Rhydspence Inn

“Mind the step” she said. We spent a night in the Rhydspence Inn a few miles from Hay-on-Wye. It’s a 14th century inn with lovely views over the countryside to England, the other side of the river Wye. 
Apparently people in the 14th century were a tad shorter than today. So, heeding the “mind the step” warning as we entered our room, I neglected to look up, only doing so when I walked into the door lintel. Not content to do it once, I had several more reminders that the door frame was only 5′ 6″ tall. But I didn’t once trip over the step.

Our bedroom was magnificent, all oak beams and a 4-poster bed.

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Hay-on-Wye – books, books, and more books

We visited Hay-on-Wye, home, I think,  of the UKs largest annual book festival. If you want a book, any book, new, old, vintage, this is the place to go. 
But if you’re looking for a specific title be prepared to spend a month or two scouring every shelf in every shop – I think there are around 20 book shops within a radius of a couple of square miles. Each shop has multiple small rooms, each room stacked floor to ceiling with overloaded shelves.

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In England for A Bit of a Do

We’re in Stonehouse, Glos., for a wedding. The location was a country house repurposed for weddings and events. It was a Sunday afternoon so our GPS decided to take us via the longer pretty route. 

With less than a mile to go we were directed off the main road onto a side street that turned almost immediately into a narrow canal towpath. Helpfully, the GPS said we were 6 minutes’ walk away, apparently forgetting we were in a car. 

After a noisy 9-point turn, surprising the lone fisherman enjoying a quiet afternoon on the canal bank, we made it back to the main road and found our way to our destination with time to spare.

The en-suite in our room had a wonderful bathroom with an equally wonderful view

It appears the official wedding photographer was also impressed with the view from our bathroom window 

The Master of Ceremonies, meanwhile, started the proceedings in great style. Ceremonial Sword in one hand and bottle of champagne in the other, he sliced the cork off the bottle. It flew across the room and was caught in a white towel held by the guest on the other side of the room.

In the picture you can see the cork mid-flight halfway up the rightmost curtain

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Cartagena continued

In the town in one of the side streets this caught my eye and my imagination. 

But there’s much more to Cartagena than vocal vegetables 

And these trees look as old as the city 


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Our last day on Costa Calida

We had a brief stop in Cartagena before our flight back to the U.K. It was a windy and overcast day, more sweaters and jeans weather rather than shorts and t-shirts, and a gentle preparation for the anticipated rain and cold of England. 

Back in Cartagena port was Sailing Yacht A, the $400m mega yacht

Slightly older than the mega yacht are the numerous artifacts from centuries of habitation in this natural harbour 


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Semana Santa, Puerto de Mazarron, procession

The Procession of Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno last night started from San Jose church in the port at 9.30pm and wound its way slowly and solemnly around the narrow streets. We left the church at 11pm as the last group began their slow march forward and met the first group 100 metres away going past the paseo on their way back to the church. 

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The previously quiet cafes

Are no more. When we arrived in Puerto Mazarron 3 weeks ago we thought it was lovely and peaceful. 

It was. 

Now it isn’t 😄

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