“Nine hours…” We had finally made it to Rhyader as the sodden daylight was fading. “Nine..”
We’d only stopped once more on the way and that was to take on board some necessary refreshment. We’d called at the first pub we’d found, just across the Welsh border and the very English barman, choosing to perpetuate a travellers’ myth, had preferred to talk to his regulars than take a food order from travellers. We were hungry.
We sat out in the pretty beer garden, set high above the river and my ravenous companion laughingly chanted for the rains to come and wash the place away. The heavens obligingly opened and for the next hour we drove in lashing rain, low visibility and damp clothes. I believe the pub remained dry…
To be fair, it had only been six hours on the road. The other three we had been wandering the sacred sites of Kilpeck and King Arthur’s Stone. Even so, we were tired. I’d been to work before we left, and the extra couple of hours on top of travelling made it a long day… we were ready for a drink, dinner and some relaxation. All we needed was the hotel.
We do not get lost. We may, occasionally, become slightly misplaced. Nor do we ever go the wrong way. It is always the right way, even if we don’t always know it at the time. In the same way that life gives us what we need, rather than always what we would choose, roads take you where you ought to be, rather than where you think you want to go. Usually. The road looked like the right one, according to the map when we stopped to check it. Hills… valleys… river… waterfall… pretty much what it was supposed to have, and pretty much where it was supposed to be. The trouble was there were no signposts.
“We’re in the middle of nowhere…”
“…again…” For some reason, I rather liked that idea.
“No, you’re not getting it. We’re in the middle of nowhere… now-here…” I wasn’t going to argue. There were hills. And kites flying overhead. And everything. Here and Now looked pretty perfect to me.
Except for the non-appearance of the hotel. Which was advertised with mountain views, so we might be going the right way.
“We’re going the wrong way.”
Thankfully, there was absolutely nowhere to turn round on the narrow road without risking the rain-sodden ground, so I was obliged to continue driving over the hills, surrounded by mountains and sky and trying, probably unsuccessfully, to seem concerned.
I finally managed to find a safe turning spot, right on a hairpin bend and we headed back to Rhyader to try to find another road out of town. I had, very sensibly I thought, printed off the Google map for the last couple of miles between Rhyader and the hotel. By dint of completely ignoring Google’s directions, we finally found ourselves on the correct road. The other one had been the right one as far as I was concerned and I knew which way we would be going come morning! Food for the soul. Meanwhile, the body also had requirements … and we pulled into the car park of our hotel just in time for dinner.