Sunday, June 29, 2008

29th June 2008 Sunday: a bit of local colour

Went for a walk this morning and passed some wildflowers were the bees were doing a brisk trade, so out came my trusty old compact and I took these two.
During the afternoon we had a short but sharp storm, while we were on the way to visit our eldest daughter in Hornsea, but once it cleared we had an ideal situation for photographic the wind farm at Out Newton, with the giant windmills sunlit against a dark sky.
I converted one to mono as well to see whether it improved the drama of the scene.
I took the final picture on Hornsea beach.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

27th June 2008 A day out!

After the excitement of the holidays, and a day doing the washing we decided to drive to Castleton to enjoy the pensioners' lunch at the Castleton tea rooms.

Although there are not so many colourful wildflowers as there were in Wales, at least there was a good show of these large daisies by the side of the road.

And as we came out of Castleton I did a panoramic of the view looking back, the local houses on the hillside, and the memorial cross.

We next and turned up Fryup dale and I took these two views.

Friday, June 27, 2008

24th June 2008 Our last full day here

As I was unsure of whether we would be able to recover any of the images on the now defunct laptop it seemed like a good idea to drive around the area taking as many photographs as possible.
We headed first to the northern coast using the back roads to bring us around the shoulder of the mountain with a view up the coast towards Anglesey, and Caernarfon and took some photographs of the scenery.

Dropping down the other side of the mountain revisited Trefor and parked down near the Harbour to take some photographs. Then our drive along the coast continued and we visited Porth Dinllaen.

By now it was getting on for lunch term, so we drove to Aberdaron and had a baked potato with salad and coronation chicken for lunch, plus tea of course on the outside balcony of the big kitchen which was originally a place where Pilgrims going to Bardsea island could claim a meal.

At this point it started to rain so we came back to camp and arrested for an hour, I went for a walk and down the local lane and when I got back and we went through a drive along the coast and discovered that Pwhelli actually has a very long seafront with miles of beaches we then continued to Abersoch where we parked up and enjoyed an ice cream made locally by a firm called Cadwalladers, which was very nice, we then had a walk around the Harbour mouth to take some more photographs, before returning to camp for tea.

It had been a great last day!

23rd June A tour South on the Mainland

For a change we drove east through Portmadog and down through the mountains to Dollgellau, along the A487 towards Machynlleth, pausing for a break next to the river where there was a great picnic place belonging to the National Trust. I walked along the river bank and took this picture.
Our next move at the junction with the A493 was to head towards the coast to Aberdyfi, which proved to be a very attractive place where we ate our packed lunch in a cute little park area on the seafront. For once it was quite busy as there was a Girls School bus trip in and they were enjoying what seems to be a local entertainment "Crabbing" which uses the following equipment.
A decorated plastic bucket with the words "Crabs!" printed in several places.
A long line, which has no hooks, but a small net bag containing scraps of fish to act as bait.
Here's how its done:First tie the bucket to the line and lower it into the harbour and fill it with water.
Remove the bucket and lower the bait bag, when you feel a crab take the bait, haul it up quickly before the crab lets go.
Place crab in bucket so that number of crabs caught can be counted after a timed period.
When this has been done empty crabs back into the harbour.
As you may imagine these proceedings were not carried out in silence, but accommpanied by loud squeals and much shouting from the fifty or so young girls!
Time to continue and following the coast north next stop was Tywyn where we bought sticky buns and ate in a lay by before moving on
The road rose and gave some splendid views of the estuary with Barmouth at the base of the mountains on a narrow coastal strip.
Rounding the haedland we saw the railway cross the rivermouth on stilts and we crossed a Toll Bridge (60p) to Barmouth.
We turned under the elevated coastal railway and parked by the side of the small harbour and enjoyed a rather fancy ice cream. It appeared that Barmouth was quite small until we rounded the corner of the harbour and dicovered that the seafront ran on for literally miles!
For young families they have everything here, there is even a large apparently permanent fun fair.
From here the coast road ran up the shoulder of the hills and slightly inland to give fine seaward views, with the mountains and Anglesey in the distance.
Down into Harlech there wasnt time to stop, just take a quick shot of the castle before continuing and crossing the second Toll (40p) that took us to Porthmadog and a shopping session.
On returning to camp Idiscovered that the laptop had finally given up the ghost, hence this blog is being updated several days later!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

22 June and a big improvement in the weather!

We had high winds and heavy rain overnight, so were very pleased to find that despite this it was still mild this morning. and the rain had stopped: there was even a trace of blue sky now and then!
I had taken the awning down sopping wet on yesterday evening, and it was bundled up on the car seat awaiting the opportunity for me to put it out to dry.
There was still quite a stormy sky and the wind was blowing the trees around, hardly a beach day, but at least there ought to be some wild waves to photograph.
Off we went to find the highest point of the island and were amazed at the transformation of "Hells Mouth" bay. a couple of days earlier it had been an idyllic scene with gentle waves lapping along gently sloping golden sands, today a boiling sea of waves and foam crashed against the shore, and there was no question that any boat entering the bay with the strong on-shore wind would be in mortal danger: especially in the days of sail it would have earned it's name!
Coming down from the hill we stopped at the top of the hill into Aberdaron and i took this one: just look at those waves! The wind ws very strong and making it difficult to hold the camera still.
Once through the village we stopped on the hilll and took a second view looking back, before continuing to the National Trust car park atop the headland at Mynydd Mawr where I took these views looking out towards Aberdaron bay and the little islets Ynys Gwylan Fawr and Ynys Gwylan Bach, and also over in the other direction to Porth Llanawen.
At the summit we ate our packed lunch before descending and making our way across country for a second visit to Plas yn Rhiw, where among other flowers I photographed these rather splendid Ballerina Fuchsias.
By this time we wee ready to head back to camp for a cuppa and a rest!

Friday, June 20, 2008

20 June 2008: A second Anglesey visit

Friday June 20thWe decided to have a day on Anglesey as the weather was pretty nice this morning, and had a traffic free journey there, crossing the Brittannia Bridge and parking in the layby with a view of the Menai Bridge for a mid morning cuppa and the inevitable photographs. i used both the Nikon and the Fuji Bridge camera as I wanted both wide angle and big Zoom pictures of the bridge and the little island in front of it.
Once again I was surprised by the high quality from the Fuji 300mm equivalent Zoom.
We drove through Beaumaris, but decided to leave the wonderful castle to another day when we could spend a lot of time there and cover it thoroughly, aand it was getting close to lunch time too, so we drove up to Amwllch expecting to find Chip and fish Cafe, but were unsuccessful, so continued to Cemaes Bay where we knew we could be sure to find one, and in this we were correct. But since we were a little early we had a stroll around the tiny harbour, and took this one from the waterside, and this from the upper car park.
The fish and chips by the way were excellent, and they gave us so many chips that we shared mine and saved Pat's bag of chips to re-heat and have with other food at tea time in the van!
The next place we wanted to visit was Parys Mountain, the site of the "Great Pit" which was a copper mine that was hollowed out using picks and shovels an gunpowder over a couple of hundred years, and was once the biggest source of copper in the world.
The pit is huge: several hundreds of feet deep and wide, and is no longer as steep sided as it once was, where people descended the vertical cliff sides hanging from ropes, to attack the cliff face itself. It has since had the tops of the cliffs blasted away with dynamite to make them more gently sloping and less dangerous.
This is a place that is often used in Science fiction films as an "alien planet" background aas the rocks are a weird range of colours due to the many different chemicals and metals they contain.
There is a free car park and walk, so if you are in the area don't miss it!
Leaving here we dropped down into Benlech for a welcome ice cream as the afternoon had become very warm (19c) and I spotted this father and son walking together down the beach.
They were so well synchronised in their movements that it almost resembled line dancing, and of course watching them takes your mind back rather wistfully to the days when you walked along a beach with your own children. It comes as something of a shock when you start counting how many years have passed since then!
We had really enjoyed his second visit to the island.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

19th June 2008 ;What a difference a day makes!

Yesterday was awful, with gale force winds and torrential rain for 18 hours!
By contrast today can only be described as superb.
Our cat, Garfield knocked a full cup of tea onto the laptop yesterday and put it out of action, but by stripping it down I was able to restore most functions apart from the keyboard
so this morning we went for some shopping.
We went first to Portmadog and bought a cheap keyboard to use with the laptop, then had some prints run off in an instant photo machine to use as postcards. we were pleased to find they were very good and only 25 pence each.
Once our shopping was complete we had a a very pleasant drive though the tiny back roads to Porth Colmon, where we parked up and ate our packed lunch: I was fascinated at how the rocks on the beach echoed the silhouette of the distant mountains.
There's just a single house and slipway at the bottom of the lane now, but some out-buildings and foundations suggest that once long ago several families lived and fished here.
Continuing along the coast road, we parked at the National Trust Car park at Porth Oer, and I walked along the cliff top path to get a view down into the bay. I took two general views with the Nikon and then two 300mm zoom shots of the waves breaking on the distant headland with the Fuji bridge camera: the quality from this zoom lens is very good indeed, and it handled the subject impeccably.
By now we were ready to return to the caravan for a rest, but couldn't resist dropping down into Criccieth to sample the ice cream from Cadwalladers Ice cream parlour,which isdelicious! I couldnt resist a photo of the castle from the beach

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tuesday 17th June 2008 Splendid Hilltop views

The forecast for today being occasional light showers we decided to stay local and headed west along the coast road though Pwllheli and behind Llanbedrog, to head inland looking for a windill on the map at a place called Foel Fawr. It turned out to be stump on a hilltop, but at least I did come across some rather splendid wild poppies bobbing in the stiff wind, which made them hard to photograph!
After a brief stop fo a cuppa looking down over the yacht dotted Abersoch Bay we turned inland through the narrow, winding and virtually unsignposted back roads to locate the National Trust properties on the seaward side of Mynydd Rhiw, a pretty substantial hill, overlooking Porth Neigwll (Hell's Mouth)
It proved to be well worth the effort and we were rewarded with panoramic views not only of the bay, but the distant mainland mountains too.
With lunchtime drawing near, we continued downhill into Aberdaron and had a rather nice lunch in the cafe on the road near the bridge. Thirty years ago it was a rather down in the mouth residence, now the interior has been "done up" rather well, even the old loft has turned into period rooms with tables and chairs.
We enjoyed a "Coronation Chicken" baked potato with salad garnish out on the roofspace next to the loft in the sunshine, if you happen to be passing, it's well worth a try!
There was more attractive scenery to enjoy as we followed the coast road back via Llanengan and stopped for a view of the beach at hells mouth, but with a strong on shore wind, it was a bit like being in a sandblaster, so our stay was a short one!

Monday, June 16, 2008

16th June: A trip to Anglesey

Our fancy today was a tour on Anglesey, and we set off in bright sunshine, across to Criccieth, then up to Caernarvon. We stopped to fill up, as we had expected that there would be fuel shortages due to the tanker drivers strike, but found in fact that there wasn't a problem, at least around here,.
We turned off the main Holyhead road and took to the little side roads to Aberffraw where I used both the Fuji bridge camera for this shot,
And the Nikon DSLR for this one.
After a short walk round we continued along the coast to Rosneigr, and found that it was very quiet there, presumably because the main season hasn't yet begun, it certainly seemed a bit of a ghost town! we walked along the beach quite briskly as the sun had gone in and there was a quite strong and cold wind off the sea.
Trearddur Bay was our next stop but we couldn't get parked near the Promenade, as it was being dug up by JCB's and there were cones and traffic lights everywhere, so I just took a shot from the road and we drove a little further in the direction of Holyhead till we came to a small cove called Porth Dafarch where not only can you park off road with a view of the bay for no charge, but it has a toilet block too.
WE parked up and ate our packed lunch and enjoyed the view, even the RAF Air Sea rescue helicopter buzzed the cove and I got a couple of shots with the Fuji Bridge Camera at maimum 300 mm zoom, which demonstrate well just what it is capable of!
Naturally I also took in a general view of the cove with the Nikon too.
By this time it was mid afternoon, and time for us to make our way back, as we had some food shopping to do in Pwlleli on our way back to camp.