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For ages and ages I’d been attempting and failing to arrange a “lads weekend” away somewhere with Kipper, Jimmy and Stevie. That makes it sound like me attempting to do the organizing and the other three doing the welching. Not really. We’ve just had several Friday or Saturday night “beers and curry” trips where we’ve mumbled through a drunken stupor about really needing to get something sorted and have then either conveniently forgotten, or decided it was all too complicated or expensive to actually do. So we didn’t do it.

Well not this time.

We started off talking about going to South Wales but then Jimmy interjected with a request to go to North Wales too, which I was initially not in favour of until it became clear that someone else would be driving all weekend. Buggrit then ! Why should I worry about the mileage if I’m not going to have to drive ?

Why wasn’t I going to have to drive ? Because Kip was just going to pick up his new car a few days beforehand, and he and Jimmy fancied a bit of a flash-car group test kind of a thing. Suits me. It’s extremely rare that I get to go away on holiday for 4 days and don’t have to drive at all. It is even rarer that I get driven around in a top-notch sports car. The cars in question were the rather stunningly good looking Porsche 911s shown the the photo. The white one is Jimmy’s. The blue one is Kipper’s.

The weekend began on Friday morning with me having to go up to my dentist to get the rough edges polished off a crown I’d had replaced the previous weekend. OK, that wasn’t part of the weekend away, but it was something I had to do on Friday morning.

The weekend away began with the chaps turning up in the flash motors at my house in the middle of the morning. This part was quickly followed by a fuel and coffee stop and then a fairly slow meander up the M40 in the direction of Birmingham. This turned into a moderately fast chunter up the M54 to the Telford Services, where we stopped for coffee, snacks, and a bit of caching. There is a massive old steam hammer in the car park which is host to an Earthcache called Shropshire Iron. It’s also home to a traditional cache, but the logs seemed to indicate that some climbing was involved in finding it. Personally, I’m not very agile, but also I wouldn’t have placed a cache on such a monument if it was necessary to climb on it. I searched all the areas I could reach without climbing and didn’t find it. If it does involve climbing, they’re welcome to it. Not a game I would play.

On returning to the cars we decided on a swap around, with Stevie riding shotgun in Kip’s car and me with Jimmy.

The drive up from here was slightly more interesting than the motorways earlier in the day, mainly involving the A5 until just before Betws-y-Coed. This involved passing through Llangollen, the scene of an earlier adventure this year at the UK Mega Geocaching Event (see Llangollen Mega).

Our hotel was up a bit and along a bit from there, a few miles shy of Conwy. We were staying at the Groes Inn, a quite famous and extremely old coaching inn.

We arrived there with just enough daylight left to go for a quick gander around Conwy town. There wasn’t a lot to see, to be honest, as more or less everywhere seemed to be closed. I guess it isn’t tourist season and because the light disappears at 4:30pm it’s likely everyone had packed up for the day and had relocated to whatever form of activity goes down on a Friday evening. We did get some fresh air and a bit of a leg stretch though, but not very many decent photos, as the light was disappearing at, well, the speed of light.

Once darkness had properly arrived we decided that it was officially allowed to be beer o’clock, so we headed back to the Groes Inn and settled into the bar for the evening. It was one of those excellent bars where despite the fact that they weren’t, technically speaking, open to the public at the point when we arrived, the barman was perfectly happy to serve us a pint while they were waiting to open, what with us being guests at the hotel. And in the bar was more or less where we all stayed until bed o’clock, with the exception of a couple of dashes out to grab cards and risk.