Steaming engines

A beautiful drive from Barmouth up the coast and a rather nice spot to stop for lunch with a view.

Welsh A roads can be a bit smaller than you might expect. We’ve driven on a couple that have led us to check the map and then check it again – have we lost our way and ended up on a white worm – our name for the unclassified roads on our trucker’s road map. No, this really is the A road still, even though we barely fit in our lane and there aren’t many places we would be happy meeting a bus coming in the opposite direction, especially with very attractive, but rather hard, stone walls along the edge of the road.

I was a bit slow with this photo – I didn’t get a chance to catch the bin lorry that had come hurtling around the corner in our lane. We both got a bit of a surprise. On the upside, the roads are very well maintained – it is noticeable crossing from England to Wales and we’ve barely found a pothole. Cue mutterings about English taxes being used to pay for Welsh services etc etc. Well, chin up – we won our rugby game (just), they lost theirs!

As we drove away from our lunch spot, the water temp warning light came on. Right. Goodo. Then it went out again. Yippee! The temperature still seemed a bit high and we remembered that we had lost a bit of water when the engine overheated during our bog adventure, so we decided we would find somewhere sensible to pull over and top up the radiator.

Where is a good lay-by when you need one? Nowhere to be found, that’s where. Never mind, we are just about to come into Portmadog, so there is bound to be somewhere we can pull up there.
Oh, great – the first traffic jam we have come across in months. The traffic is moving fast enough that we can’t switch the engine off, but slowly enough that the temperature keeps creeping up. We get to the end of the queue only to have to wait again at the steam train level crossing – oh, the irony as the steaming engine puffs by.

Fortunately, we make it to a supermarket carpark before disaster strikes, mainly because D refused to stop again even at roundabouts and traffic lights. Only kidding Mums!

I was sent off to the car parts place down the road to buy coolant. Apparently there is blue coolant and red coolant – you learn something every day. I swallowed my pride and admitted to the guy in the shop that I had no idea which I needed. He asked what engine we had and I think I impressed him when I knew the answer. He explained that one offered 2 years protection (protection of what from what, I wondered) and the other offered 5 years. He asked how old the motorhome was. ’20 years old’, I said. ‘Er, I think 2 years will do you’, he replied.

Cooled down and topped up, Hans was happy again and got us to our campsite without any further mishaps. We could do with a few mishap-free days.



Hello fellow blogfolk. We are back from the wild west and catching up with your travels after a couple of weeks away. I couldn’t help but comment on Portmadog. Would that be just up the road from Carrymacat and round the corner from Dropmadonkey perhaps? Wonderful scenery, regardless of problem names. I’m glad the place-name people here didn’t go for the difficult ones. We have Carnarvon, Aberglasslyn and the like, but luckily not the tongue-twisters.

Categories: Hans, UK | Leave a comment

Post navigation

Witty comments, cutting remarks or questions?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at