Parking the van - a free car park this time - I let the dogs out from the back and went off for a wander along the shore to the harbour. The tide was out just beyond the end of the harbour wall and a handful of fishing boats were beached on the flat wet sand, with half a dozen upturned dinghies lying on the finer sand nearer the dunes. An ice cream van was parked near the harbour wall though there was hardly anyone around to buy anything, just a couple of people walking a dog and a family sitting at one of the picnic tables. I walked out along the harbour wall to the end where I snapped a couple of photos before retracing my steps, stopping at the ice cream van to treat myself to a cornet then letting the dogs have a run along the top end of the beach before returning to the van.
Setting off once more I drove back through the village to the main road and continued south, but where to next? There was another little place a bit further along the coast which I considered going to but then I remembered there was quite a steep lane down to it and absolutely nothing there except a beach so I decided to give that one a miss and head across land instead. I don't know how many miles I travelled but eventually I came to a T junction where a left turn would take me to Pwllheli and a right turn would take me to Abersoch, so as I'd never been to Abersoch before I opted to go in that direction. The road closely followed the coast which made for a nice drive down the eastern side of the peninsula, and when I finally reached Abersoch itself I was very pleasantly surprised by what I saw - it looked to be a lovely little place. Following the signs for parking I drove through the little town and came to a private car park with a very reasonable parking fee - paying for my ticket at the kiosk I got chatting to the guy in charge and it turned out that he was a very keen amateur photographer and quite willing to give me some suggestions for taking photos around the area, so armed with some 'inside knowledge' I collected the dogs from the back of the van and set off to explore.
Walking down the hill from the car park brought me back to the main road; a river came from somewhere inland and flowed under the road towards the beach where it crossed the sand and joined the sea. Boats were pulled up onto the grassy banks or were beached in the shallows, and on each side of the river was a hard standing with many more boats on trailers. It all made for a very attractive scene and I couldn't resist taking several photos.
On a bend in the road was the Hardware Shack, a single storey white wooden building selling hardware, gifts and beach toys, and a bit further along were a couple of takeaways and a large powerboat centre. Passing the boat hard standing my eye was caught by a Fordson Major tractor parked by the fence - it had no seat, only one wing, no bonnet, cowl or radiator, and the bodywork had definitely seen better days, but it had brand new tyres on all four wheels. Someone's restoration project maybe? I don't know, but having played a big part in the restoration of a couple of vintage tractors several years ago I would have loved to get my hands on this one and finish the job!
Just past the boat area a sandy track led me down to the beach; on my left the sand curved round to a tree-covered rocky outcrop and on the right, where the river flowed out to the sea, was a harbour wall and a handful of boats anchored in the sand, waiting for the tide to return. Looking past the rocky outcrop on my left I could see part of another beach so I decided to head over in that direction to see exactly what was round the corner - and what I found was a long stretch of fine sand backed by steeply sloping dunes and populated by several families enjoying the early evening sunshine. After snapping a couple of photos I turned and headed back in the direction I'd just come from - the tide was starting to come in, creeping rapidly and stealthily across the sand, and where I had walked only ten minutes or so previously was now covered in shallow water. It was easy to see just how people can get stranded by an incoming tide, so not wanting to be one of them I stuck to walking by the high water mark on my way back to the lane. By the time I had reached the far side of the river the sea had come in to such an extent that the previously grounded boats near the harbour wall were now almost floating - I would have liked to stay and see how the scenery changed with the advancing tide but by then it was almost 7pm and I had quite a distance to drive back to the camp site, so reluctantly I made my way back to the van.
The drive back to the camp site took about an hour - I experienced a very hairy couple of minutes having the van rocked by the high wind as I crossed Britannia bridge from the mainland onto Anglesey, but other than that it was very pleasant in the evening sunshine. Back at the awning I fed Sophie and Sugar and made myself a sandwich and a brew, and apart from a brief late night dog walk round the adjoining field I didn't venture out again. I'd had a lovely day exploring places both old and new - Abersoch had really impressed me, and as I hadn't seen it all I knew it was a place I would be going back to in the not-too-distant future.