Thursday, March 22, 2018

Cymru, March 2018 VI, Parking Problems, Pontypool

The day dawn is breaking and I don't need to go out hiking in the cold again. So I'll try to catch up a little.

Two days ago, the first day of Spring, started out so beautiful! I walked up to the "main" road to scout out the snow. I wasn't going to get out any time early. I waited until 11 a.m. and all was sufficiently melted.

But the views!
The Usk Valley curves from the left to the right.
The far valley is the Rhiangoll or Cwmdu and I think the peak in the distance, right is Twmpa above Blaendigeddi Fawr.

The Bunkhouse farm is down in the trees
The road down the mountain was typical, and this was the more civilized than than the way I came in.

And I crossed the Brecon and Monmouthshire Canal where there is a canal boat harbor!

The Brecon and Monmouthshire Canal between Crickhowell and Gilwern
I drove down to Llanfoist and found that the daffodils I planted had survived the blizzard just fine. 

The yellow flowers are bursting out all over Wales at present. Up here on the mountain, they are just starting. As I go lower in the Valleys, they are ever more present. And down by Cardiff, they are everywhere.

Oh, did I mention Cardiff? I wasn't planning on that direction until today (I should have lots of pics of daffs.) At Llanfoist, I wanted to go up to Garnddyrys on the side of the Blorenge. But the road between Llanfoist and Govilon was closed due to contstruction on the powerlines. I headed around the other side of the mountain to see Pontypool and Abersychan. Stopping for lunch at a chip shop in Goytre (a name that will live in infamy), I went into the free car park. It has a loo and everything. It also had the weirdest posts to narrow down the traffice to less than one lane for some odd reason. Well, turning in, I hung up my rear, left "tyre" on the post. It was only a minor scrape to the car, so I didn't worry to much.

Who in the world designs a car park entrance like this?? Two lanes squeeze into less than one, and for what purpose?
Is there a repair shop in Goytre than needs the business?
The two tall posts have been scraped to nearly to death and I don't think they were originally to lean at those angles.
 I had some good fish and chips with a touch of curry in the batter. I then headed out towards Pontypool and the little Fiat seemed to be loose in the steering wheel. I pulled over and didn't see anything besides my little scrape. I drove on coming into Pontypool and stopped again. This was not safe for driving. I must have wrenched the wheel on the stupid post and knocked out the alignment. Sigh. Blessedly, I saw a Tesco Superstore up ahead! (There are miracles.) The roundabout dropped me right into the upper of of the double-decker car park and I called the rental company.

Pontypool from the Tesco upper deck.
It took a bit of hassle but no big deal. I had resources (a loo) in Tesco. AA came (the Automotive Association, not the recovering guys) and certified it was unsafe at any speed and called for another one of those big lorries that amazing manuevered the Tesco car park (although I noticed that a lot of normal looking parking posts had been hit by American drivers, I guess.)  And they took me and the car to ... wait for it ... Cardiff Airport! Which is not in Cardiff but in Barry, not a barry convenient place half-way to Swansea. I stopped taking pictures as I was trying to keep this on the QT from my wife. But the insurance sent her a copy of the email. Oops.

All in all, I would like to offer this up to Tesco and its loo:

It get's better. Click to continue to the next day.

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