Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Fossil Hunting in England's Jurassic - ENCHANTING WALES

April 25 - Helo, a chroeso i Gymru!  Rydym yn cael pél.   We have arrived in southwest Wales (where, to our delight, they speak Welsh) in a tiny village called Castle Martin, and we're immediately enchanted.  From our converted barn at Pen y Holt Farm (the Granary), we find the unexpected in every direction - literally.

Pen y Holt Farm (the Granary)

One mile to the west is a wild and wooly coastline which was voted one of Wales' best surfing beaches - Freshwater West.  Here Robin Hood (with Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchette) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows were filmed in 2009.  If that isn't enough, there's also a thatched seaweed-drying hut and an Iron Age burial chamber.

View from the bedroom (hay loft) to the east
Immediately to the south is an MOD (Ministry of Defence) army tank training range, complete with targets and shooting -  commencing Tuesday.  The roads will be closed, the cows and sheep moved to safety, and we will be treated to ordinance - right out our window!  Prior to WWII local farmers and villagers for several square miles were summarily moved, leaving a landscape of empty homes and a couple of villages.

And to the north is the 13th century St. Michael and All Angel's medieval church and an oil refinery a few miles away that lights up like Disneyland at night and is actually very pretty.  And to boot  . . . the Queen is coming Tuesday.

St. Michael and All Angel's Church

We're brushing up on our Welsh and all its double consonants, and none of our Latin or Germanic-based languages are helping.  Tomorrow we head to the beaches for Ordovician-Silurian aged fossils.

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