Monday, 14 May 2012

Working through the Weekend

"No rest for the wicked." I am told that the phrase does not exist in Welsh because all Welsh people go to Heaven! The closest I could get to it was "Dw i ddim wedi cael amser i boeri!"
Or in English "I haven't had time to spit!"
Or, in deference to our overseas guests at the moment; "Je n'ai pas eu le temps de cracher!" in French (according to Google Translate anyway).

I can’t pretend that we have to work all that hard over the winter months (except to keep dry and warm), but when spring comes it is a 7 day week here in North Wales and from sun up to sun down. Saturday saw me taking Marion and Gregory, our French journalists, out on the north coast of Llŷn. We took some great photos and a video in brilliant sunshine.

Pennlech is a huge beach, a mile and a half long. It is second on Pen Llŷn only to Porth Neigwl at 5 miles long. When the wind is from the south it is beautifully sheltered-unfortunately not today!

Gregory was very impressed by the unspoilt scenery “Don’t let anyone mess it up. Please!”

After Porth Towyn (Tudweiliog) as you head West the coastline becomes very rocky. The Oyster catchers and the Shags and Cormorants were thriving.

In the days of sailing ships, when vessels would tack back and forth across Caernarfon bay and the Irish sea, many craft came to grief here when captains miscalculated how far they had gone on a particular tack. This meant unexpected booty for the locals-food, sores and luxury items were often in the cargo.

Inland the fields were bursting with new life, ewes with their lambs. Whenever they were disturbed their chorus of bleating protest seemed to drown out the sound of the whistling wind. Just once we came across a ploughed field, one ploughed into what the poet, RS Thomas called “a stiff sea of clods that glint in the wind” But RS’s archetypal figure, Iago Prytherch, was nowhere to be seen-his successors were probably watching Manchester City on the box!

First thing Sunday we had the bad news that the Bardsey Boat would not be sailing due to high winds forecast for later in the day. “I could take you” said Colin, the boatman, “but you wouldn’t get back” Our French journalists instead opted for a walk along the South coast of Pen Llŷn-Penyfynedd to Abersoch. Well, they certainly looked the part!

Then it was off to Conwy (fourth visit in a fortnight) to meet Monique and Chris Vercruysse who are described as “De Kampeertoerist”, that is to say enthusiastic Campervan tourists.

Monique and Chris had traveled from Belgium to Hull on the ferry and had driven on the motorways through to Conwy. We met up at the RSPB nature reserve (see post on April 26th) for coffee and Bara Brith and the staff there were brilliant, all bird enthusiasts and happy to tell us about the species that were resident there and about the visitors which include an occasional Red Kite. I can’t recommend this place enough. It was created only 15 years or so ago as a result of the earth movements and estuary clearances from the construction of the A55 and the tunnel under the Conwy which was one of the largest river crossing projects of its time. The reserve has been created on the site of the settling pools.

No visit to Conwy is complete without walking the walls of the old fortified town.

Or without seeing the mighty castle which sported a falconry demonstration during our visit
Ever popular with tourists is the smallest house in Britain.

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