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and so, that's the end of the chronological trip through our pembrokeshire holiday.  hope it wasn't too boring.  i still need to tell you about our holiday house, but that can save for another day.

meanwhile i've got plenty of more funkypancakesque photos in my blog pending file which i'll pop in over the darker months as normal blogging is resumed.

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day 15 was the final day of our holiday and we stopped at Aberdulais Falls which is just a few minutes off the M4.

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it's a fascinating place where a natural feature (waterfall) changed the landscape due to it's effect on industry - in this case the working of tin

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it's also got one of the nicest views out a toilet window !

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the waterfall is the main attraction of course so i took the opportunity to brace myself for some long exposure shots of flowing water

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(just so you know, here's what the waterfalls look like with a normal shutter speed)

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vs this with a longer shutter speed

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well worth a trip if you are whizzing down that bit of the M4

escaped bulls rampage at the resort exclaims the BBC

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funkypancake is once again ahead of the news. this is a photo of my father in law looking for the bulls of caldey island.

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but then, look at this (via the BBC website) which happened exactly where esther and i were looking for geocaches a fortnight ago in Tenby (but luckily not on the same day)

Funkypancake - bringing you the news before it happens (without realising)

our last day in pembrokeshire was also a rare sunny evening so we did a few geocaches before heading back to our holiday house for the last time

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this is a self portait at skrinkle.  possibly one of my favouritist place names

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the comedy rock is called church door i think

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it's got its very own space station / youth hostel

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then we went to manorbier which was a lovely little village.  we ended up doing a walk round the perimeter of the castle, finding a couple of geocaches on the way

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and then it was back to the holiday house (via a chip shop with the longest wait ever) for the great last night tidying up

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we decided to go back to tenby for our last day in pembrokeshire.

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esther and i spent an hour doing a multi-cache geocache which involved finding clues round the town which when combined would reveal the final location
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and then we went back to the beach for a while before i went on a photo walk of the twon which looked very nice in the sun

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do they sell special seaside building paint somewhere or agree to use different colours ?
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"i was going to have fluorescent purple this year, but marjorie has that"

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here was a rare outing for my polariser (hence the dark sky)

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meanwhile, back at the beach things were getting busy

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jane buried esther

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and a bit later she went to look a the sea (i think the girls must have been playing in the sea by then)

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jane's parents popped by too (it's a bit where-wally today isn't it)

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this is a canon.  there's a lot of that at the seaside to calm the seagulls

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and this is what it looked like first thing in the morning when we arrived.

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the weather was definitely getting better so we went back to barafundle bay after crazy golfing

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it's amazing what difference a bit of sun makes.  and the coast round here is amazing

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i might have boosted some of the colours on our holiday photos, but the sand really did look like this !

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this was the view of the beach from the other side where a geocache was conveniently hidden

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and whilst we were up there a boat parked up in the bay

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there are plenty of worse places to park your boat i imagine

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every holiday needs a trip to the crazy golf course and we went to this excellent one at Heatherton.    it had a pirate theme and was your more sensible sort of crazy gold with pretend bunkers and sloping greens rather than comedy obstacles

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we were the first on the course in the morning so we could lead the pace.  we scored using the funkypancake family amendment to the rules (no one can score more than 8 on any hole, so people don't forfeit the game by having one bad hole)

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it ended up being down to the final shot by my father-in-law.  if he pocketed the ball on a shot from a tricky bunker up against a wall, he would win against jane.

he hit it, and it went straight in to the hole but it bounced back out !  his next shot went in so it was a draw with jane.  well done to them both



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day 12's weather was the worst for consistency of soaking misery.  i really don't like theme parks at the best of times but this promised some zooage so i thought it might be ok.  but it was too wet to pop out to see the animals.

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there were a few inside though, but it was hot and noisey

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the farm itself was obviously expecting the worst

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ghost train out of action ?  spooky

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it's a comedy electric shock chair. probably for parents who've had as much as they can take (and put themselves or their little ones in it, depending on their state of mind)

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mice are very successful creatures.  at what ?  what does this mean ?

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this was a small spot of loveliness.

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and this comedian chap below was actually the highlight for me.  he was really good at his job and seemed to be really enjoying himself.  worth the admission price alone i'd say.

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this man knows a quick and dirty way to untie his shoe laces

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of course there were animals at the show too

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and i loved how they covered a bull's head with rosettes. 

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because you don't want to upset a bull by sticking things all over its face do you ?  note the slobber

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there was a bird section

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no one likes being called heavy.

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ducks with a nice long necks.  i think they could do with some arms stuck on the sides of their bodies

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this was a bit unfortunate.  it was a cage with something hidden under some sawdust. no one likes a loser

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there were some more serious birds outside

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this little barn owl brought his barn owl caravan
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and he was keeping an eye on me

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here is a sign i can agree with.

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and some of the animals seemed slightly larger than life

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county shows often have a brilliant craft competition and the pembrokeshire county show was no exception.

here are a load of hand made walking sticks

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some runner beans (one's broken)

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an expert telling his friend about something

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a clever pansy display modules

an eery home made doll

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signs of specialist wordage

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i also took tons of flowers but i'll save you the pain of seeing them all now !

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day 11 looked like being the better than day 12 so we went to the pembroke county show.  this was the first person we saw and we knew the day was going to be great !

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this man was poking cows with a stick

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and this man was leaning on a tractor

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there was also the obligatory shopping experience where you could buy hot tubs. i took this photo so you could see the price

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you could also buy bulls, or heavey gates which you need to heave shut.

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there was some good signage too

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this feast cost 20 pounds.

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I took so many pictures i'll have to spread them out over a few days!)

day 10 was a town visiting day.  we were in search of the gorky's barafundle album which we eventually found in a second hand record trail.  we went to two of the most fantastic second hard record shops ever in fact, and i highly recommend them both if you find yourself in that part of town.  one of the gorky's himself pops in occasionally, so that would have been very bizarre.

anyway, bonkers is a great name for traditional ladies clothing

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it probably would have been a better name for this charity shop which had a mannequin dressed mostly in plastic bags

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of course the welsh need to keep an eye on their flags

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and you can never have enough apostrophe's

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bucket frame

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day 9 started off promising weatherwise so we whizzed off to the stackpole lakes car park where you can walk to the golden broad haven beach just round the corner from barafundle.  finally the girls were properly dressed for the beach in wellies and waterproofs !

the walk to the beach is by these lovely sheltered lakes (or you can park next to the beach and walk down some steps)

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we found this dr who alien on the beach.

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then we walked back to the car and popped round to the other side of the lake for a quick geocache find

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there was much singing and dancing after this was successfully completed

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day 8 was particularly wet so we went to picton castle with it's gardens and er castle.  we had a great guided tour of the downstairs of the castle and even got to see some rooms off the usual tourist route due to the lack of visitors !

we spent a good number of hours there wandering round the garden, tearoom etc and the girls did a quiz round the garden.

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but the best thing was the sign above which was in their loos.  is this not the best toilet sign ever ?  brilliant use of  'dog messes'

day 7 was a failure in many respects as we didn't achieve anything we hoped for !

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we drove for an hour to strumble head, not least because of its excellent name.  but mainly to see if we could see some dolphins.  google maps here and read more about it here and here

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it turned out (according to these chaps) that some had whizzed by a few hours earlier, but dolphin sitings are very rare round here.


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we looked for a while anyway

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then we went in search of a nearby geocache on a hill overlooking the lighthouse, but once again failed

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jane tried to move a mountain and kezia had a lie down

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even the cows had been packed away in to little black and white bags

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so, after lunch overlooking a stoney bay, we went to white sands beach near st david's, but that was so windy the tent nearly blew away (with me in it).  here's jane's sandcastle completely just before we swiftly evacuated the beach

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most picnics we have with my parents in law end up with us all hiding under our ponchos/coats.  this one on caldy island was no exception due to passing rain showers and wasps.

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still, it made a change from our usual picnics in the car

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i went photoing whilst the girls played on the beach.  i arrived back just in time for a massive rain shower which completely soaked everything.  amazing it was.  but before we abandoned the beach the girls demanded a photo in their boat

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you can see the little tent where i hide when on the beach above to avoid the sand.

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after all the excitement of the ropes course we then went for a wander round the lovely colby wood garden

kezia, esther and jane all hit the ropes on day 4 at the heatherton tree tops trail

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it was my job to catch the action from the safety (and dampness) of the floor. the three shots above are of them whizzing down the death slide thingy at the end

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i was very impressed by everyone's progress through what looked (to my untrained eye) quite a challenging course (hence the name i guess)

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even the signs said it was difficult, so it must be

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esther was brilliant and went whizzing on ahead

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kezia was only just tall enough to do the course (although she did need poking with a stick from the ground at one point as she couldn't reach the nextswinging rope !)

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and of course jane did very well too !

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seeing this photo reminded me it was sunny as they went through the training before the rain storms arrived for the day

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i'd like a sign like this for my desk at work, with an arrow i could use to point to the level of trickiness of the task in hand

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remember to lean in to the wind

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it's a shame more places don't go for the crazy wall colours which only seems to happen at the seaside.  perhaps inspired by the plastic buckets and spades they see go by every day

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this is the quay at tenby

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and this is the (old?) lifeboat launch thingybob.  we found out on our last day that they do their practising on a tuesday evening so that would have been a good time to have gone to watch something happen.  but we didn't.

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in the afternoon we went to saundersfoot where the girls sat on the beach when i went in search of art works and found some art (and a beer on a cliff top vantage point)

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pembroke08 day 2 was a windy day.  we went to stackpole quay and walked round to the magical barafundle beach.

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to get to the beach you have to walk over the coastal path

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despite the bright colours (i'll admit i've souped them a bit in lightroom) it was right chilly

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when you get there you have to go down a long set of steps to reach the beach, but it's totally worth it.

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this was the one day when we didn't have my little hidey beach tent (i don't like sand)


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i'll write much more about our disappointing holiday house called Bramble Hall .  Needless to say this is not a particularly accurate description: "A lovely, detached house, wonderfully situated on the owner's working agricultural farm, in the fabulous, medieval town of Pembroke."  But more about that later !

for now here is a container thing which i guess must be used to sell christmas trees in season

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right, i'm going to attempt to give you a bit of a diary of our last fortnight in wales over the next few days.  we'll see how it goes.

this is the severn bridge marking the gateway to wales.  it's a toll - cash only.  note the rain

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07 Apr 13