Day 79 (4.2.17): An Exploding Beach, A Dead Poet, and A Bonus Castle

We started our day with Breakfast at the Carpenter’s Arms.  The night before, the proprietor told us about a beach nearby, and since Lydie and Cassie are always down for walking along a beach to look for shells , we decided to start our day there.  When we got to the beach, however, we learned from a warning that it was not your usual beach.

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Being blessed with the good sense we have, we decided to do a bit of beachcombing anyway.  Sadly, we found only shells, and none of them exploded.

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We headed back to the town of Laugharne (which is pronounced as if it rhymes with “yarn,” that is, “Larn”).  Laugharne is best known for its eponymous Thirteenth Century castle and as the home of the poet Dylan Thomas until he died.  We started at the castle, of course.

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Before going inside, though, we went on a lovely walk that took us around the outside of the castle and through town.  On our way, we passed Dylan Thomas’s house, which was unspectacular.

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At breakfast that morning, we had read to the girls Thomas’s famous poem “Do Not Go Gently into that Good Night,” and we forced them to repeat a few lines as we walked so that Julie and I could feel like we were good parents.  The girls indulged us.  It is an incredible poem.  (Dylan Thomas also famously said, “Somebody’s boring. I think it’s me.)

Julie set off to see more Dylan Thomas stuff, while the girls and I went to explore the castle.  We knew it was a small castle, but it still had a few nooks and crannies to explore.

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Lydie and Cassie are starting to learn that they can reach more places with a little teamwork.  I wholeheartedly support them climbing up to some windows and such, but I had to tell them not to climb to the top of this tower.

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Laugharne Castle is fairly small, so we were soon on our way.  Our primary goal for the day was to visit Carreg Cennen, which might be my favorite castle in all of Wales and was about an hour away.

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It was a beautiful drive on a gorgeous spring day.  Along the way, we saw a ruined castle on a nearby hill.  We couldn’t resist and headed down a small side rode to check it out.  Bonus castle!

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It turned out to be Dryslwn Castle, and it was the site of a massive battle between the English and the Welsh in the late 1200s.  The castle is on top of a large, grassy hill.  There was a path, but with the wild flowers and 11-year-old enthusiasm both in full bloom, we opted to pick our own route to the top.

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The ruins on top of the hill were magnificent.  We had a wonderful time climbing the walls.

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And why climb down a wall to get to another part of the castle when you can just jump there?

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And sure, there are paths between the walls.  But c’mon!  There are walls to walk on!

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We ended by climbing up on one of the higher walls.  I told the girls to be extra careful, and told Julie she couldn’t come.  Somebody has to take the pictures and call the paramedics, right?

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I’ll be honest.  This wall made me a little nervous.  The girls are like mountain goats, but I couldn’t help but worry a little bit about their safety.  You can really see how nervous Cassie was.

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As much fun as it was the climb around the Dryslwn Castle, we had to get moving.  Carreg Cennen was next!

-Will

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