M5 is alive

We caught our last breakfast at the Blathwayt, packed our things and headed out at the crack of 10:15.

We wanted to be out and on the road so we could get up and into Wales before it was too late in the day. The last thing we wanted was to get stuck in traffic up the M5 part way there. I was warned in advance that traffic can get pretty bad, and that we might have better luck going straight up through the center of Wales instead. We checked both on the GPS while still int the parking lot of the Blathwayt, and the central route looked shorter and a bit faster overall.

We headed out and saw on the highway display signs that there was a slowdown on the M5, just a few miles past the turnout. This cemented our decision, and we went instead on the inside route, heading back across the bridge to South Wales.

About an hour later we finally made it through the massive queue across the bridge, that started just about 200 feet after the M5 turnoff. Apparently it was cleaning day on the bridge, and they closed all but one lane.


Finally across, (and paying our toll) we headed off the main highway and onto the central roads through Wales. Initially, these were pretty good, with views of the castles and small towns along the route. But as we got into the heart of Wales, the road got smaller and smaller. And with that it got slower and slower. Our arrival time on the GPS kept moving back, and we saw 3pm turn to 4, then 5.

Did I mention the sheep? Holy crap. “The sheep were agitated” is the phrase that pays.

The place was packed with sheep, cows, farms, and hedgerows as far as we could see. There really wasn’t much space left for roads apparently, because we were driving across paths that made the Burke-Gilman look roomy.

Eventually, we made it down to Borth-y-Gest, the port village here our B&B was located. This village was at the bottom of a hill, with a U-shaped bay circled with quaint little houses and a seawall holding it together. It was literally a scenic postcard come alive, but not quite as large as a postcard. Our place, the Ardwyn, was easy to find, and the owner was sitting out on the porch with his wife, waiting for us to arrive. He greeted us in Welsh, or had a coughing fit, I couldn’t tell which, and showed us up to the room.

It was a good size, with a separate side room for Sasha, and the smallest bathroom physically possible. But for the cheap price it was amazing. We got our bags up, then headed back to the main town of Porthmadog to look for some dinner. It was late by this point which meant that we were looking for a Pub that had a late menu, and we found one down by the marina. The moment we walked in, we found the whole staff speaking Welsh, and only breaking into english for the tourists.

We tried to get a nice table with a view upstairs, but only the lower dining room was open, and we got a table next to another, slightly more inebriated customer, who was also not local. Once we started talking, we found out that he was, in fact, Scottish, and down locally for some pipeline repair. When he heard that we were going to be headed to Glasgow in a few days he lit up (though he was already lit) and gave us a big rundown of what to do when we arrived, almost all of which was totally unintelligible, but all very enthusiastic and good hearted.

He continued to talk to us until he finished polishing off his large bottle of cider, then bid us a good vacation and staggered off. He managed to escape the pub without knocking anyone else down, and we had some excellent Welsh Lamb, Bangers and Mash, and Fish and Chips. We strolled back to the car, looking for an open store t pick up a few snacks for the room and a bottle of wine, and found our Scottish friend passed out at the bus stop.

There was nothing surprising about this.

A bit later we came across a couple with a wiener dog, and stopped to talk as Sasha was missing Oscar terribly. Their dog was younger than Oscar, and they were pleased to find out that as he grew older, their dog would not get easier to housetrain, and would also bark more and dig like a madman.

The left us slightly sad, and we headed back to the B&B. We were finally tired, and mostly over our Jet lag, so it would be good to be able to sleep in.

Waiting for us, the owner told us that Breakfast would be at 8:15 sharp.