We have moved on again and are now staying in a small site just outside Caernarfon. We are being a little more cautious following our bog adventures and so found another site with firm enough ground that we are confident of being able to move – it has meant that we’ve gone out exploring a bit further afield each day in the van.
Yesterday we took a drive down the coast from Caernafon in the search of sun, sea and sand. Our first stop was in a carpark down a tiny lane which we managed to squeeze down. Unfortunately the beach was all pebbles and it was peeing down so we didn’t feel inclined to explore that area fully.
We headed back up the coast and found a great spot at the mouth of the Menai Strait. The beach was huge and we spent a happy couple of hours pottering around. The wind was incredible – we both got free ‘sand-peel’ facials – but the sun came out and it was glorious. The photo above shows a fine layer of dry sand blowing across the wet sand, it looked quite other-worldly. To top it off, there was a huge carpark, so none of the mini-stress we had trying to determine whether we would get out again like we had at the first place!
Today, we decided to head over to Anglesey. We were in the mood for a quiet sort of day, so planned a sight-seeing drive (how very middle-aged of us) on roads we hoped would be OK and wouldn’t be, as D says, a bit of a headf**k.
We started with a visit to a National Trust property, Plas Newydd, which is the ancestral home of the Marquess of Anglesey. It is in a pretty impressive location, with great views over the Menai Strait to Snowdonia. It is looking rather tatty now and lots of areas looked like they could do with some TLC, not least the saloon which had suffered a water leak overnight (from plumbing, not rain), causing damage to furniture, books and paintings.
The most impressive thing in the house was a 58’ (17.7m in new money) long mural in the dining room, painted by Rex Whistler in the late 1930s. The overall feel was of an Italian harbour, but he managed to incorporate various places, buildings, people and pets who were important to the Marquess. He was a master of perspective, so the mountains which from one end of the room look like they take up half the mural and are rounded like those in Snowdonia, from the other end of the room look more compressed and jagged, like the Alps. There are various touches of humour too – one day, during the painting, the Marchioness walked through the dining room looking for her glasses which she had misplaced. He painted them sitting on a harbour step so she would always know where to find them again. He didn’t get on with one of the sons, so painted him rowing a boat with only one oar, so he would just go round and round in circles.
D wasn’t allowed to take a photo of the mural (copyright issues apparently), but did take photos of a few other things which caught his eye, including our walk through the Australasian Arboretum – the eucalypts smelled wonderful!
We did a short tour of the south of Anglesey, but it was getting late and was even windier than it had been yesterday, so we decided to head home. There were some nice views, but the villages are not exactly picturesque. I think it is North Wales that is keeping the pebbledash industry alive and kicking.
We have parked in a more sheltered spot in the campsite as we have taken quite a battering over the last couple of nights and the tail end of a hurricane is meant to be heading our way tonight! Sounds like time for a glass of wine and a couple of episodes of Yes, Minister while we wait for the whole thing to blow over (name that film).
AUSSIE DAD AND JAN
Shaun of the Dead (thank you Mr Google). I like Plas Newydd. Pink bedrooms for the girls and paintings of battles for the boys. Bog on!
AUSSIE DAD AND JAN
By the way, I did notice the recent lack of nerdy facts; so here’s one for you. Today, the tidal variation at Hoylake UK is about the same as Broome WA. That’s about where the similarity ends.