It’s Saturday; this must be the Cretaceous Period

The Plan was to head down to Tenby, hop gracefully aboard a pirate ship bound for the high seas, sail to the east until land was sighted, sneak on shore and find pirate treasure.

We set off early but the weather was so good that we expected to hit the inevitable traffic jams pretty much from the start. In the past we’ve had to change plans as a result of queues of cars all wanting to go where we wanted to go. But as we drove along, trying to guess where we’d see the first signs of slow moving vehicles, we were surprised by the free flow of traffic. “Round the next corner…”‘ “over the brow of this hill…” where would the queue start? We kept going at a swift (but lawful) pace unhindered by the tide of holiday vehicles.

At Carmarthen, often a bottleneck simply because of the roundabouts and traffic lights, we sailed through with barely a dab of the brakes. Before we knew it, we were in Tenby. Tenby was where the pirate ship, in the form of a small boat, would (for a small fee of pieces of eight) take us across to the pirate island (known to all the pirates as Caldey). There we would search for pirate treasure (the famous Caldey chocolate).

Of course, nothing is ever easy in the world of of the sailor of fortune. We got to the harbour to find all the pirates were out, sailing the high seas. No boats were sailing for Caldey and no boats were sailing on the alternative voyage, a sea safari around the island. Disappointed, our adventurous crew set sail for the nearby beach, where we dug for pirate treasure instead.

After a quick parley, we decided that the best course to set would be for the nearby ‘Dinosaur Valley’. Nothing beats a journey into the distant past to overcome the disappointment of being let down by pirates.

Just down the road (only a few tens of millions of years ago), we entered the world of the dinosaurs, complete with cafe, indoor play area, crazy golf on the volcano course and bumper boats. We took a wander through the dinosaur valley, meeting a variety of colourful critters on the way. Alas, me hearties, the spitting dinosaur at the end had dried up and we were left high and dry until we reached the sanctuary of the Jurassic cafe (selling Jurassic coffee).

As the sun began to sink towards the yardarm, we set sail towards our home port and once again managed to avoid the worst of the traffic.

Arrrr, shiver me timber me old shipmates. Twas a rum do, and no mistake. I’ll see the cap’n of that old tub that left us stranded swing from the top mast afore I go to see Davy Jones..

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Holiday 3

Yesterday morning we went out to see the hens in the field next to the cottage. They were so pleased to see us again that they completed the 50 yard sprint from the hen house to the fence in record time. It’s so funny to see them charge towards us then mill about looking cool and aloof.

Later, we drove along the beautiful North Devon coast towards Combe Martin. On out right as we went was the Bristol Channel and beyond, home. Only a few miles away but it had taken us three hours and 150 miles to get to where we were. A short ferry ride would be much simpler.

We were heading for the Dinosaur park just outside the village. It’s sited on the side of the valley leading to the sea and this means that the attractions are on different levels. It’s hard going but it does mean that you use up all the calories that you’ve eaten climbing up the steep slopes between sites.

We managed to survive the hourly ‘waking of the dinosaurs’, the deadly earthquake and dam burst to make it to the cafe for a picnic lunch. We didn’t get to go into the lemur enclosure this time as they were having a loud and shrill territorial dispute.

The evening was finished off with a particularly bizarre movie featuring three short films by directors from Japan, Korea and Hong Kong. One was sick enough even to force us to skip it. The next was bizarre in a way I particularly like – surreal but with a sense of humour. The third was just unfathomable. Long live Oriental film making.

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