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A long weekend in south Wales

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Some people like to spend their long weekends relaxing at home or catching up on some much needed DIY. Not me, I like to get out and go visiting so that other people have to stay in their homes and wait for me to turn up. Over the Easter weekend last year I thought it would be a great chance to go and visit Dave down in south Wales. He lives just outside Cardiff in Penarth, where the white, art deco buildings look as though they have been taken straight out of a Poirot drama set, although thankfully I didn't come across any embittered wives with a penchant for placing arsenic in your tea or west country servant girls, who "hadn't noticed anything out of the ordinary sir". Anyway, the evening was spent in the pubs of Cardiff, including the Goat Major and the Rummer Tavern, before an early start in the morning along the coast to Aberavon, close to Port Talbot

We are both keen, if not particularly proficient surfers, and south Wales is a fine spot for catching some waves, with Aberavon supposedly one of the best places around. Surf was just about up for our purposes and a chilly and exhausting few hours was spent trying to avoid putting our heads under the water, which was pretty murky as well as being cold. We felt that the locals were a touch unfriendly too but hoped for better things from our hosts in Pembrokeshire, much further along the coast, where we had booked a bed and breakfast for a couple of nights in St Davids, Britain's smallest city.

Whale watching was very much on the agenda for our first day there and after a hearty Welsh breakfast we managed to join a trip heading out to the Irish Sea. We had been told to be optimistic and our South African captain, Sandy, was proved right. Minke whales and as many common dolphins as you could want were in view within an hour of setting off. I found it quite incredible that you only had to go to Wales to find these animals, they always seemed far more exotic than that. Although we failed to spot any harbour porpoises I was ecstatic with our day out. Sadly, Dave was less impressed by the choppy waters and spent much of the return journey "down below".

The sun came out on our last day and the morning was spent lazing around on the beach before driving back to Penarth to see if there had been any mysterious murders.


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