This blog shows you the most recent post first. To see where our journey began scroll down or click here
We were in the same position we had been with Tenby. Narberth dominated our thinking, and we knew there was a risk that anywhere else just wouldn’t measure up to the fantasy we’d created. And it was a fantasy – based on no more than three hours’ acquaintance we found ourselves thinking about it, talking about it, probably more than we should. I had a flare up and was out of action, spending quite a lot of time in bed. I was miserable, but consoled myself with running up and down Narberth High Street in my mind, imagining myself popping in and out of the shops and cafés.
Before we carried on working through the list, we needed to go back.
We planned a weekend which would answer as many questions as possible. If we left the car, was the train to and from London doable? Were the buses reliable? Had we already seen everything when walking round the town, or was there more to it? In the hopes of getting a better feel we booked an Airbnb room right in town. The weather forecast was cold, with rain. We were, as much as possible, going at it like grownups and allowing ourselves to be brought down to earth.
One thing I have a horror of is moving to somewhere more rural and seeming like an insensitive Londoner. I don’t know, maybe I am. But I’d like to try not to be. If we do move to Wales, I’ll take Welsh lessons before we go (about a third of people in Narberth speak Welsh, rising to 60% in nearby Carmarthenshire). I’m not a great linguist and not expecting much of myself, but I hate not knowing how to pronounce place names and would just like to be able to display a basic level of politeness.
In the same vein, I try not to exclaim over cute rural stuff in case it comes across as patronising, but sometimes I really am enchanted, especially when something is as different to London as can be.
We just about made our connection from the Paddingtion-Swansea intercity to the two-coach Pemberoke Dock service. It’s a good job we did; the trains in that part of the world run on a single track, which means that only one train an hour can pass along. So in each direction there can only be one train every two hours, meaning missing the 14:00 would’ve been a bit of a problem.
Right away I noticed a sense of lightness and openness just from being out in among the green fields, and when we came alongside the Bae Caerfyrddin, where the tide was in, my heart lifted. The conductor approached and took a look at our tickets. “Narberth, is it?” he said. “It’ll be a different conductor then, but I’ll make sure he tells the driver to stop.” We looked at each other. Wait – was Narberth a request stop?
We paused at Carmarthen and the conductors swapped. The message was obviously relayed as the train did indeed stop for us. Our Airbnb host was kindly waiting for us on the platform, and thank goodness she was. What looked on Google Maps like a maybe doable walk from the station to the town was actually a surprisingly busy country road with no pavements.
We settled into our room, had a cup of tea, left our bags and went exploring.