After the second lockdown in UK was lifted, my husband and I decided to make a road trip to Wales for a much-needed getaway. I missed the beach, the sound of the waves, and staring into the vast emptiness of the horizon. It felt like I was trapped in London for far too long and was getting a little foggy around the grey matter.
The plan was simple and straightforward:
Drive through Bristol, Cardiff, and follow the coastal road through South Wales all the way to North Wales and try to avoid doing anything that might expose us to COVID-19. We had strongly considered whether to go at all, given the risks. In the end, the decision to go was made after a lot of careful planning.
We drove 1163 miles in three days and only made stops to sleep in rural Airbnb lodgings that have not been occupied for a period of 24 to 72 hours and for food. Since the restaurants were not fully operating yet and in order to limit human contact, we packed fruits, nuts, and energy bars to last for three days. We also packed enough antibacterial wipes, sanitizers, and masks to outfit a small rural clinic. We managed, I think, to keep a very safe distance from people for the duration of the three days.
Although road tripping in the pandemic felt like a journey through an apocalyptic movie – less people, many unopened shops – it was absolutely worth it. Wales is UK’s best kept “secret” that most seasoned travellers will know, I was told.
It was a new experience for us. The views of the coastline, cliffs and endless farms were simply breath-taking. The people were really nice, and it was a “peaceful easy feeling” just watching every beautiful frame of scenery pass by. We hardly got out of the car and just kept driving from morning to night. Wales is famous for its meadows and rolling hills and has inspired many writers and poets, and I could understand how this beauty of a place would have captivated just anyone’s heart and spirit.
After nearly a year and half of staying cooped up in the city, it felt exhilarating to be on the road in a country so vast, varied, and relentlessly stunning.