This day, my last in Lwyngwril, was for doing final packing, taking books to the free library at the store, eating up the last of some food, and cleaning up the cottage. I was expecting Larry and Margaret to join me for some wine around 7 PM. All was well with the world! I would miss them.
I had purchased my ticket to Aberdeen a couple of months in advance, wanting to be assured of a reservation for my three-part journey. All of my connections were dependent on catching the train outside the cottage at 6:59 AM.
Now, I may have mentioned that Larry and Margaret are both retired train workers, and they keep up with EVERYthing to do with the Transport for Wales line that runs past their house. They arrived at my door with a bottle of wine, and the news that my 6:59 train to Mach (where I had a tight transfer to another line) had been canceled. This was bad news. Any alternate reservations were next to impossible for the timing I needed to arrive in Aberdeen at a decent hour.
We had plenty of time to chat between making calls to the Mach station and the Transport for Wales help line. Yes, there is a bus that runs to Mach, but “they could not promise” that it would get there in time for my train. Larry and Margaret do not own a car — why would they? There’s the train right there!!! Usually.
It turns out, a friend of theirs does a taxi service, and would take me to Mach to get me to my train! This was great news. I could apply to Transport for Wales for a refund for the first leg of my trip if I were so inclined, and I would have been. Said friend was charging a (not unfair at all) fare of £60.
Having settled this, we had a lovely evening together. They did tell me that this may be the last year they’ll be renting out the cottage. Margaret has a lot of infrastructure issues, and her bedroom in their adjoining house is on the second floor. She will likely take the cottage over as her flat. I’m so glad I had this chance to be there again, and to get to know my hosts a bit better.
These paintings of what the station at Llwyngwril used to look like were done by Larry’s grandfather. They are quite good in their own right. This will forever be one of my favorite places on earth.
26 May, 2022
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