Brent & Mary, New Zealand

We knew we were in safe hands almost immediately, with our first stop at the little church at Kilpeck. I had read about the 11th-century stonework, and it didn’t disappoint, but you gave us so much more in the way of background history, etymology (the prefix “Kil-“ a Celtic borrowing from the Latin “cella”), plus a whole ruined castle to climb.
What impressed us, above all, was that you were so quick to sense the sorts of things we would be interested in. Conversation was always easy, and your driving remarkably efficient (threading your way through those tiny back roads above Hay-on-Wye).
And we had some good laughs. One highlight was when you stopped on the Malvern Hills so Mary could taste the water from the spring, only to be confronted with the evil goblin who was guarding it with his array of plastic containers. He absolutely wasn’t going to stand aside, even for a second, to let Mary collect a mouthful in a cup – but you handled the situation nicely, he grudgingly stepped aside, and you commented, “Welcome to England!” as we walked back to the car.
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