Devil’s Bridge

Hello, hello, hello, hello, hello, hello, hello, hello! And welcome to the Graham Norton Show…
Hang on, wrong script…

Hey gorgeous! You’re looking fierce today! Sorry I’ve been AWOL as of late, up until recently things were the ‘same old, same old” and I didn’t wish to bore you with the same stories and thoughts.

I’ve recently come back from a glorious weekend in Wales! A weekend is never enough time to see another country, but it’s just enough time to catch up with family and have a pint… Or three…

Give me a second…. *sorts through memory filing cabinets* Right! Need a cuppa? A pint? You have one already? Fab!

Thursday was the initial (and preferred) departure date… But France had other things on it’s mind. France, you say? You thought I was going to talk about Wales? I will! Bear with me, ok?

My super smart/creative uncle T, whom I was to travel with to Wales, was in France on business judging advertisements from around the globe (correct me if I’m wrong, T!), and was to fly out from France to Heathrow Airport where I would meet him, and we’d be on our merry way to Wales. However!! France was throwing it’s toys out of the cot, getting it’s tits in a knot, over a few matters and were vocalising their passion by way of ‘strike’. SO, due to a series of unfortunate events, T missed his flight. Bugger! (Quick note: I still love France, and I do infact understand the need to stand up for certain things. It was just a mild disruption to my holiday… You owe me a holiday, France!)
It was decided we would travel the next morn, so my other uncle (L the *almost* half-centurion) wouldn’t have to collect us in the wee hours of the morn.

No matter! Hakuna Matata! We made it to our destination relatively unscathed, and promptly napped, read the afternoon away. Such party animals! Once rested, we made our way to the pub! Woooo! There we made plans for the following day, a motorcycle ride through the countryside.

Here I must quickly explain, I am one of the least athletic people you would ever meet. Yes, I’ve dropped a couple dress sizes recently, but I have the grace and athleticism of a stationary pumpkin. Me getting on a bike would somehow result in: catching my foot on the seat, catching my foot on the seat and faceplanting on the other side, or just looking at the bike and falling over. All of which would result in me going bright red and giggling like a five-year-old.

BUT! The next day we were kitted up, I looked like a kid in her uncle’s oversized coat, and we were off! And I’m in love. I’m in love with the Welsh countryside, it’s rough, rugged, green, ever changing, and oh so very beautiful. I’m in love with motorcycles, the raw power is intoxicating. You almost feel naked as it’s just you, the bike, and the road. It’s utterly amazing! We were on a couple of Triumphs with HA-YUGE engines. Merely tweak the accelerator and it charged ahead, almost leaving you behind. I can only liken it to a horse, chomping at the bit, waiting to be given just a little leeway to bolt over the start line.

Oh, and the scenery. The lush beautiful scenery! In the space of five hours I saw forest, rivers, waterfalls, reservoirs, dams, ruins, quarries, mountains, hills, cliffs, fields, streams, civilization, wilderness…. and sheep. Much like New Zealand, they are everywhere! Especially when there are no fences separating road from farm, you can expect to see on the road: sleeping sheep, racing sheep, feeding sheep, herds of sheep, statuesque sheep… But it does make for an entertaining ride!

We stopped off at a place called “Devil’s Bridge”, which was charming, utterly amazing. The bridge is a tad different as it is three bridges built one on top of the other, over many centuries. The first bridge built around 1075-1200, the second built in 1753, and the “modern” bridge built in 1901.
Where they built the bridge is over a terrifying drop of 90 metres (300ft), my inner kiwi exclaimed “let’s put a bungy here!!”. Peering over the edge of the bridge, you see a beautiful waterfall that empties into the ‘Punchbowl”.
The story goes – The Devil finally booked tickets to see the breathtaking scenery of Wales in the eleventh century. As he walked alongside a fabulous river, he heard the sounds of a distraught woman. He thought, “Gosh, I’m trying to enjoy the views here, but that woman is making such an awful racket! I’ll shut her up!” With an evil twinkle in his eye, he asked what was the matter, discovered her cow had swam to the other side of the river but she was too weak to go fetch her.
As he was such a considerate being, he decided to help. Said he, “Cheer up lass, I’ll throw together a bridge like no other has seen. All I ask is to keep the first living thing that should cross my masterpiece. Deal, or no deal?”
She agreed, he was happy that she’d shut up and the countryside was once more at peace. Being such a cheery bloke.
The next morn, the old woman returned to the spot where she had spoken with the odd looking fellow, and much to her delight, a strong bridge stood there!
“See here, miss. I’ve done a fairly cracker job on this here bridge, now it’s your turn to keep your side of the bargain.”
What he didn’t realise was this woman was the first lawyer in Wales and was not so keen on the fine print of this deal. She had a plan! Waddling to the bridge, she stopped just before setting foot on the bridge and threw a loaf of bread (or was it a welshcake?).
The Devil thought she was a bit balmy until he saw the dog run onto the bridge for the food.
Mortified that he had been outwitted by this fine Welsh attorney, the Devil quickly fled the country on Hell Express, never to return as the burn was so severe.
The End! (This is *exactly* what happened)

After a pleasant lunch, with glorious views and entertaining company, we zoomed back in time for beer-o’clock!

An by my calculations, it’s time you had a drink! What’ll it be?

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