Sunday, 11 August 2013

Monmouthshire Brecon Canal - day 1

Newport to Goytre Wharf

The only place in Newport to stay was the Travelodge, but it was full. I settled for The Queens across the road which is part o Weatherspoons. The room was ok but there was some kind of extraction fan machinery outside on the roof which made a continuous humming noise all the time I was there.

I went into the so called restaurant and took one look and walked out. It was full of Friday night undesirables, especially guys in their late forties pretending to be young swingers wearing silly clothes with dyed hair, pony tails and jewellery. I wandered round the town for half an hour and things were hotting up, and everywhere else was even worse then the Weatherspoons, so I had no option but to return there.

I reckoned fish and chips was the item they could do least damage to, but they had run out of fish. I had lasagne and was nearly sick, not particularly because of the food, but mainly the environment and mindless people in a huge multi table setting accompanied by lots of hysterical noise. So much for Newport, and I am a big fan of the Welsh.

I was off to a good start. Tesco Express open at 6:00. I was there about 7:00 to buy breakfast which I ate three quarters of an hour later after tracking down the elusive start to the canal and finding an old bridge in a pleasant environment contrasting with deprived Newport centre.

The canal is largely overgrown and not navigable for a long way but paths are good and the scenery pleasingly Welsh - it was like coming back home.

I had previously identified an Italian restaurant, Canale, at Goytre Wharf and spoken on the phone. Proprietor Rocco had said I could camp there. I had a great welcome and a perfect pitch. The restaurant/café serves the many day trippers who come to thi beauty spot. Rocco agreed to serve me a meal after he closed down. I understand he cooked a special, genuine Italian Pasta Napoli with chicken, proscutio, and mozzarella. A large glass of Montepulciano accompanied. I chatted with Rocco who had a restaurant for twenty two years then retired and bought this place which includes a cottage where he lives. This was the best stopover for a long time.
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2 comments:

The Crow said...

To have a specially prepared meal from the hands of the chef himself, and after hours, to boot - that was indeed a rare treat. With good conversation for dessert!

I hope it made up for the lousy experience from the night before.

Sir Hugh said...

The Crow - Such happenings are the essence of these trips. It is often quite hard work, but rewards like this, along with appreciation of hidden places and nature's attractive and sometimes cruel offerings make it compulsive for me.