It was my last morning, and I woke to more sunshine and yet more wind, though thankfully it wasn't as bad as the previous night. I wondered how the awning had fared - was it still intact or had it collapsed under the battering it got? I hadn't been disturbed by anything during the night so I assumed it was ok, and when I pulled back the van curtains I was more than relieved to see that it was perfectly fine, still standing and without any damage - though I'm not sure whether that owed more to my pegging skills or the excellent quality of the awning. A bit of both I suppose!
First things first, a dog walk to get me in the mood for breakfast. There was a path from the rocks at the very bottom of the site which led round the cliff in the direction of Moelfre - I remembered that the very first time I had been to Anglesey I had walked round there and discovered a ruined cottage on a headland but I had never been that way since, so a walk in that direction was long overdue. I kept the dogs on the lead to start with, which turned out to be a good idea as the path was very narrow in places with a steep drop of what must have been near enough a hundred feet down into the sea. The walk was very pleasant, especially on the more sheltered stretches where I was out of the wind, though it seemed to take forever to get to the headland with the cottage - I'm sure it wasn't that far when I'd been before! Eventually though the bushes bordering the path thinned out and got less and I could see the headland not too far ahead - another couple of bends in the path and I had arrived.
There was a rocky cove just to my right and in the distance beyond the headland I could see the little bay and the private cove I had been to last year; further round than that was Moelfre village with its lifeboat station and island just offshore. The ruined cottage was still on the headland - well I don't think it was really a ruin, rather it was more half-built and not completed and I did wonder why. It would have been a great place to live, surrounded by great views, but maybe the headland was too exposed to the elements and whoever was building it had a radical re-think half way through - or maybe they just ran out of money. There was a bench seat over the far side of the headland, and as it was now safe to let the dogs off the lead to explore I sat there for a while just taking in the view in front of me. It wasn't long though before my thoughts turned to breakfast, which was by now rather overdue, so calling the dogs and putting them back on the lead I made my way back along the headland path and returned to the awning.
With breakfast over and everything washed and put away it was time to start packing up - a job which I didn't want to do when the weather was so good. Wherever I camp, if the weather is good I always wish I could stay till the sun stops shining but unfortunately work gets in the way. So with the dogs on their beds out of harm's way I made a start and half an hour later I was ready for taking the awning down. I left it attached to the van until I'd got all the pegs out, only releasing it at the last minute - and in spite of the wind I didn't have too much trouble taking the poles out and folding it up. After collecting up all the tent pegs and checking round the pitch there was nothing left to do but dispose of my rubbish and put the dogs in the van - and by the looks on their faces they knew they were going home.
I didn't leave Benllech straight away though - as has become the custom over the years I drove down to the beach to take the dogs for a final walk before the drive home. And what a sight met my eyes - the very high winds of the previous night must have caused the waves to hit the sea wall with such force that quite a long stretch of the promenade was completely covered in a thick carpet of seaweed which stretched halfway across the road and crunched under my tyres as I drove along. Of all the times I've stayed in Benllech I've never seen that before!
Parking up on a clear stretch of promenade I put the dogs on their leads and made my way to the 'dogs allowed' part of the beach before letting them off for a last run round. It was still very windy but the sunshine more than made up for it and it was quite pleasant walking along by the water's edge. All too soon though it was time to go so I made my way back to the van and settled the dogs in the back, then with a cd to sing along to I drove away from the beach for the last time - but as I left Benllech behind I was already thinking about places to go on my next visit, and hoping it wouldn't be too long before I returned.
- Hi! I'm Eunice and I live in Bolton, Lancashire, with my two dogs Sophie and Sugar and an assortment of cats - well it used to be Sophie and Sugar, now it's Sophie and Poppie. I first began camping back in 1997 when my then partner took me to Anglesey for my birthday weekend. We slept in the back of the car - a hatchback - using the cushions off the settee at home as a mattress, and cooked and brewed up on a single burner camping stove. The site was good, the views were great, the weather fantastic and I was completely hooked. Following that weekend we got a two-man tent and some proper accessories and returned to Anglesey two weeks later, then over time we progressed to a three-man tent followed by an old trailer tent, then a new trailer tent, a campervan and finally a caravan. When my partner decided that the grass was greener on the other side of the street - literally - in April 2009 and I suddenly found myself alone after fifteen years, I decided there was no way I was going to give up camping and caravanning if I could cope on my own. This blog is the story of my travels, trials and tribulations since becoming a solo camper - I hope you like it