2014 – Day Nine

Still in Newport. Still no data, still no phone. Can’t book the next
site. Can’t book the ferry to Ireland. Increasingly frustrated.

So I decide to take on the help desk. And I get disbelief at
yesterday’s explanation, and get told that I must have used the data
in three minutes and a series of other frustrating explanations. On
about the third reiteration, I get taken seriously…to be told a
different reason why yesterday’s issues occurred. Apparently I was
being charged on an old plan and in that three minutes I
extinguished the data. To this effect I have been credited 80% of my
data plan and they insist my data is on and working. Conversation
goes like this: “It’s credited. But it doesn’t work. But it’s credited.
But it doesn’t work.”

Rinse and repeat until insanity sets in.

Finally they accept it doesn’t work and send me though to tech
support who take me through a very complex series of set up
changes. I have little faith at this stage of my phone ever working
again. I again get the “it will work within 24 hours” spiel… at which
point in time I give a very terse speech as to how I feel about that
and how it it is fucking up our holiday. Not happy.

Chris in the meantime takes the opportunity to put our bikes
together. And does a magnificent job of it, I must say. The only thing
that gives him grief are the mud guards on my bike. We have bikes!
And they’re pretty good too. They’re not fancy, but they have an
aluminium frames, are light, have 18 gears and are hybrids.

The next challenge is getting them into the garage, but fit they do
and we are off to our next destination St David’s.

In the meantime, the tech help guy calls me back to see if my phone
is working…and I am humbled to say that it is. Humbled and
surprised, but there you go.

St David’s is on the west coast of Wales. A pretty spot, full of history
as all these lovely old villages are and and it had an old cathedral
which dates back to the 600s and is still a working church today.

We arrive and settle and get our bikes out to ride into town. It’s a
challenge. Neither of us has been on a bike in a while, and it’s hilly,
but still, off we go. I’m a bit nervous about the gears as I never used
mine when I lived on my bike (Adelaide is very flat) …and I have a
girls bike (my old bike was a boy’s racer) so I can’t get used to
stepping into the bike and keep mounting it instead. Hopefully it
will all fall into place.

And fall into place it does. I’d forgotten how much I loved, loved,
loved riding my bike. There’s nothing quite like zooming along with
the wind in your hair. Some what hampered by the helmet I am
forced to wear. And I even get the gears! And we both manage the
hills! Chris is defeated by one, but he is still not 100% following his

The reward is worth it. The cathedral is lovely, as are the ruins that
are along side it. The organ is playing as we explore and the
acoustics are really fabulous.

Exploring done we head home, on our bikes. Much fun, but I recall
those silicone seats fondly and curse Chris for talking me out of
them. Those little bones at the base of your pelvis….ouch.

And for a finishing touch of irony, St David’s has no internet access.