My husband and I spent two weeks in the countryside of Wales for free. If you haven’t already, check out WWOOFing in Wales Part I to learn about WWOOFing, how much it cost us to get to the UK and our first week on the farm.
We started the day off with putting down topsoil and grass seed in one of the areas we had been clearing days before. Peter went into town to buy groceries. While he was gone we worked in the barn again cleaning it out with the power washer. It rained most of the day so being in the barn was nice other than the fact that we were spraying high pressured water at cow dung to get it off the walls. We ended up blowing the fuse again and couldn’t figure out how to fix it. We rinsed things down and went back to the caravan to watch the food network and call it a day.
There were a lot of snails especially when it rained. They’re considered a pest and we were supposed to step on them but I just couldn’t. They were too adorable so I would pick them up and relocate them. Sshhhh.
We finished up cleaning out the barn and the power washer just stopped working. Changing the fuses didn’t work so Peter spliced the cord of the power washer onto a new plug. We finally finished cleaning the barn after three days and continued pulling up roots where another tree had been removed. For lunch, we had lettuce soup again with tuna salad sandwiches. Afterward, we worked on digging a trench along the side of part of the driveway to place old railway sleepers to divert water into a drain. There were some metal stakes in the sleepers that we had to pry out. There was one that wouldn’t come out that Peter ended up having to cut out.
Later that night we walked down to the pub on our own and had our first English fish and chips! It was served with mushy peas which is pretty much just mashed up peas. It was actually pretty good. I had some cake and Aidan had some custard for dessert. One of my favorite things about going to this small pub was how friendly everyone was and it was just like being part of a big family there. One woman offered to buy us some drinks after finding out that our trip to Wales was sort of our honeymoon. A couple came in with a five-month-old basset hound that was absolutely adorable. He also wanted to chew on everything and ended up eating our receipt that Aidan accidentally dropped on the ground. They managed to get it out of their dog’s mouth and when they did everyone on the pub cheered. When I went to go pay our bill the guy at the register was very patient and helped me figure out their currency so that I could pay the right amount. It was a very good night.
This was our last Saturday at the farm. We spent the morning watching movies and the food network. We went for another walk and ended up down at the pub again. Peter later showed up, which we figured he would. My husband ordered some chicken and I got nachos. I have to say, the nachos I ordered was probably the funniest thing I ate on our entire trip. The nachos consisted of ranch flavored Dorito type chips with melted cheese, salsa, and liquid guacamole. It was very strange.
Our last Sunday there we went with Peter to the Royal Welsh Spring Show in Llanelwedd, Wales. It was an hour and a half drive both ways to get the show. The scenery was so beautiful. Rolling hills and even some castle ruins. The show was held on a huge fairground within the rolling hills of eastern Wales.
It was very similar to the types of state and county fairs we have in the U.S. minus the rides. It was agriculture based so there were a lot of animals and farming equipment. They had a tractor contest with the oldest tractor there being almost 100 years old. There were so many animals. Sheep, pigs, goats, cows. There were many different breeds from what we show in the U.S. The vendor’s hall had farming equipment but also plants and art for sale.
The food hall had a good selection of food. Aidan had a bacon and egg roll when we got there and later had some sort of sausage. I had some weird Indians food and we later got ice cream. Most of the food options were meaty and fatty. Sounds like a dream right? There wasn’t much in the way of your standard fried fair food like we are used to in the U.S. We did get some Welsh tea cakes while we were there and they weren’t as good as the ones my family makes. We also bought some cider. Black Dragon Welsh Cider was one of my favorite ciders while we were there.
I’ve always loved horses so I was excited to see that they had a horse show going on! So many beautiful horses! It was a bit different from the horse shows in the U.S. but not by too much. However, there were no rodeos are anything like that. The Spring show was really cool and it was awesome getting a more in-depth look at the farming community in Wales.
When we got back, Marilyn had a chicken roast and veggies ready. We sat down and ate in their living room and had some wine. We talked about the day as well as some American traditions and things that we do differently.
Our last day at the farm. We did some weeding and got to experience the joyous stinging sensation of stinging nettle for the first time. We also did some mowing and had leek and chicken soup for lunch. The rest of the day consisted of cleaning up the caravan and packing.
Our very last day. We said goodbye to Marilyn and the dogs and headed to the train station with Peter. We were sad to leave but we were on our way to Cardiff, Wales and then later to London, England.
We had such an amazing WWOOFing experience. We absolutely loved it. We didn’t do very much in the way of actual farming but we definitely learned that there’s a lot of upkeep and other things you need to do on a farm other than just planting crops. I feel like we got to experience the culture and what it’s like living in Wales better through WWOOFing than just visiting Cardiff. I highly suggest WWOOFing if you get the chance. It’s an experience you’ll never forget.