Sometimes unexpected things happen which can be quite magical, the very fact that I am not at all governed by time means that I can just do what I want whenever I want. I was working in the area of Llyn Brenig on a Cycle race for Welsh Cycling, so I had already decided that I would explore the little town of Corwen with a history linked to Owain Glyndwr and visit Valle Crucis Abbey after my work was finished for the day.
Luckily I started at 9am and was finished by 1.30pm so knowing that Corwen was close by and also close to Llangollen I started to make my way there, but I needed to find a supermarket for some lunch before getting to Corwen, the plan was to walk to the summit of Coed Pen y Pigyn in Corwen and eat my picnic but sadly I couldn’t find a shop, the time was creeping toward 4pm when the supermarkets would be shut, it was Sunday after all. After driving around the area I just couldn’t find anywhere so I decided to eat out.
Since being away I have made my own food back at my place and being on a budget I just didn’t want to waste it on eating out but on this occasion I thought I would treat myself, as well as the fact that there was a long traffic queue into Llangollen where I knew there would be a shop but wasn’t sure if I would make the cut off so I turned around and went to the nearest pub, sadly it was closed but I spoke to the person in the therapy centre next door and they told me about the Chainbridge Hotel up the road which sounded really interesting.
He was right, it was fantastic, unfortunately I still didn’t get my meal, I arrived after 3pm which was the cut-off time for meal orders. It was so lovely there I decided to stay and have a small glass of wine and a packet of crisps (better than nothing). The beauty of this place is not obvious as you approach the carpark because you can’t see the actual hotel until after you have parked and started going down the steel stairway toward the river Dee running below. As you arrive you enter the hotel veranda from the side which still doesn’t reveal its beauty until you walk down the veranda decked with plenty of tables and chairs for you to sit outside and admire the view of the wonderful hanging baskets and pots with beautiful annual flowers, the fantastic river gushing past, the Chainbridge, the railway station opposite, and the beautiful old tunnel bridge.
The Chainbridge hotel is an historic hotel dating from 1828 in a fantastic position on the edge of the fast flowing river Dee, luckily while I was there, the water level was pretty low, it can be quite high after bad weather. It overlooks the magnificent chainbridge, it is believed the bridge was built somewhere between 1814 and 1817 by a local entrepreneur dealing in coal to avoid paying tolls across the river Dee at Llangollen. It was washed away by the river in 1928 and rebuilt in the style of Menai suspension bridge in 1929.
The sun was shining down onto the veranda and it was just so picturesque, it all seemed unreal, there were children playing in the shallow river below, the Thomas the Tank steam train passed on the station above, near the main road and then a group of white water rafters passed on their way to Llangollen from the Horseshoe Falls. It was one of those moments you want to capture and press pause to make it last forever.
While I was sitting there admiring the surroundings a group of people came and joined me at my table and we got talking, they were lovely people, a young girl in her early twenties with her mother and step dad, Rae, Jenny and Terry from North Yorkshire, they were fascinated by my story and invited me to go and stay with them at their home whenever I wanted and they would show me the beauty of Yorkshire, so I definitely have to put that on my list of places to visit at some point.
When I asked them why they were there, Rae the young girl told me she was a big fan of Geocaching and she was there at a Geocache convention in Llangollen, she explained that Geocaching is looking for secret treasure left by other fans of Geocaching by following clues and coordinates. The intention is to find the exact spot, sign and date the log book and either swap treasure or re-hide the geocache exactly as you found it for the next person to find. This happens all over the world and has been for years. That’s all you need to join in the fun is an app on your smartphone which is easy and free to download and join. I am going to give it a go, as it sounded really interesting.
We all also got talking to a guy and his wife from Liverpool who were visiting Wales, I wish I had got their names. I have made a pact with myself since to ask everyone their names when I meet them, have a photo taken with them and also on the suggestion of another new friend I have met I’m going to get business cards with my blog name on and give them out to all I meet in the hope of building my blog audience.
It was a lovely memorable afternoon, again made special by the people I met. I love meeting all these different people who are all interesting and there are always connections, it turned out that when Rae added me on Facebook we had a friend in common, who lives near Rae and went to college with me when I was training in Naturopathy and Acupuncture. It’s a small world made special by the people in it.