Wednesday, 22nd September, 2021

[Day 555]

Today was a day which we had allocated to a sightseeing of the Brecon Beacons so last night I ‘Googled‘ what I hope is to be a scenic route over the Black Mountains which I hope will give us the authentic experience. Meg and I both had a pretty good night’s sleep so presumably a change of locale and some good meals out are wreaking the desired effect. We both had excellent breakfasts for the second day running and by about 10.00 am, we were ready for the off. SatNav-ing just a road number does not get you very far so I thught I would SatNav a village at one end of he scenic route and then another at the other end so that we could hit the correct route over the 'Black Mountains’ correctly. As it turned out, we got the first part of the journey done OK and then slightly missed the turn off for the critical road which is the A4069. We knew we had gone slightly astray but that did bother trouble us a great deal as I was just about to enter a new set of coordinates in the SatNav in any car. But just then we spotted a strategically located hotel which looked as though it was in the busines of offering morning coffees so we treated ourselves to a cappuccino, a mocha and a nice toasted teacake between us. Then we had a stroke of real luck. We fell into conversation with a couple also taking a morning coffee – he was a bank employee celebrating his 60th birthday and she was a care worker from Indonesia. They knew the area quite well and also the road that we wanted so they encouraged us to follow them up the roundabout where we could turn off into the mountains – and took the same route themselves so that we could follow them. The mountains resembled some of the huge wide passes in the Lake District and I quite enjoyed them but as a driver I had to concentrate upon the road quite a lot. When we came down from the mountains we set a course for Brecon which involved some backtracking of our steps and then having made the wrong call at another roundabout, finished up traversing the Black Mountains in the reverse direction. The mileages involved over the actual tops are actually quite small and we were not unhappy to see the mountain tops again from a different direction. I managed, though, to get betters vews on my way back when I was ascending as when you are descending, you do not have a lot of time for sight-seeing when you are concentrating upon the bends on tne way down. There was quite a mist (not unexpectedly) so visibility was not as good as we might have hoped for, given the fine weather over most of the country.

We descended into Brecon at a fairly late hour for lunch (1.30-ish) and I decided to we might try a quirky little establisghment with rave reviews called the Hop Inn Beer and Gin. The reviews on the web showed statements like ‘Takes Tapas to a new level – worth coming Brecon just to eat here‘ and things in a similar vein. But the craft beer I had was not a touch on yesterday’s down the road and the egg, sausage and chips pedestrian – the lunch time menu was uninspiring. Perhaps, to be charitable, the place really comes alive at night but there was a big discrepancy between what the web reviews led one to expect and our actual experience. After lunch, we walked into the town to collect a copy of a newspaper (the ‘I’) and after we picked up the car, suddenly realised that we needed to stock up on much needed supplies such as milk and biscuits. I must say, we were rather pleased to get into our own room again and have a bit of a rest and a refreshing cup of own Earl Grey tea. As soon as we got in, we received a text message fom our son who required a formal letter from me for his own financial purposes – since we joined households together some fourteen years ago, there are occasional joint issues that have to be resolved or untangled. I needed to compose a Word Document which I did ‘in the cloud’ using Google docs but the resulting PDF would only display half the file and would not scroll as was intended. Eventually, I installed a new PDF reader (Foxit) and also accessed an online Word processing Word clone (Zoho) which I had used before – but it needed passwords, OTPs and the like. But my efforts were crowned with success as I managed to produce the document I wanted, save it OK and get a PDF downloaded onto my computer to transmit onto the son and heir – he seemed quite saisfied with it at the end of the day!