BRECHFA, WALES

After Worms Head, we made our way up to visit another friend from our days at Little Creatures, Osian. Osian lives deep (real deep) in the countryside of West Wales. He’s a woodsy carpenter who lives with his sweet Irish girlfriend in a charming and romantic little chalet in the absolute middle of nowhere. The closest village (25 minutes away) is Brechfa which has existed in the Cothi Valley in Carmarthenshire since the 6th century and currently has a population of 300. 

 Osian, Joe and myself in the countryside of Wales, 5 years after slinging pales ales in Western Australia. It's a small, nice little world sometimes. 

Osian, Joe and myself in the countryside of Wales, 5 years after slinging pales ales in Western Australia. It's a small, nice little world sometimes. 

Brechfa was opening it’s only pub, the Forest Arms for the first time in 6 years and we attended the grand opening. There are so few people in the village, that they’ve had to shut down the church and the school so they’re re-opening the pub in an effort to have a community meeting place. I’m pretty sure all 300 residents came for the opening night as the place was PACKED. Eighty-percent were over the age of 60 as well, so it was quite the crowd. 

 They preserved the steps outside that folks would use to mount their horses (after a quick stop at the pub) back in the day

They preserved the steps outside that folks would use to mount their horses (after a quick stop at the pub) back in the day

They served Welsh ales on tap, the Welsh Men’s Choir sang and I had an absolute ball experiencing a seriously authentic night in a Welsh pub. Everyone joked that I was the only Bostonian to ever set-foot in Brechfa and I was thrilled to be there. 

Driving back on the insanely narrow, dark and winding roads we listened to Willy Mason and then had a big sleep over at the chalet. In the morning, Osian broke out his carpenter tools and the boys carved a spatula. It was the most productive thing I’ve ever witnessed before 11 AM and I encouraged them while lazily enjoying my coffee.  

Heading back to Cardiff, it was a gorgeous warm and clear day (very uncharacteristic of Wales) so Joe and I stopped at the Dryslwyn Castle to take in some lovely views of the expansive, green countryside. The castle has ties to Lord Rhys (a prince who reigned until 1197), changed hands between various Welsh princes (as castles tend to do) and was a fortress before falling to the English Crown in 1287. History like this makes the USA sound like pre-teen. 

I quite enjoyed sitting on a castle on a Sunday morning. I'll have to make that into a regular thing.