Monday, 10 September 2007

Coast trip..(day one)...

As you probably know, the summer has been a complete washout. So, when I saw this sunny patch of weather, I knew it was time to escape to my favourite UK island...Anglesey.

The route follows the old stage coaching road which cuts through the Welsh mountains, across the Menai Straits and up to Holyhead where the boats leave to go to Ireland.

The straight fast road soon begins to narrow and deviate as you approach the Welsh foothills. The twists and turns made all the more challenging by having 40 odd kilos of kayaks strapped high up on the roof. There were several tyre squealing moments and I had to crane my neck to look up and check if they were still there!

Beyond the picturesque village of Betsy-coed is the 'stop off point'. This is where we meet up if we are travelling in convoy and have become separated. It's also a good place to allow some blood back into your white knuckles after gripping the wheel so tightly around those perilous zig zags.

We climbed a short way up the mountain to have a bite to eat. I love it here, it's peaceful and the road invites you further.

As the miles rolled on, we decided to stop for....well, we needed to stop.

Beyond a dry stone wall was this little chap.

He was running free out on the hills but was quite tame. It turned out he had a penchant for sandwiches, which was why he was staking out this layby popular with picnickers.

We said 'auf wiedersen' to the mountains as we headed down to the coast.

All the signs direct you to the new modern Britannia road bridge, but I always go out of my way and struggle through Bangor to get to the original bridge. The Menai Suspension bridge was built in 1826 by Thomas Telford and used to be the only dry route across the Straits to the island of Anglesey. It's really narrow and the waters below gush quickly when the tides are high. The Strait is dotted with lots of little islands, some with houses. The closer being connected to the land with their own personal bridges.
On the 12th November 1918 Air Marshal Sir Thomas Elmhirst flew an airship (SSZ73) under the bridge to celebrate the armistice at the end of World War One!

I was glad to arrive at the campsite, I've been here many times before. It's a bit cheap and cheerful, but that's how I like it. Most people stay at the top end of the site near the facilities, but down the quiet bottom end you are next to the cliffs. The slope is steep and sometimes, especially when it's wet it can be difficult to get enough traction to get a fully loaded car back, fun, fun!

The sun was setting as the camp was completed, just enough time to scramble down the rocks behind the hedge to the sea below.

With darkness enveloping the camp all that was left was to cook some food and lay and watch the shooting stars by the gently shushing petrol lamp....


photowannabe said...

You live a very special kind of life style. I would love to just up and go sometimes too but I am just too set in my ways and my hubby and i do find lots to keep us busy togethr. Have a great week.

Anrosh said...

I was back from a kayaking trip 2 miles south of where I live. It was downstream and the water was comparatively calmer. I am not a swimmer, yet I dared myself to go into the middle of the river and which is more than 12 feet deep. The sight of the peacock would have definitely been an added bonus.

Lesley said...

Really awesome! You take the best photos! Sounds like a lot of fun too.

secret agent said...


Lavender said...

Another great travelog, Bravo! And I loved the peacock, they are such magnificent birds, very good of you to share your tucker with him!
Now, Angelsey! Is it possible that "Anglesey" could be the same place? (Or that it could be a misspelling in my family records?) Curiouser and Curiouser!

barkfoot said...

Lavender - Yes, they are the same place, I've just spelt it wrong! It's staying up late at night writing these things, my brains not in gear. I'll have to correct the post, I've made the same mistake before.
So, do you have relatives/ ancesters from Anglesey?

Lavender said...

No worries about the typo thing - do it myself often enough!
According the the family tree (which has just been passed to me to continue - no pressure!) my maternal grandfather is a decendant of one Peter Winne, born in Ghent, Flanders (no year given other than he arrived in America in 1652) but this Peter Winne was decended from the Gwynneds of Wales, Barons of Anglesey to 1524, when they vacated the title.
So you can see I have a gap to fill in there and it was exciting to hear the name Anglesey, that the area itself is still called such and get me more excited than overwhelmed about this project - Thank you!

Angela Marie said...

What wonderful photos! I loved all of them.
I have always wanted a Peacock. When I was a little girl, there was a rest stop we would stop at and they had qutie a few of them. I told my dad that I wanted one, he said if I could catch one I could get one... he would just laugh at me. I never caught one. They are beautiful, but noisy birds. If I had a lot of property, I would have several of them.

The bridge and the ferns... gorgeous!

zmoose said...

Great picture of the valley!