Wet Wales and white box man. A trip around Snowdonia national park.

Discussion in 'Wales' started by Poptop2, May 5, 2015.

  1. Poptop2

    Poptop2 Moderator

    On Saturday afternoon I asked Lou and Will if they fancied a road trip in the LT!

    I had sort of mentioned it in the week in the vain hope that Lou having a weekend off and it being banks hols and all that might sway her towards taking the plunge. After just a moments hesitation she agreed it sounded like a good plan. Me n Will exchanged winks and punched the air in victory, Yes, get in there!

    Within an hour the van was packed. We had stopped off at Tesco's garage and put in 25 litres and were off up the A442 towards Bridgnorth before she had time to change her mind and think about the million things she ordinarily has to do on a bank holiday.

    The destination was roughly the coast somewhere mid Wales ish. It wasn't long before the familiar rumblings of the word Borth started to be heard from the bowels of the van ( Will loves Borth since his two day stint of 30 degree heat and clear blue skies one weekend last year) I have tried to explain that this was regarded as a freak weather condition in mid Wales, like snow in the Nevada desert, but Will won't have any of it. No, Borth is Wills sun capital, end of! Anyhow after travelling what seemed like an eternity through the Welsh night, with one working headlight and no moon to brighten the darkness we eventually arrived in Borth at about midnight.We had decided to free camp on the front and duly found a space between four other white van type motorhomes. Will had long since succumbed to the sand man and was well asleep by the time Lou and I had bedded down and the first tell tale pitter patters on the roof reminded us we were in mid wales and our customary introduction was being delivered. We listened to the rain snug in our kingsize bed while radio 2 played night tunes on the radio beside the sink. Bliss.

    Sunday we woke to bright skies and a calm sea, the view through the window over breakfast was very promising indeed. After breakfast and a nippy dog walk along beach we decided to head for Pwllelhi along the north Wales coast ( Will still can't remember ever seeing rain in Borth -boy, is he in for a disappointment one day? ) sticking to the coastal roads as much as possible. We were subconsciously retracing our first camping holiday as a married couple some 33 years ago, only this time in reverse.

    Borth

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    We went around the Dovey estuary passing furnace falls, Machylleth and the osprey rehabilitation centre at Morben isaf ( I will visit it one day) and 25 miles later we had arrived in Aberdovey some 6 miles as the crow flies from whence we had started in Borth. From Abrdovey we headed via Tywyn and Fairbourne, to Barmouth. In Barmouth we stocked up with supplies, amazed an old lady and her friends when parking up the motorhome in a tight corner parking spot where evidently she would have struggled to park her Nissan micra, and they duly gave me a round of applause. I resisted the temptation to mention I drove artics for a living and the LT is just a wee timmering beasty in the grand scheme of hgv's and smiled appreciatively.
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    After a pleasant hour in Barmouth we resumed the road trip for the ten mile ride to Shell island, where we ate our warm sausage rolls and tomato soup, and after a short walk around the estuary we set off towards a place I have always wanted to visit - Portmeirion. At 3.30 we arrived in the car park of William Clough Ellis's great architectural experiment. Lou decided that as dogs were not allowed ( Nipper our Jack Russel, not Lou ) she would stay in the camper while Will and I went down and marvelled at the sheer beauty and architectural elegance that is Portofino in Wales ( for it is believed that is where he drew his inspiration) and actually got to stand on the concrete ship, and by the door of number 6's house. The sandy estuary and deserted island in the middle of, just added to the Italianesque feel of the place. Beautiful!

    Lou wandered down later and agreed it felt like an Italian village. She also mentioned the Welsh icecream and how good it is. Praise indeed from my Italian wife. The North Wales icecream is very good I must say.

    The Village

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    It may mean more to those of a certain age. "I am not a number"

    Reluctantly, we left Portmeirion at about 7.30 pm and headed in the fading light through Portmadog to Pwllelhi, enjoying what was left of a beautiful coastal run along some of the nicest sea views you can drive along in Britain. We made Pwlllelhi at 8pm. We took a dog walk along the front in fading sunshine and red skies. The place was dominated by the marina and the amount of boats to be seen was amazing. The pubs were full in the town and the locals seemed friendly, but we had spied a campsite on the way in and after just 45 minutes we had seen enough of Pwlllelhi and headed back to aforementioned campsite.

    http://www.ukcampsite.co.uk/sites/reviews.asp?revid=1901

    Pwlllelhi

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    Granted we arrived quite late, and yes we had forgotten to book or check availability, but there were plenty of vacant spots as we travelled along the driveway towards the closed reception.

    On arrival we were directed to a parking spot and advised to walk down to the house to enquire about a pitch. I walked for what seemed like miles until finally finding ' the house' They obviously didn't want me for I knocked for 20 minutes to no avail. the tv was on, the dog was barking and the the tv channel even got turned while I was knocking, but no, the elusive campsite owner wasn't having his/her R n R disturbed. I forlornly traipsed back to the camper and told Lou we would have to find somewhere else. " Can't we just park up and pay in the morning?" she asked. I though about it, then I remembered a friend who had done just this only to fall out with the owner in the morning and got charged an extortionate amount " Nahh, there are no prices posted .We will go to the one we saw further back that said showers and hook up. On arrival at this site, the showers looked like something you wouldn't keep sheep in ( they probably did though) and the hook ups were all taken. Again we headed out of the gate and back towards Portmadog. Just a few miles down on the left we saw a sign for camping along a side road and duly turned off. It was a camping and caravaning site. Llanystumday caravan and camping. We cautiously approached, all the time drastically searching the reaches of our minds wondering if we had chocks, breathable groundsheets and a tape measure. We need not have worried, the manager and his wife greeted us with a smile and bon ami, we were allocated a nice spot and even though reminded it was high season and we were not members charged just the same rate as full members. Ellenor and Martin made us very welcome indeed. We parked the regulation 6 metres from the next unit, positioned her on lift chocks and settled down to tea and a nice warm shower in the very clean shower block.

    http://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/campsites/uk/gwynedd/criccieth/llanystumdwy
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2015
  2. Poptop2

    Poptop2 Moderator

    We left after breakfast in the bright sunshine which we ate 'el fresco' and after a night of peace and quiet in the north Wales countryside. We headed off along the north of Portmadog towards my favourite village in Britain, The scenically beautiful Beddgelert in the foothills of Snowdonia. The drive up there along the Afon Glaslyn and through the trees, catching fleeting glimpses of the mountains that await only serves to heighten the sense of awe I have held Beddgelert in since my teenage years of mountaineering and outdoor adventuring. I caught myself sneaking peeks at Will and Lou hoping they felt the same anticipation, but although they were obviously enjoying the journey they couldn't possibly hold it in the same sense of excitement and awe without ever experiencing the actual climbing part of it. Still we stopped at the river and I challenged Will to take off his shoes and socks and stand in the freezing waters for two minutes ( he failed) my fiver was safe! Kids of today eh?

    Beddgelert

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    Bedgelert was explored. Shops were visited, icecream was again bought and eaten as we couldn't seem to pass an icecream shop without partaking and the overwhelming and awe inspiring beauty of Snowdonia was once again left bereft of sutable adjectives. We headed off towards our layby lunch in the mountains lost in the beauty of that little village and promising we would spend more time there "next time!".

    After a quick peek underground at the copper mine en route to our layby ( not the best £16's worth of underground exploring we have spent in Wales)

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    Stalagtites and stalagmites.. In the words of my geography teacher Mr Slack -- Tights come down and might go back up again

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    http://www.syguncoppermine.co.uk/

    we finally found a nice place to cook lunch before the final leg of our journey home.

    Here..

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    The final 90 miles home saw us endlessly plodding the A5 with the rest of the west midlands homeward bound bank holiday traffic. After the initial 20 miles from Snowdon it became a bit of hum drum meander home at the customary Malc camper speed of 55mph, interrupted on occasion by the irate Audi driver zooming past ( usually on double unbroken white lines) and throwing us the backwards Churchill salute once past (Class) and being woken from my slumber every 2 minutes by another passing aged biker on a Harley 1200 that he dreamed of when he was young enough to handle , but too young to afford one. Or a sensible aged Honda trike rider with a few aged friends in tow( are they mobility bikes for incapacitated hells angel's?) Anyhow I digress. Along the A5 we stopped in Llangollen for fuel and supplies then made it home in time for the first down pour of the weekend. Did I mention we never had a drop of daylight rain all the time we were in Wales? No. Well we didn't. but blimey it did pour once we were home.

    The LT did 357 miles on 14.88 gallons of fuel which is roughly 24 to the gallon at Malc speed ( averaged 45 mph, occasionally 60, but mostly 52 ish) I think that was good going for 3 tonnes of motorhome up mountain and down valley.


    You should try north Wales if you haven't already. It is really beautiful, and it doesn't always rain, but remember, it wouldn't be so stunningly beautiful if it didn't!



    Pics to follow.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2015
    Moons, rob.e, Lord Congi and 5 others like this.
  3. 357 on 14.88 litres is very roughly 24 to the galleon!
     
    Poptop2 likes this.
  4. Poptop2

    Poptop2 Moderator

    A few odd shots...

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    Those bubbles scared me.

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    Those new white boxes are soulless compared..

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    Lunch view over Llyn Gwynant campsite.

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    Moons and art b like this.
  5. Poptop2

    Poptop2 Moderator

    23.9919354839! Pendant :rolleyes:
     
  6. I have family in Criccieth...I do love that part of the world. Oh, and Purple Moose Brewery in Porthmadog make some *very* fine tipples :)
     
    Lord Congi, Fronkjunior and Poptop2 like this.
  7. rickyrooo1

    rickyrooo1 Hanging round like a bad smell

    Nice one mate, some of my favourite places.... But you know that.
     
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  8. bernjb56

    bernjb56 Moderator

    Good work Poppy - what you doing next weekend ?
     
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  9. Poptop2

    Poptop2 Moderator

    My good lady is working and has not expressed wishes to camp further :(

    We sprang that one on her ;)
     
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  10. bernjb56

    bernjb56 Moderator

    Tiny steps :thumbsup:
     
    Poptop2 likes this.
  11. [QUOTE="The LT did 357 miles on 14.88 litres of fuel which is roughly 24 to the gallon at Malc speed



    Pics to follow.[/QUOTE]


    Assume you mean 14.88 gallons!
     
    Bernard Fishtrousers likes this.
  12. Poptop2

    Poptop2 Moderator

    Sorry brother. Gallons!:(
     
    Bernard Fishtrousers likes this.
  13. Poptop2

    Poptop2 Moderator


    Assume you mean 14.88 gallons![/QUOTE]
    Yes I was correcting myself as you posted. I think it was £80 of fuel divided by £1.20 which was 66.66667 litre which equated to 14.881 gallons.
     
    Bernard Fishtrousers likes this.
  14. jivedubbin

    jivedubbin Moderator

    @poptop2 next time i see you remind me to tell you my Criccieth story involving a school trip aged 12 and a return trip when i was 56 and 3/4
     
    Poptop2 likes this.
  15. Love it round there. Sounds like a great weekend.

    Ooh yes - and Purple Moose - I think that was made for me!
     
    Poptop2 and pyroking like this.
  16. brilliant write up Malc, glad you, Lou n Will had a great bank holiday!
     
    Poptop2 likes this.
  17. [/QUOTE]

    Love Port Meirion - I am not a number - I am a free man!
     
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  18. Flakey

    Flakey Sponsor

    Great write up Malc, felt like I was there with you :D
     
  19. Not to be a pendant but it's actually a pedant....
    Great write up though
     
  20. Poptop2

    Poptop2 Moderator

    It's a pendant according to Bernard fishy. Fact!

    He is completely iligitimate though!
     
    Bernard Fishtrousers likes this.

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