Two Go To Wales

So for our April holiday we decided to take Bertha to Wales for a short week with the aim of popping over to the Brecons – this is our diary of the trip.

First of there was a stop at Cardiff, Nikki has bought me tickets for my birthday to the Dr Who Experience and I was really looking forward to the trip.

It appeared that once Cardiff got her grips on us, we never left until the end of the holiday! What an amazing city to explore, so here is what we did.

First of all a quick nod to the Trip Advisor (check me out on it as Kaz Bissell) timeline, this is a fab way of keeping track of where you have been and photographs – amazing

Our aim originally was to do all wild camping, it did not fully work out that way but a couple of nights was achieved.

Monday 17th April 2017
FullSizeRenderI had done considerable research on wild camping recommendations and was keen to check out Roath Park.   This is a very popular park with a beautiful large lake, gardens, woodland and basically all the other stuff such as boating, play areas, hot house etc. We found a side road to the park called Wild Gardens Road – very apt name. On one side was the lake and the other the woods, nice and peaceful but also near a bit of civilisation.
Perfect with a little branch line station down the road which is a 10 train ride to Cardiff Central and cheap – a few quid for a single and cheaper for the senior rail card 
So a train ride to Cardiff and off we walked in search of a little drink and just a scout out of Cardiff. We soon fell in to a bar called The Hashery, a nice bar with cocktails 2-1 for £6.95 all day, great vibe, good music and a little quirky. This has gone down on our list for a place to visit again.  After a couple of cocktails we decided to try their signature dish of mussels which was scrummy and reasonably priced.
Then we went off for a stroll around Cardiff taking in the odd mural and avoiding beggars (some professional), this is the one let down of the city – such a shame, but probably a necessity.
Time was rolling on and we decided to go to the pictures at the Vue Cinema which had a deal on with £4 tickets – bargain. The film we saw was the Ghost in the Shell – great movie and one to recommend.
After a great movie and another stroll we headed back to Roath Park by taxi, on reflection we should have taken the train back but we were tired and assumed that the train would not be running – wrong.
An uneventful evening at the park with the exception of snoring geese!
Tuesday 18th April 2017
So the next morning it was time to have a walk around the park. It was full of swans, geese, ducks, coots and other water fowl and there were various young (ducklings, goslings). I was good to see that the park was protecting the Swans on their nests and have put a temporary fencing around them.
For the next stop off it was to the Cardiff Caravan and Camping Park which is a 10 minute walk along the River Taff to the city centre – perfect location.
This is a good location with clean shower blocks and a café – although we did not dine there. The pitches have self-contained water, grey water dump and electrics. Whilst we were there they were upgrading some of the hard standing. Not greatly spread out and £30 per night because of the great location.
Wednesday 19th April 2007 
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Bute Park this is a large park behind Cardiff Castle with well-maintained borders and a little café. From here we took the Water Bus to Cardiff Bay. What a lovely journey just taking in the local wild fowl and enjoying the sedate ride with commentary, a great way to travel.

 

This is where the Dr Who Experience is located a great venue to visit with all the monsters, Daleks and Tardis consoles as well as costumes. Check out my trip advisor  for the full SP. We walked round the bay to the Norwegian Church Arts Centre which is quite a building which stands out well, there is outside seating which provide a wonderful view of the bay.
Cardiff Bay is where the National Assembly is located, we did not get a chance to pop in but apparently it is an interesting building to visit.
We popped our head in to the Millennium Centre which at the time were hosting Sister Act and outside was being set up for the Lady Boys of Bangkok!
Lunch was at Bills Cardiff Bay Restaurant, a wonder three course affair which was quite reasonable and definitely worth another visit in the future – add this to your list.
We walked back from the Bay which was very pleasant and good exercise although there were plenty of buses available (although the water bus finished too early).
It was time to seek out food so we picked TGI Fridays which should be a safe bet – nope. Poor service and below standard food, that one is off the list for us.

Thursday 20th April 2017
We stayed overnight at the Cardiff Caravan Park again as it was so comfortable and easy for the City Centre – time to pack up, so we moved next to Bute Park for a spot of wild camping!
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All parked off so off to the Cardiff Castle we went, we have always looked from the outside and never visited – a mistake, what a great attraction. We went up the large keep and took panoramic photographs of Cardiff and visited the air raid shelters within the walls (very atmospheric). Also as a bonus I flew an owl!
We dined in the van tonight and then decided to pop to a local pub literally 3 minutes away called Y Mochyn Du, what a fab pub. Lovely atmosphere and frequented by the cricket teams and other sporty people. After a very good Welsh Gin made with Seaweed we ambled back to Bertha for sleeps which were undisturbed.

Thursday 20th April 2017
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Today we go back home but not without a visit to The Big Pit which involved a trip underground wearing helmets and lights, well worth a visit.

Bertha now has her water heater

So I purchased from Ebay a Rinnai water heater and it arrived!  It is an older model but to be honest Bertha is over 20 years old.

Gary my LPG Gas-Safe engineer came round to fit it and first of all it was a matter of transferring over fittings – all good.

Then putting the vent pipe on – oops the heater is slightly longer – it fitted.

Time to test and we kept our fingers crossed – hurrah hot water into the sink it works, how excited was I ?

The best of all is that the shower works with good pressure and is hot as well – double bonus.  Now all I have to do is flush through the tanks with the appropriate solution and away we go – I am so pleased.

Bertha needs a water heater

So I pondered a while about this one as last year we did not use the water heater at all.  Most of the washing up was done on site or using a kettle and we did not use Berthas shower.

Time to bite the bullet, I contacted a local guy off the GasSafe register who is LPG trained, told him about the heater and he popped round for a 15min free check.

The heater looked very clean and there were high hopes until I switched on the water – then it sprang a leak, oh dear, what to do?

Options: 1. Buy a new water heater, 2. buy a new heat exchanger 3. do nothing.

Time to Google……

On eBay I found the next model up which will fit everything for £150 with all the fittings. It was second-hand but had been bench tested – so I have ordered it, found out my lovely gas engineer will charge £80 to fit so just waiting for delivery.

Stay tuned…..

Bertha – the big machine

Bertha

Bertha is a Talbot Highwayman Motor Home – that is all we knew about motor homing and it was a start to a brand new adventure.  She is an old F-reg with plenty of life left but is creaking here and there.

We aim to go out on many adventures around the UK, sometimes ‘wild camping’, also doing pub stops and then being very sensible and stopping at camp sites.

So my aim is to talk about her adventures.

#motorhome #travel #Talbot #camping