Friday, 17 May 2013

How to Feel at Home

Talk About being made to feel at home!

And so I arrived into the lovely town of Solva, as the tide filled in I reached the quay. After an hours wait for enough tide to make my way up to the cheaper "Sand Quay" I was greeted by a local gent and his wife walking the quay on a lovely sunny evening. They were incredibly kind and helpful, giving advice on where to go and who to see, they even offered me to come to thier home and dry my clothes... They'd only known me 10 minutes!!!

I declined their home but took up their offer of help re-mooring at Sand Quay. Nothing was too much to them! Something I would soon find is a common piece of being a person in Solva!

Settled on the Quay and completely knackered by my day at sea I fell asleep before I could tidy the boat, and didn't wake up till well into the morning!

Once up I followed the advice and made my way to the Cafe on the Quay run by Solva Boat Owners Club. Well what a lovely place! Tea and exquist cakes galore, amazing views across the harbour and incredibly reasonably priced. Once again they did everything they could to help me and offered me ten times more than that! While there I got chatting to the Solva Stitch and Bitch Club. This group of lovely ladies meet up to knit and natter, and sell their produce to raise funds for charity! Once again they were incredibly interested in everything and gave a generous donation to the Charity Causes.

After the chat I started working on sorting myself out the replacement laptop and getting my phone repaired. Basically attacking Ebay and Apple store from all angles. Sadly I was reminded in this experience of why I changed phones and why one has a laptop... using a dodgy old phone with poor signal makes getting stuff sorted near on impossible. To try to make situations better I Made my way to the Harbour Inn, I had lunch while taking advantage of their wifi and enjoying the advice from locals and staff. In all honesty they were lucky to not get hit with my absolutely useless old phone so stressed I was with it repeatedly crashing. So I ordered apple crumble to make me feel better!

Crumble devoured, and permission to get the replacement laptop delivered to the pub I headed back to the Cafe. Seeing me stressing I was offered other peoples phones to borrow, an Ipad, and a lovely cup of tea. (behind electronic failures the biggest expediture on this trip has probably been tea!) They also gave me a Ice Cream tub to make into a shaking tin for the Charities. Finally I called my Technophobe mother who with together we managed to order the new laptop ... Congratulations mum!

Releaved I returned to the Boat and made a board to put on the quay with the shake tin explaining the boat and the charity's and where I'm going. I hung this by the boat before returning to the Cafe for more lovely tea.

In the evening I shaved and showered (for what seemed the first time in ages) and put on my gladrags before heading off to my 4th Ship inn (if you include the ship and castle Aber) for the Quiz with one of the ladies of the Stitch and Bitch. I was gladly welcomed into their winning quiz team and introduced to more incredibly friendly and helpful people of Solva (for a small village its full of such people!) Sadly we finished just off first place and won nothing on the raffle but it was lovely to meet all the people. The landlord also made a big effort to help me find crew for the trip. 

Back to bed and again slept like a log.

In the morning I ran up the hill and jumped onto the Haverfordwest bus. In Haverfordwest I headed to the Station. Off to Cardiff to repair/replace the phone and see my old friend Toby. At Haverfordwest Station I met someone who's kindness and enjoyable conversations gave Solva and Aberaeron a run for their money. With a hour wait between Bus and Train I went to The Platform One Diner, a lovely small cafe run by a great bloke, who once again helped in anyway he could, and donated to the charitys. A Big Breakfast inside and a lovely cuppa tea, then onto the train to Cardiff. Enroute I route planned the tides and bearings round to St Ives... God its a long way! I'm so excited!

Into Cardiff and I had a fab conversation with a girl in the street who was herself raising money for Dogs for the Blind... Shame I don't have any money to give her! Then to the Apple store where I was informed Water damage was the cause (THE PHONE WAS RUSTY INSIDE! They must use rubbish metal compared how much an iphone costs) and it was £140 (that mums kindly lent me) to replace it... I think it will be in the I-Dry permanently now!

In the evening I caught the train back to Porth Cawl to meet Toby. We went out to the Waterfront Pub on the seafront, and had a lovely dinner with England staring me straight in the face, and incredibly close, it only excited me more for the voyage ahead! Back on the train in the morning back to Haverfordwest - where I popped back in to meet my new friends at Platform One, who seemed incredibly pleased to see me, before dashing back to Solva.

Back in Solva I hopefully dropped into the Harbour Inn to see if the Laptop had arrived in time for me to catch the next tide, alas it had not. Not deterred I headed back to the boat and finally met the Harbour Master! And not to disappoint he fitted the Solva formula of a lovely person only too willing to help, He even gave me a discount on the very reasonable harbour fees. After working out with the harbour master what my best plans were i ran back to the Harbour inn to see if my laptop was around just in time for the end of the tide. It had but by the time I was back I realised I was about half an hour too late to meet the tide at Skomer's Jack Sound and so I have to wait another day. 

And so the rest of the day I spent in the Quay Cafe setting up the new laptop for the route ahead just finding enough dongle signal to download the nessasary bits and bobs. Through the afternoon I talked to various passers by and cafe patrons getting numerous generous donations and lovely conversations. A great conversation came from one couple of Milford on Sea - New Forest, another who knew Freshwater Isle of Wight incredibly well, and the generous and lovely Lesley and Howard. Then I said my goodbyes to the lady who runs the Cafe who gave me another big donation for the charitys, 

In the evening I returned to the Harbour Inn for a big filling Dinner feeling it apt to pay them back as much as I could for their help in the acquiring the laptop before an early night and preparing for my departure in the morning. 

Can this Gorgeous, Lovely village of Pembrokshire be surpassed by what I find in Cornwall? I hope so but somehow I doubt it.

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