We went to Wales today. Derby first, then Burton, Lichfield, Cannock, Telford, Shrewsbury…
Didn’t actually see any of them as the roads now just take you past instead of through them. If they didn’t, we’d still be travelling. The road follows a lot of the Watling Street route. This was originally a grass trackway used by the Britons. The Romans paved it and subsequent generations of academics have argued over its route.
It may have gone to Preston, it may have gone to Holyhead. Who cares? They are both nice places and have roads that go to them. For now, let’s say that if you are on the A2 in Kent or the A5 in the Midlands, you are part of a travel tradition going back thousands of years.
In AD 60 or 61 Queen Boudicca, or Boadicea, if you prefer the old-fashioned way, faced the Romans somewhere along the road. Nobody is quite sure where (there are several possibilities) but after burning London, St Albans and Colchester, and killing an estimated 70 – 80,000 Romans, she was finally defeated.
We then struck out into Wales, where we visited Rhayader before travelling up through Snowdonia to Bangor. We’re currently sitting in the Bangor Travel Lodge drinking Aspall’s Suffolk Cider from plastic glasses after a meal from Burger King. Tomorrow I am intending to send a stinging rebuke to the Travel Lodge head office.
The details clearly state: “Guests can enjoy a variety of food and drink choices within easy walking distance from this hotel. ”
Translation: “There is a Little Chef (which closes at 8pm), Burger King and shop at the filling station.”
It’s not quite what I was expecting.
Anyway, the bird watchers among you will have stopped at Rhayader. It’s the home of Gigrin Farm, where they feed 300 to 600 Red Kites every day.
I’ll post a few photos to give you a flavour of the day, but most need some cropping as I has to hold back on the zoom to give myself room to keep the birds in the frame. If you crop it too tight the bird flies out of shot. I have photos of grass, photos of sky and photos of tail feathers.
I’ll tell you what I don’t have – photos of Ravens.
They promised me Ravens and I had to make do with 300 Red Kites.
Sometimes you have days like that.