I’m Grace Hughes, and I love writing, traveling, and everything outdoors. I’ve been writing about my travel experiences plus more on my website since 2004, and hope to have many more adventures with my husband Kevin in the years ahead.
My husband Kevin and I love to travel, and in the almost eleven years that we’ve been married we’ve taken some wonderful trips.
We live in Springfield, Illinois, right in the middle of the United States, and because it isn’t cheap to cross the Atlantic, we haven’t been on a lot of overseas vacations. Yet.
The year after we were married, in 2007, we took a cycling vacation along the Danube in Austria. It was a fantastic way to see the countryside close-up, and two years later we took another bike trip, this time in some remote areas of Scotland. Because I didn’t start exercising much until I became an adult I don’t think of myself as particularly athletic, even though I now love working out, especially outside. I was hesitant about biking along the Danube, but Kevin pointed out that it’d be pretty flat, which it was. But Scotland? Very very hilly, and this was, according to the travel company that booked out trip, an “easier” ride. Yikes. But it was beautiful and wild and I loved every minute of it, even though it was an especially wet summer and the hills were so very hilly. I learned the “power of one” – staying in first gear on the many steep climbs.
For a change of pace we tried hiking on our next trip in 2015. We chose the coast of Wales because Kevin discovered he has some Welsh ancestors, and we’d never been to Wales, and we’d loved the parts of the UK that we’d already seen.
Our cycling trips had been self-guided tours – a company arranged the route and the lodging and transported our bags from hotel to hotel, but we were on our own out on the road. We enjoyed that, and found a company called Macs Adventures that offered many choices of self-guided hiking trips in Wales. We chose the “Best of Pembrokeshire” – the Pembrokeshire Coast Path is a national park, roughly 193 miles long, and we certainly didn’t want to walk the whole thing. The section we hiked was supposed to be the most beautiful; it was an eight-night, seven day trip, but we actually only hiked for six days. We started at the tiny town of Dale in the south of Wales (it’s so tiny that Welsh people we met had never even heard of it) and ended up in St. David’s, the “smallest city in Britain.” In addition to planning the route for us, Macs Adventures also sent us a guidebook all about the Pembrokeshire Path as well as a detailed hiking map.
This is the lovely old inn where we spent the night before the hike; it’s called the Allenbrook B&B, and it turned out to be the most charming place we stayed. It was old and sprawling, with peacocks and chickens out in the yard, plus a beautiful garden.
We walked into the center of town for a pre-hike dinner. Since there are only about 200 inhabitants, there weren’t a lot of dining options. Like I said, very remote.
We had dinner in a pub where I had freshly-caught fish, a glass of pear cider, and for dessert a chocolatey ice cream creation called a chocolate knickerbocker. Yum!