After following our host Adele along a winding road with pinhead turns and very steep declines, driving past a few photo opportunities, such as magnificent looking reservoir and a cute little tearoom, we arrived at Avalon Lodge. Surrounded by tall trees and mountains, it was the perfect location for a weekend getaway.
Our host, Adele, ushered us in the house: a two storey stone building with wooden floors and golden window frames. We stood a few minutes in the kitchen, going through the heating system (it was freezing inside) and then after showing the house’s precise location on a map, Adele left us a bottle of red wine, and wished us a pleasant stay.
We walked about taking the house in for a few minutes. It was a strange feeling to arrive in an Airbnb accommodation: in hotels and B&Bs you have certain policies and routines to fall back into, but as this was my first Airbnb experience, I didn’t quite know what to do.
The kitchen was very cottage-like with old-fashioned stove and wooden structures, and I liked it immediately. Kitchen wallpaper consisted of old illustrated encyclopedia entries; living room was painted red. This red room (yes, all the connotations came rushing in during the night) was big, one wall covered with very interesting book collection, and had lazy chairs and sofas as furniture. Perfect room for serious studying and profound contemplation. But then, on the opposite wall there was a fireplace filled with coals and logs, ready to be lit, which called for lazy moments and dreaming on the sofa. Later in the evening, I opted for the last option.
Upstairs had two bedrooms and a bathroom, so the house is suitable for a family or groups of friends also. The whole house was scattered with random objects, such as model ships, miniature lighthouses, plastic tiny dolls and artwork. I got a feeling that someone with a very individualistic taste, and a lot of trips to India, Thailand and alike, had occupied the space.
We descended back downstairs and found the fridge empty. There were tea and coffee in a cupboard, but as we rather have our coffee with milk than red wine, we had to drive back to the nearest village of Talybont-on-Usk to get some basic provisions. And as it was Ireland vs. Wales rugby night, we didn’t really want to dine in a pub, as the whole point of the trip was to calm down and to get away from other people (although, in general, we don’t have anything against other people). The village shop was very pleasant, but there wasn’t much to choose from, so a bowl of pasta it was going to be.
And as it was almost dark when we got back to the lodge, it was time to get the fire going in the living room and start cooking – now the red wine came in handy, too. It was a windy evening, so it took some time to heat up the whole house but it was very homey to wait the heat to go up under a blanket, digesting the pasta and Uncle Ben’s tomato sauce.
As said, I am used to remote places and various kinds of noises these places tend to produce, but if something tricks my imagination, there’s no end of the grisly scenarios lurking in the darkness. And as my otherwise superhero like, big city born sidekick is a bit sensitive to weird noises, we kept listening to the house for a good few hours: the floorboards creaking upstairs, wind pushing the window panes, logs rattling in the fireplace… and then, loud music from next door.
Yes, next door.
A close proximity neighbour came as a surprise to us, and we were a bit taken aback at first. But in the end we didn’t mind, as after hours’ listening to the scary imagination infested noises, another human being in an easy reach was a relief.
Although, the logical question whether the neighbor himself was a serial killer preying on innocent Airbnb-ers like us arose.
Too many murder scenarios in our heads, we climbed upstairs for the night.
Read the first part of the review here
and the third part here!