Well who would have believed that so many people living on, or near, the Heart of Wales train line would decide to travel on the same day as us.
This is always a lovely train ride with lots of beautiful countryside hurtling passed outside to view, but this time there was lots going on inside to amuse and entertain us on the (one) very crowded carriage.
The journey had started very sedately with Gail and I trying to keep seats for our GOC friends alighting at future stops on the line.
It had started to rain before we left Swansea station so a walk before lunch seemed out of the question.
We could not believe the hoards of people that got on at the first two stops, most of whom were eager to chat and tell us of their intended journeys.
Quite a lot of them were going all the way to Shrewsbury for the day and it transpired that they would be on the late train home and not the one we would be catching--thanks be. . . . .
Our pals gradually joined at Bynea, Pantyffynon and Llangadog and joined in the mad party experience--it was compulsory!!
At one stop a chappie had got on dressed in full Welsh costume which was quite a sight.We found out later that him and his friends were going to a stag celebration, in Liverpool with him being the MAIN man of course.His friends stripped off their tops at one stage to change into specially made tshirts with their physiques being admired by many, including Colin and John who told us later they tried hard to look the other way--did we believe them??!!
By this time the wine was flowing, and cans of lager were being slugged back--we were the sober ones of course -- and also people were now standing in the aisles as all the seats had been taken.
There was no room for the tea trolley to move down the train so the "tea lady" walked miles that day, up and down the aisles bringing refreshments to the thirsty customers.
We bade our farewells to everyone at Llanwrtyd and heaved a sigh of relief to be out of the mayhem and into the quiet of the beautiful Llanwrtyd countryside.
To our surprise, it seemed to have brightened up so we decided on a walk after all.Sandy joined us at the station having driven from her home and we set off up to the main street and then on a lovely path, which wasn't too muddy, first by the gurgling clear river and then up to the Victoria Wells Motel--some log cabin accommodation in a wooded area.
We continued, and crossed the river coming back on the opposite banks, to the main street and our venue for lunch.
Joy was already there waiting for us and Mike from Builth joined us soon to make the party complete.
Peter the owner gave us a lovely wecome as always and we sat in the bar area socialising and trying to decide what food to order from the extensive delicious sounding menu.
We had the place to ourselves at first and soon moved into the dining area to partake of our tasty lunch.
Some of our party even had room for dessert!!
A few other people had come to the restaurant later on and were served with afternoon tea comprising of lovely little sarnies and an array of pettite cream cakes which looked delicious.
Some of us were drooling--next time perhaps afternoon tea for us, we thought.
All too soon it seemed, it was time to wander down to the station for the return train journey.
This turned into a much quieter affair, thank goodness.
The only incident to report is that at one stage Hywel came down the train to say goodbye to Colin and John, pointing out to them that their station was next.They duly got up and off the train only to then notice that they had got off one stop too early and they thankfully managed to jump back on, before the train drew away--phew!!
After that, it was a sraightforward journey back to Swansea.Goodness knows what the later train with the Shrewsbury travellers would be like.
There is definitely room for this type of event on our calendar especially in the winter months and when this lovely train ride is free for some.
We know we are always most welcome at Llanwrtyd and I feel this day out, will be repeated again and again.
Peter the owner, and Mayor of Llanwrtyd even offered to try and get our return train time delayed a bit next time, so that we could partake of his afternoon tea.
What a really delightful entertaining day.
Some of us decided that socialising and travelling can be just as tiring as one of our eight mile walks.
Thanks to everyone who joined in, including all the other train travellers for their amusing antics, making this day such an enjoyable one.