Saturday, June 26, 2010

25, 26 June 2010 Owls, animals, Elan Dam, Red Kites

Hotel Commodore Llandrindod

Lyn with owl

Great looking Owl

Lyn with Tawny Owl

Great Grey Owl

Small animals part of park

Wildlife at animal park

Lake Elan

Elan Dam spillway

A few Red Kites

A few more Red Kites

And a s...t load of Red Kites



B&B at Llanfihangel-Nant-Bran Wales

On 25 June sadly we left Overton as we had had a great time there. It's always better when you go to a place where you have friends/relatives living as they have so much information about the surrounding area that isn't available in any of the brochures.

A place we went to several times whilst we were staying with Mick's cousin in Overton was called Llangollen which was a beautiful town on the River Dee.

The Welsh seem to have an obsession with "LL" to start the names of places. "LL" is pronounced a THL so Llangollen is pronounced Thlangothlan, try that without spitting over everyone. After you practice for a while it eventually comes.

Anyway we had a leisurely drive to Llandrindod (pronounced Thlandrindod) Wells down through Ruabon onto the A5 then onto the A483 for those of you following with a UK map! Go Margaret.

We booked in the Hotel Commodore for the night (cost £59 incl brekkie) as Lyn wanted a bit of luxury. It turned out the hotel had 0 stars but it was a very large room with a very large bed, an ensuite bathroom and digital TV so it suited us fine. It was also on the 3rd floor so we thought it would be quiet. We didn't notice that there was a pub/club as part of the imposing building and the whole of Wale's young people arrived and kept drinking until 3am. At 2.23am the fire alarm went off as one of the drunken yobo's had smashed the glass and activated the fire alarm, we had to evacuate the hotel so we were not happy and the noise continued, but we managed to get back to sleep.

We vowed that the next accommodation we had would be out in the country.

We got up at 8am went down stairs and had a good English breakfast and headed off up the A483 and onto the A44 to Kington to visit The Small Breeds Farm Park and Owl Centre which had the largest diverse collection of Owls in Europe. It also had many other animals all of which could be patted and stroked including the owls. We have never seen so many owls in the one place and all displayed beautifully.

Amongst the diverse range of animals were Red Squirrels, Chinchillas and Chipmunks. Mick had often heard Chipmunks records when the kids were young and he knew they had a high range singing voice but had never actually seen what they looked like. Unfortunately he couldn't get them to sing at all so was very disappointed. They were so cute although the prize for cuteness must go to the baby owls being reared in incubators.

After a long chat with the owner about Australia mostly and getting information on more attractions in the area, we complemented him on the cleanliness of the park and headed off back down the A44 to Ryayader the location of the the Elan Dam.

The Elan Dam in on the River Elan and provides water for part of Wales and the West Midlands including Birmingham. It travels 250 miles in Aqueducts and pipes to get to these places. (I spelt aqueduct incorrectly in previous posts - sorry). Thanks Margaret.

Then it was on to the display of wild Red Kites being fed daily just out of Ryayader at The Gigrin Farm. The farm owner had built a number of hides where people could observe the Kites feeding. We didn't know quite what to expect and thought maybe a nesting pair had adopted his place. Boy, were we in for a shock.

Just before the allotted feeding time, the sky began filling with Red Kites. They came from everywhere and there were hundreds of them, wheeling around and around overhead. It was like the movie 'The Birds'. Also arriving and waiting patiently in the surrounding trees were Carrion Crows and several Buzzards.

Then the farmer arrived with his tractor bin full of meat and he just shovelled it out and down they came, swooping in and snatching it up with the crows waiting patiently for their turn. There were about 6 buzzards who sat on the ground eating their share. We were amazed at the total number of birds.

As the meat was consumed they gradually dispersed and went back to riding the thermals as it was quite a hot day.

We then had to find somewhere to stay and after our experience the previous night we went for a country farmhouse for our B&B. We picked one at Llanfihangel-Nant-Bran (there's that Ll again) outside of Brecon.

We headed out down the A40 and turned off at the sign to Llanfihangel-Nant-Bran and drove on and on and on and on. The winding road got narrower and narrower and Lyn got more p'ed of as we crawled along roads which were good bitumin but only about 3 feet wide with hedgerows about 10 feet high on either side. Occasionally (about every kilometre) there would be a a spot which had a turn-in in case someone came the other way. This was where 2 cars could pass but one or the other would have to back up.

Fortunately, no one came the other way and we arrived at Llanfihangel-Nant-Bran.

By this time Lyn had a splitting headache and I needed a Bex and a good lie down. Anyway, we are certainly not going to be bothered by drunken yobs from Llandrindod again.

The landlady (Audrey Jones) welcomed us to "Penpentre Farmhouse" a 4 star 2 bedroom loft. It is beautiful, everything you need is here including a washing machine. There is no terrestrial TV reception here (Sky satellite dish) and no mobile phone reception either. Fortunately she has lightening quick Wi-Fi so Mick was able to hook up to it and do the blog.

We both need a good nights sleep.

Andy Murray has just beaten Simon of France in straight sets. It was a very good match. Go Andy, but we really want Lleyton Hewitt to win go, Lleyton.

Time to for bed.

1 comment:

  1. It sure did sound like a long, scary run down to Llanfihangel Nant Bran but what a beautiful sight it must have been to finally come across that gorgeous house....I just love looks really quaint. I can also imagine Lyn getting very uptight and anxious and wanting to turn around and go I right? Just two corrections - Llandrindod Wells and Rhayader..Don't you just hate a smart a..e?
    Marg & Sootbag