You know it’s a good day when you start the day at 6am, jump in a car and drive a few hundred miles west, hike up a mountain and then spot about ten dolphins doing their thing from the top.



But let me start at the beginning. It was about 50 hours until my graduation, 62 hours until I’d leave England, so there’d at least be 48 hours for a decent last road trip through the country I have spent a substantial amount of time in, right? Right. I had been to Wales a few years ago at 16 when one of my best childhood friends and I spent a whole summer diving into the waves, reading Jodi Picoult in a cottage when it rained outside (which of course never usually happens in the UK) and taking lots of pictures with our first DSLRs. That summer was picture perfect and I longed for a slightly grown-up version among stunning beaches and forgotten villages.




We hired a car in Cardiff, drove through Swansea and Bridgend towards Pembrokeshire and finally made it to Cardigan, the quiet and sleepy centre of the Welsh west coast. We reached Mwnt Beach at Cardigan Bay in the early afternoon, stretched our legs and breathed in some countryside air for the first time since leaving London. The sun was being an absolute babe so we hiked up the close-by hill to get some better views onto the coastline. When there was a group of dolphins jumping up and down we followed their lead and did the same. I didn’t get to zoom in properly so the photos are not exactly macro and don’t do the dolphins’ beauty and elegance any justice but that moment was one of those that were perfect enough and didn’t necessarily need to make it on film, or less nostalgically and more truthfully, on an overflowing SD card anyway (that’s of course a lie but I always take great comfort in it).









So life really couldn’t get any better at that point but it could certainly become a tad more confusing and ehm, more lost. We had booked a charming Airbnb static caravan in the Ceredigion county and thought we’d drop our things off there first before hitting another beach. Well, that was easier said than done because the caravan was literally in the middle of nowhere. With no phone signal, a supposedly precise postcode that led us into a ditch and a growingly impatient and moaning Caroline in the back, it kinda looked like we’d have to spend the night squashed on the backseat.

Surely that would have happened if we hadn’t come across a guardian angel in the shape of a middle-aged farmer who worked things out with his Welsh nonchalance. He rang up the farm that rented out the caravan, knew exactly where it was because you know your land and its people here and pointed us their way. Just for your orientation, it is now 9pm, we’re both hungry and thirsty but made it to the caravan in time for sunset. When opening its doors, the evening sun flooded the huge (!) living room and my first exclaim was “Can we move here, skip graduation and stay here forever?”. I was hooked, the caravan had everything and the trip was an absolute blast. We emptied the bottle of red wine that was rolling through the car boot for a gross amount of hours and did a little walk through the … you guessed it, middle of nowhere.









In my occasionally lame ways I declared the next day to be a no make-up day which really wasn’t a big deal until I ran in front of a huge camera team at the viewing platform of one of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Trails, joked with the weather presenter and took a load of snaps of him and the lady who drew the map we were using (I know, life is crazy). It was only after we moved on that I realised that my terrible skin will probably appear in a BBC Wales programme and expose my inability to not make a fuzz and just carry on walking without the odd chit-chat. They were filming the entire trail and could probably do with some unexpected entertainment. Well well.

The pouring rain deeply inspired us to get our acts together and move a little faster, so we soaked up the strong coast winds, the wild horses and scared sheep in fast forward and moved our excited butts back into the safety of the car at Penbryn Beach. Oh Wales, you’ve been wonderful, absurdly friendly and I shall be back soon.










All photos taken by Caroline Schmitt