This week’s guest post is from my cousin’s TW and Sean Mendis.
The story will unfold in three parts- here is the third, and last, part.
On the summit we tucked into an eclectic meal of barbecued chicken, sandwiches, falafel, hot coffee and delicious vine leaves.
We returned down two different paths; Sean and I came down the Watkins to get the cars and meet the others who were making their way down the Penny Pass.
At the hotel, we met back up with Mira who had returned from Carnarvon and also visited Gelert’s grave. I had told her of the story earlier. How Prince Llewelyn had left his trusted hound Gelert in charge of his baby whilst he went on a hunting trip and that on his return he found the baby missing and Gelerts muzzle covered in blood. In a fit of rage he had slain the dog only to find his baby safe in his cradle a little way off, next to a huge wolf with several mortal wounds – the result of a fight to the death with Gelert. Llewelyn returned to his faithful hound who licked his hand and expired on cue. Unfortunately I burst her bubble by telling her that it was really an apocryphal story, although dog lovers would know doubt be delighted to hear this. Someone described Beddgelert as “a few dozen hard grey houses … huddled together in some majestic mountain scenery” and possibly traders made up the story to lure visitors to the mountain village.
Laila had wisely bought a packet of Radox muscle relaxant which did the rounds like a well rolled reefer, as we desperately tried to get some relief form the aching limbs. Somewhat refreshed by this elixir, we decided to meet up in the village at seven thirty. We met at The Tanronnen Inn, as much for a change as to get away from the Fawlty Towers that was The Saracen. It was Pirate’s Night in the pubs of Bedgelert and I fancied a beautiful bird on my shoulder. Instead I had to settle for Laila, a well scrubbed brunette with all the sex appeal of a second-hand jeep, who was now walking like John Wayne. We were tired and hungry but plans at this point became a little blurred and we were in danger of splintering. Laila and Felicia considered a pizza but for starters whetted their appetite at one of the best ice cream parlours this side of London; at the Glaslyn Ices and Glandwr Cafe. Michaela and Karen wanted to wait it out at the Tanronnen, in case a table became ready. In the end it was left to Sue to sort out the disparate elements and rein everyone back into a group. We ended up back at Fawlty Towers. I was relieved, as I had a long awaited date with a Frenchman by the name of Monsieur Stella Artois.
The meal was more relaxing this time, as we knew what to expect. We settled into good humoured chit chat. Sean told us that the waitress at breakfast kept brushing her ample bosoms against his cheek every time she served him. “You mean you were knockered” asked Felicia in broad New York tones. “Yes” stated Sean, “but I told her to do it with feeling the next time round”.
Karen by this time had set upon our young waiter with gusto and decided he needed mothering. She wanted to guide him in waitering, finesse his social skills, make sure he passed his GCSE’s and practice tantric sex with him into the small hours of the morning. Or so I imagined in my cynical mind. Poor boy he had a lot to contend with. However, as with the previous night, we tipped him well for the inconvenience.
After the meal we headed back to the hotel, stopping off for a well deserved night cap suggested by Sue. “Let me give you a fine brandy to take that nasty taste away from your mouth and warm the cockles of your heart” Felicia said enthusiastically. The warm encouraging liquid flowed smoothly down, creating a warming fire in my belly. Before too long I had drained the glass and wanted another. A few brandies later and we were ever more relaxed. Sean thought Kevin resembled the actor Robbie Coltrane – probably not the wisest thing to say to a six foot Geordie after a few pints of lager. He took it in good humour thankfully.
We made our way back to the hotel by what was now a well worn path under a billion stars. The whole Milky Way was now suddenly above us, or so it seemed twinkling and beckoning: Ursa Major, The Plough, Orion’s Belt, and anything else we imagined. We even saw the odd satellite, traversing the inky sky at break-neck speed. It was a helluva thing, a truly awe-ful sight. We then discovered that Felicia had picked up a straggler and a Spurs supporter to boot! She tried to shake him off, but he was sticking to her like the proverbial to a wet blanket. When we got back I found that the events of the day had taken there toll on me and I immediately settled into a deep and unshakable sleep as my head hit the pillow at Bryn Eglewys.
We met again the next morning for our final breakfast, with a combination of relief and mixed feelings, I felt. The long trip back to London was only a few slices of marmalade and toast away now, and the holiday was nearly over. Felicia had a plane to make. At least we weren’t getting up to a marathon, I thought, like some of the other poor suckers in London; subjecting your body to a grueling regime, only to risk shitting yourself at the end, as Felicia so aptly put it.
The journey back was measurably quicker. We took the M1 home, stopping briefly for a coffee and a leg stretch at the services. “Of all the gin joints in all the bars in all the world you had to walk into mine”. Coincidentally we met Kevin and Sue who had stopped for the same refreshment, having been scared witless by a nasty lorry experience.
I pulled into the driveway at Ennerdale at precisely two thirty pm……and so ended a memorable short break.