We thought it was just going to be a tour of the defunct coal mine’s aboveground facility, which was already troubling enough. The winding wheels and framework for the conveyor system at the “pit head” were like the superstructure of an abandoned carnival, like the one I’d read about near Chernobyl.
To get to St. Govan’s Head on the southwest coast of Wales I must drive through the Ministry of Defense firing range at Castlemartin where space-age tanks launch high explosive shells across the sky. They’ve been blowing things up here since 1939. There’s a website that will tell me when the road is closed for target practice, but I’d have to drive miles in another direction to the McDonald’s in Haverfordwest to hook up to the free wifi. Instead, I stop at an inn along the way where I order a lemonade, which is carbonated and tastes like Sprite. They tell me today’s bombing begins after sunset. Welsh Pubs are usually reliable sources of information.