Oh I wish my travel fail was simple as the advice given in the picture.
Yes, after mercilessly ribbing my mates for their travel fails, I think it’s time for a travel fail involving me!
And strangely enough, this also takes place in Wales. What is it with the country?!
Edd and I (we have the same name) went for a cycling holiday around Wales. Originally, we were catching the train to Hereford, then cycle on to Grosmont where we went for a Birthday party, and then cycle on to Brecon Beacon and then cycle down from there to Cardiff to stay with Edd’s friend.
Unfortunately, we forgot to factor in a huge influence. The highly unpredictable Welsh Weather. Rain stops play.
So after a good couple of days in Grosmont, we headed off but the weather was looking murky so we decided to stop in Abergavenny to get our bearings and decide where to go.
As we cycled into Abergavenny, the heavens opened and we took refuge in a coffee stop. Checking the forecasts, it looked like the week was going to be a washout.
Cycling up the steep Welsh hills to Brecon Beacon then didn’t look appealing now with storm clouds raging around us.
Edd was still up for it however but I was determined not to do this.
Okay, I threw a tantrum. This was a HOLIDAY and my definition of a holiday then was having a good time.
And cycling soaking wet to Brecon Beacons was not remotely on the fun radar to me.
After a few coffees later, we brought out the map and we started haggling with each other where to go after Edd relented.
I still wanted to cycle around Wales but not up into the Hills. We decided to stay in Abergavenny at a camp site for the night and see how we felt in the morning.
The night was so long, it blew a gale and it absolutely chucked it down. This further compounded my desire to go somewhere easy and Edd was pretty fed up of staying in Abergavenny. Looking on the map again, I spied Newport. Why didn’t this cross my mind ages ago?!
As it was still absolutely chucking it down, we agreed that the best option was to catch a train from Abergavenny to somewhere closer to Cardiff as we still wanted to cycle. But where?
I immediately mooted for Newport to which Edd was unsure of. I was very enthusiastic about the place.
‘Come on’ I cried out, ‘it’s the place where everyone goes to party! It’s got a raving beach and there’ll be so many nice places to visit! It’s where everyone goes after their exams!’
I was really pushing for Newport. It was June so some people will have finished their Uni exams so perhaps some talent at the place?
In the end, Edd was convinced and both of us set off to the station and caught a train there.
Throughout the train journey, I could feel something nagging at the back of my head but I ignored it. ALWAYS listen to the voice!
Edd continued to ask me questions about the place but I kept giving the same answers and a degree of uncertainty entered my mind.
We arrived at the place, and my feel of uncertainty proved to be correct. Newport train station wasn’t exactly glamorous and as we pedalled around, it became clear to us that…yeah…we were in the wrong place.
But this IS Newport. Where were all the swanky bars? Where were the raving hostels? Where was this beach?!
Edd became increasingly bemused and looked to find a place to stay whereas I was still figuring out where the hot spots are.
The only place close to a hot spot we could find was an 80s bar frequented by leather men and chain-smoking greying ladies. Not exactly the uni students go to.
Where was this fabled beach?! All we could find was a very run down harbour and as we crossed a bridge over the harbour, I looked over the side to see a Bike partially submerged in the murky waters.
I glanced at Edd who must be considering throwing me over to one side with the bike for taking him to this boring and bland place.
Finding a hotel that was willing to store our bikes inside rather than outside for prime targets for chavs that seem to litter the place, we rested up.
I was still confused why Newport turned out to be so different and Edd assured me he didn’t mind but I did. We wasted a holiday day and ended up from a bad place to a worse place.
I then surrendered to the voice in the back of my head and I just knew that we had taken the wrong way somewhere to the wrong place.
We decided to grab some food and went to the local pub to watch a footy match while I stewed and nursing my ego over a pint of beer. What was wrong? Have I taken the wrong place or the wrong way? What?!
Then like a lightbulb turning itself on, I looked up earnestly and Edd’s eye. He saw that the confusion has disappeared from my face and I was itching to tell him two words…just two words.
He excitedly leant forward, almost spilling his pint in the process.
Yes my friends, I have committed a faux pas. I got myself mixed up with Newport of Wales and Newquay of Cornwall.
Newquay is a haven for party animals and I knew the striking differences between the two when I finally visited Newquay 3 years later!
Edd still reminds me of my travel fail. Wish I could turn back!
We slept overnight and left for Cardiff first thing in the morning. The weather turned out for the better when we got into Cardiff and had glorious sunshine.
I got karma when I was run over by a bike in a park in Cardiff so I think Edd felt vindicated.
have you got two place names mixed up?