The Panther Area 9 South Wales – Pembrokeshire Tour May 10 – 13th 2016

Our base for the tour

The preliminaries. Saturday 23 and Sunday 24th April the organising committee completed the final itinerary for the two 1-day tours.

Saturday 30th April 10pm

 It’s almost here. Tuesday 10th May we all meet at Slebech Park for 3 nights and 4 days of Panther Car Club activities. The itinerary is now complete. Route maps have been distributed to all participants. 

Wednesday we tour the south west coast visiting Dale for a coffee stop then follow the coast visiting Little Haven, Broad Haven, Nolton, Newgale beach, Solva and St. David’s for a lunch stop. We then visit the ‘Blue Lagoon’ at Abereiddy before our final stop at the idyllic Porthgain. Return to hotel at leisure.

Thursday we head for the Preseli mountains with a first stop at Llys y Fran country park where we will take a coffee break before a group photo shoot in front of a dramatic backdrop. We then move on for our lunch stop at the iconic Tafarn Sinc. We will visit Pentre Ifan burial chamber before concluding the organised tour at Nevern Church, site of the ‘bleeding yew’ A leisurely or brisk return to our base for our final dinner together before departure before 11am Friday morning.

The blog will be updated daily during the tour. Keep watching !

Tuesday 10th May 2016

The group start to arrive around mid-day except for Mick and Gwen, and John & Sue who stayed over on the Monday night. A small group decided to ignore the light rain and take the circular walk around the edge of the estate. We walked through an abundance of wild garlic, fully in bloom. At least we would have a pleasant aroma on our return.

The final part of the journey was along the long drive to the park, past the small lake and back to our base, passing the cars parked  for the night.

We all met for pre-dinner drinks in the lounge  where Kay welcomed all to the 2016 Area 9 Tour. This was followed by a superb three-course dinner in the restaurant.

Wednesday 11th May 2016

We awoke to leaden skies and ‘RAIN’. The show must go on so after a short briefing we departed for Day One of the tour. Most of us managed to take in Burton, Neyland and Milford Haven. On a sunny day you will find it hard to get a more scenic view. However, even in low cloud and mist it has a magical quality. We proceeded to Dale for a very welcome coffee stop. 

The tour then continued via Broad Haven, Nolton, Newgale, Solva and on to our lunch stop at St David’s. It had now stopped raining and some venture up to town while others lunched in the Cathedral Refectory.

After a two hour break for lunch we proceeded to Abereiddy and a visit to ‘the Blue Lagoon’

The history of the Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon
Some hardy, or foolish, decide to put their roofs down for the first time on the tour.

We proceeded to our final stop of the day at Porthgain and the famous Sloop Inn

On the quayside ar Porthgain

We find that Phil and Sally are celebrating their 25th Wedding Anniversary today so June and Kay visit the local Art & Craft gallery to purchase a suitable card to be signed by all.The journey back to the hotel was uneventful with a planned refuelling stop. Fortunately this coincided with a heavy rain shower and the cars with their roofs down were able to put them up in the shelter of the filling station.

Phil and Sally had arranged a glass of bubbles for all we all raised our glasses in a toast to our much loved couple.

Philip and Sally
A toast to our much loved couple

The dinner again was of the highest quality and a credit to the young head chef. 

A very enjoyable day in not too perfect weather!

Thursday 12th May 2016

We awoke to a dry day with a hint of sunshine.  With the cars in a filthy state after the rain and muddy roads of yesterday car cleaning started at 7am. 

Senior member Phil setting an example

A later start today leaving at 10am for our first stop at Llys y Fran country park. This is a Welsh Water reservoir built to satisfy the water needs of the petrochemical industry on the haven. After coffee we proceeded to our first real photo opportunity at the base of the dam. When we did a recce some two weeks previously the overflow was cascading over the dam wall and was a spectacular sight. Today, just a plain concrete wall!

At the base of Llys y Fran dam

The closed road down to the base and up to the car parking area is used a few times a year as a hill climb event under the control of the Swansea Motor Club. This was a very pleasurable experience albeit not at their speed!

We proceeded at a leisurely pace to our lunch stop at ‘Y Tafarn Sinc’. David Bath, our honorary historian reliably informed us that the interior was not original ‘but very well done’ Some compliment.

Y Tafarn Sinc

With limited parking at our next stop we reverted to two groups. Elwyn leading the first group and Gary the second with Chris acting as the ‘sweeper’ at the rear. The first group arrive at Pentre Ifan burial chamber to find that miraculously we now had eight cars.

Bob our tallest member rearranging the head stone
The first group framed by the famous stones

The first group made their way to the final stop of the day at Nevern Church, site of the ‘bleeding yew, one of the oldest Celtic crosses, and an example of the ancient Ogam writing. We were joined here by the second group. 
The bleeding yew

This being the end of the prearranged tour everyone made their own way, including chosen stops, back to our base. With such a beautiful evening we took light refreshments on the patio.

The farewell dinner was again of the highest quality. Kay thanked everyone for their presence and support and paid a fitting tribute to all of the hotel staff who had made this such a memorable tour.

Friday 13th May 2016

The hotel manager had requested a photo shoot of all the cars arriving/departing the venue and if we had any objections to their using these in their publicity. Everyone agreed that we woul be pleased to cooperate after being looked after so well. The photographer was the head chef, is there no end to his talents! His first task was a group photo in front of the hotel.

The group photograph

The cars ‘arriving’

After many goodbyes and ‘see you soon’ Phil and Sally were the first to leave for their long journey back to Lincolnshire. Eventually we all departed with a cheery wave from the young manager who had stayed until the last car went.

David and Vanita, Gary and Kay, Elwyn and Margaret decided to spend the morning on the Eastern side of the estuary as it was such a glorious sunny day. 

We explored the following – 

Our coffe stop at Lawrenny
The incoming tide at Lawrenny
The cars at Cresswell Quay

We stopped for lunch and a visit to Carew Castle and Tidal Mill.

Carew Castle
The Castle from the Tidal Mill
We said our goodbyes and motored back to our respective homes- top down in glorious sunshine. 

Until the next time………


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