Thursday, 13 September 2007

Welsh trip...the final day....

The final day...hoicking kayaks on and off cars and along coastlines had taken its toll. I took not being able to lift my hand up to comb my hair as a bad sign and decided to give kayaking a break. Instead we went off exploring the island.... This is just an old copper mine, but it's beautiful!
When I say old, I mean very old. Surface debris has been dated to nearly 4000 years ago (early Bronze Age). Ingots of copper have been found with Roman empire insignia. In more recent times (1700's) copper was mined here to sheath the bottoms of ships of war. The copper bottomed ships didn't collect barnacles or weed and this made them fast and maneuverable.

It was found that purer copper could be produced if the very acidic water from the bottom of the mine was pumped into surface ponds, laced with scrap iron and then allowed to seep back through the rock. The resulting ore was of superior quality. This also led to by-products such as ochre pigments, sulphur, vitriol and alum. It is this cocktail of chemicals that has led to the extraordinary array of colours.

An inviting tunnel in the distance, it appeared easy enough to get to but as we got closer it became obvious that you couldn't get up to it without bringing a ton of loose rock down on top of yourself. I was disappointed.

The Heather was out and this added yet another colour to the overfull pallet.

Artists travel to this area in order to be inspired by the colours. It is supposed to be spectacular at sunset but the day was overcast. It is a magical place. I was sorry that photography was unable to do it justice. It looks nothing special on film. This is just one of those places you have to see first hand.

The tunnels are inhabited by bats. I found a doorway to one of them but it was locked...foiled again!

We circled the island seeing what there was to see. Stunning coastline, dunes, airbase (we saw the Red Arrows), butterfly farm, famous equestrian center, racetrack (from 'Top Gear'), Sea World, ancient monuments, Newborough Warren, bridges, churches...too much to see, too little time.
Soon we left the island, exiting by the Britannia bridge. Our plan was to spend some time in the mountains of Snowdonia. As we arrive we realised our plans were scuppered as the mountains were clothed in cloud.

As if they weren't dangerous enough, this isn't somewhere you want to find yourself lost!

Out little friend was still haunting the layby. So we shared the last of the sandwiches and said our goodbyes....


Lesley said...

Once again fantastic photos! The heather is beautiful and that last photo is totally mystical looking, like something out of a fantasy novel.

Lesley said...

I guess it isn't the last photo, the one before the birdie.

Lavender said...

Gorgeous shots - its such a beautiful place. The colours and terrain are just awe insipiring, not hard to see why you favour this bit of the earth!
(nd it looks like another job for "Budgie Cam")

Angela Marie said...

You have such an eye for your photos! They really are beautiful. Your camera captured the colors around the copper mine, I could only imagine what it looked like in person.

The cloud clothing the mountain is beautiful.

Lucky you ~ sharing your lunch with a peacock. sigh

I am happy for you to have had a wonderful camping trip.

secret agent said...

I like the bat cave and the cloudy one.... nice and creepy

the peacock didn't attack you..... boring bird

Anrosh said...

Have you heard the song - "I envy you... - the welstrip and the colours in the picture?