Sporting Weekend – Rugby in the Welsh Valleys

They’ll be singing in the Valleys… and in the Scottish Highlands and the pubs of Ireland, for Wales today to beat South Africa in the second semi-final of the Rugby World Cup.

It’s a Celtic brotherhood thing.

Although even brothers can fall out.

On my first weekend in my new home in Cardiff where I had gone to learn this scribbling Journalism thing I went to the local boozer and had cause to use the rest rooms.

Where a local turned to me at the urinal and asked if I was an English bastard, to which I replied ‘no, a Scottish bastard actually.’

Welsh history. Photo by Krisztina Papp on Pexels.com

Without breaking a stride, he shot back: ‘Just as f******* bad, you cheated us out of two World Cup, you bastard.’

Which had some truth in it but I thought it best to leave it… I was a little exposed.

I had a great year though among the Welsh, although they did go onto win a Triple Crown when I was there and I watched at the Old Arms Park as Paul Thorburn kicked us to death.

Now, the Welsh aren’t the most magnanimous people in victory (I guess none of us are) and I took pelters.

The big cats: In South Africa

Nor are the South Africans usually when it comes to rugby.

Their passage to this stage will come as something of a surprise to Iain, Camdeboo Game Reserve’s owner in the Eastern Cape, who told us that the Boys had no chance in the World Cup.


My enemy’s enemy

Whoever wins though you can be sure that my own native Scottish type people will be supporting the team that plays England.

It’s something that baffles my English wife (no, I don’t have wives from other countries too) and her family and our friends.

But it is a sporting thing with smaller nations which is shared by Canadians (USA), New Zealand (Australia) and Wales and Ireland (England).

All of which brings me onto Wales which is our nearest neighbour here in Ireland, we know so well but don’t talk about enough.

The Welsh have their own whiskey, but is it better? Photo by Terricks Noah on Pexels.com

So, what is it about The Welsh Valleys that has them all singing?

Well there’s Caerphilly Castle, Llancaiach Fawr Manor and Lido Ponty, the National Lido of Wales, Really!

The site Visit Wales http://www.visitwales.com is a great starting point and my eyes fell as they often do on the whiskey.

In Wales?

Reach for the skies. Photo by Ivandrei Pretorius on Pexels.com

Well, they’re pushing Penderyn Whiskey which they say draws 43,000 visitors a year. I do hope that they don’t make you listen to the whiskey-making process though.

And take you straight to the whiskey drinking.

The ghosties. Photo by VisionPic .net on Pexels.com

Which reminds me of a day we were given while at College in Cardiff at the Brain’s distillery where we were given an hour’s free drinking.

Which equalled about six pints then!

Scaring up a ghosty castle

And seeing that Halloween is hoving into view like a big Scary Thing then how about the most haunted house in the Principality?

Llancaiach Fawr Manor is the place to go where they promise you the rustle of petticoats, your hand being held or even the occasional smell of violets or roast beef!

And maybe even the spectre of rugby players past!

Flybe http://www.flybe.com has Dublin to Cardiff this month through Skyscanner http://www.skyscanner.ie from €95 and from €72 next month and through to March.

And with rooms from €63 a night hotel stays on the Skyscanner website.

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