had given up on our idea of the train ride out of Aberystwyth to the Vale of Rheidol but there was another outing we were both interested in – a trip out to Ramsey Island.

Ramsey Island lies a mile off the Pembrokeshire coast – it’s only about 2 miles long, a nature reserve with some of the finest cliff scenery in Wales.  We had booked on the 10.30 tour from St-Justinian’s but found that due to insufficient people there would only be one sailing that day, at 1.15 p.m.—smack in the middle of the day.  So this was going to have to be a split shift—a poke-about, then Ramsey Island, followed by another poke-about.

So we took one of the roads out of St-David’s and headed to the hinterland of Pembrokeshire … within 5 kms we found ourselves in Whitchurch – in Welsh it is Tregroes, meaning “Settlement of the Cross” – in either language it is a mere blip on the map.

But we were actually in search of a woolen mill for which we had seen signs.  In a little place called Middle Mill we found the unpretentious Solva Woollen Mill established in 1909 and still in the business of exporting to various countries and producing commissioned rugs on their two primary looms, which we saw shuttling and clanging away.

After our beverage break in the tea room at the mill, we continued to follow the road into Solva, through which we had passed several times during the week  to-ing and fro-ing from St-Davids.

One O’clock found us in St-Justinians, ready for our tour around Ramsey Island –

Ramsey Island is a reserve with limited access – we saw a few porpoises, Atlantic grey seals, a couple of seal pups and cliffs 400 feet high.   There are also free ranging sheep and we saw several precariously perched at the edge and in some cases part way down the cliffs.  I asked how many sheep they lose each year – apparently not that many.  The boaters report them to the warden when they see them and most they are able to rescue; an unfortunate few they have to shoot.

I was fascinated with the cliffs and rock faces of such beautiful and varying colours and formations – it didn’t seem possible it was all the same island. I took about a hundred photos during our hour tour.

Then we were back to poking-about.  We headed to Porthclais where we took another short walk along the coastal path;

on rounding a bend we had a pretty view of the harbour.

Back on the road, we headed through Solva (again), through Newgale (again) through Nolton, and on towards Broad Haven for more views of St-Bride’s Bay.

The roads back lead us through Haverfordwest, back through Newgale (again), through Solva (again) and home to St-Davids and our pre-dinner cocktail.

We had an excellent supper on the high street right next door at The Bench, at least in my opinion – mine was ravioli, pavlova, coffee and a Grand Marnier.  It’s only a small place – a foursome came in and sat nearby and when a twosome joined us they filled the remaining space.  Sitting so close-by-each we got into conversations with each other as we awaited our meals. David and Irene were on a weekend jaunt from Cardiff (they sometimes travelled from Cardiff to St-Davids for the day … that’s all the way across their entire country, for the day … the same 50 miles it took us two days … Anyway, our departure from St-Davids was looming and since I had no idea how we were to get back to Bessemer Road and the Hertz dealership, I asked for their help.  They kindly invited us to their holiday apartment for drinks the next day and they would give us our needed directions.

And on that kind note we headed to our own apartment to put our feet up and have our night-cap before bed.

Lastly, I leave you with two paintings I did from this batch of photos – an ink and watercolour of the house at Whitchurch –

and a pastel of the river at Solva –

For more of my art click on the visual arts tab on my home page.

17 thoughts on “Split Shift

  1. wow…great post, love the church…your art is fantastic.. i really wish it was something I could do but alsas not 🙂 so seeing other peoples is brilliant 🙂 excellent


    1. Thank you maenamor – I’ve sketched on an off since I was in high school but it wasn’t until about 10 years ago that I started painting. I do enjoy it … most of it …. some of what I have produced is pretty bad, but like most things I guess it’s practice, practice, practice.


  2. Hi Lynne,
    Due to physical limitations, my traveling days are limited. I am so enjoying your photos and narrative. And oh my gosh, love your art work! IF I could travel, I would chose this part of the world to see, along with New Zealand, Scotland, and maybe back to the South of France/Italy–oh the beauty that we are so privileged to share with others. Again, thank you–Barb


    1. Thank you Barb for taking time to comment and for your kind comments. I was in Scotland many years ago and would love to return; NZ has long been on my list but, oh, the south of France. The ambiance of Provence and the Langduedoc got into my soul many years ago and I have not been disappointed on subsequent visits.


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