Having postponed this event 3 weeks before due to the destruction of storm Doris, we were not to be put off and arranged a new date.
With a last minute check the night before to ensure the Heart of Wales train was running, we were also up and running, or rather 9 of us were making our way to various train stations to catch the Heart of Wales train that weaves its way through the beautiful Welsh countrside.
3 others were to meet us at Llanwrtyd.
At Swansea a large queue had formed outside the one and only carriage of the locked train as Gail, Robert and I arrived early.We were a bit concerned, that the train would soon be full and that others from our party joining us further down the line might be unable to get on.
Soon it was departure time and off the train chugged on its merry way.
There always seems to be a party atmosphere on this train, with food and drink being unpacked in readiness for picnics later on, on board.
Quite soon Barrie and Jeff joined the train but by this time all the seats had gone and although they had booked seats, they kindly gave them up for 2 elderly people.
They told us later that from their standing position, the view of the baggage rail which was directly in their eyeline was very lovely!!!
At Llandybie Robert D, and Dafydd joined us, and Sandra jumped on at Llandeilo whilst Rob E, snuck on at Llandovery and we didn''t see him until we got off, as he had to stand right at the front of the carriage.
The train continued through the beautiful countryside and eventually, we knew we were near our destination when we went over the fantasticCynghordy Viaduct, a place we had visited on another overnight trip, and passed the Sugar Loaf halt, one of the most remote stations.
Soon the train pulled into Llanwrtyd Wells and off we got and made our way up to the centre of this smallest town in Britain.
We walked down the main street and then veered off and onto a walking path that luckily wasn't too muddyAfetr a while .Berrie, Jeff and Sandra decided they would turn around and the rest of us continued, walking beside the River Irfon and up to the site of some log cabins, amongst forestry, where you can stay.
We made our way back to the river and over a lovely wooden bridge and walked on the other side of the river, passed some well looked after shetland ponies and donkeys, with the latter coming over for a chat over the garden fence.
A short bit on the road and we were back to the houses in the middle of Llanwrtyd and more importantly we arrived at The Drovers Rest with a hearty appetite ready for our lunch.
Inside, we met up with the others including Janice, Michele and Joy who had travelled directly to the restaurant.
Then it was time for the scrummy two course meal we had pre-ordered and which was ready for us.Over the leisurely lunch there was lots of socialising and catching up with some people we hadn't seen for a while.
Joy excused herself after the meal as she was going away the following day and had lots to do.
At the end of the meal, Peter the owner came out for a chat and entertained us with his humorous stories and tempted us to return later in the year, by telling us that a heritage centre was opening soon in a church in the town centre.
He then produced a green alcoholic liquid to hospitably share with us and to celebarte St Patricks Day.
Soon it was time was us to meander back to the station.We said our goodbyes to
Janice and Michele and the rest of us made a hasty retreat back to the station, as by now it had started to rain.
Very soon the train arrived and thankfully we all managed to get a seat on the way home.
After a while the rain outside, started to come insdide, with the water running off the window ledges and dripping onto the people sitting nearest the windows, so we managed to move, as there were some empty seats nearby.
Some other people on the train were unable to move, prompting some to put up their umbrellas inside, not usually recommended, but a bit of a necessity in this case.
The rest of the journey was uneventful and our friends departed at their allotted stations to wind their ways home, with the last ones getting off at destinations end, Swansea.
Everyone had a thoroughly good time and appreciated Peters good nature, humour and hospitality as well as his excellent culinary skills.
We all agreed that this type of social event is a lovely addition to our programme of events, with good food, good company and lots of good chit, chat, always going down well.
Many thanks to everyone who supported this event, a dozen people on a weekday is a great turn out.
Hopefully a return visit can be arranged for later in the year for a proper, full walk onto the wonderful nearby hills, and to peruse the heritage centre and the local history.Of course a visit to the Drovers Rest for refreshments will be an absolute must.