A Ticket to Ride

Our support workers will spend a large part of their working time helping our individuals with day-to-day activities. So when a regular day-out is planned, it's not just the service users who get excited. This week we followed support worker Tanya on a trip on the Vale of Rheidol Railway supporting John.

As ever, lots of preparations are needed for a day out. Picnic lunch. Tick. Bus ticket to Aberystwyth. Tick. Meds, phone and money. Tick. And not forgetting appropriate clothing as it looks like rain all day. And so by midday, Tanya and John were at the steam train station, suited and booted, and raring to go. The staff who maintain the train service were all very helpful and chatty. The guard even let John try on his peak cap.

The train journey from Aberystwyth to Devil's Bridge (Pontarfynach) takes around an hour. Tanya and John wisely selected a carriage with doors and windows and settled back to enjoy the views, which are spectacular. And because the steam train travels at a sedate pace, there's plenty of opportunity to take photos and marvel at the beauty of the Ceredigion scenery. John enjoyed the ride and at the other end, there was plenty to see and do.

A short walk from the train station is Devil's Bridge itself. John looked a little apprehensive about the steep steps, so we gave the main sightseeing opportunity a miss on this occasion. Not to worry, the Hafod Hotel and tea room has recently been refurbished and John responded positively to the prospect of a cup of tea. We found the delightful tea rooms a welcome break from the rain. John loved his teapot and drank enthusiastically  but soon we were back outside exploring the rest of the area. We chose the easiest walking routes and eventually worked our way back to the station where the picnic was consumed. Here, there was more to see; the pine martin exhibition, the Two Hoots shop & cafe, the chocolate shop, as well as the train that was waiting to take us back to Aberystwyth. John was patient to have his picture taken in various places, so we'll have a lovely record of the day that will no doubt make great scrapbook fodder for another rainy day.

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