About Me

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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

Sunday June 10th 2012 - Llynnon Mill, Holyhead and Cemlyn Bay

The weather had changed yet again that morning and I was presented with blue sky, fluffy white clouds and warm sunshine, and with no hint of the previous rain of the last three days. Over breakfast 'al fresco' I pondered on where to go for my final full day; the photography book suggested Llynnon Mill as a good subject on a nice day and as I'd never been there before - or even heard of it until reading the book - I decided to start off at the car boot sale over on the showground then drive up and check out the mill and think of somewhere else after that.

When I got to the car boot sale I found only about half the usual number of stalls there so it didn't take long to walk round. I was still hoping I might find a mouse for my collection but just as on previous occasions I was out of  luck, though I did buy a book about a cat. It was the picture on the front cover which attracted me - a grey stripey kitten with ears which were folded over so much it looked almost as if it had no ears at all. The book was new, and as I like true animal stories and it only cost £1 I couldn't not buy it, though it was only when I got back to the van and looked at the inside front cover that I realised that I wouldn't be able to read it for some time - it was the third one in a series of three so it would be pointless until I had read the other two first. So that would be my next mission - look out for the others as I was on my various travels.

From the showground I drove up the A5 in the Holyhead direction then turned off into a B road, following the photography book's directions to Llynnon Mill. It seemed to take ages to get there and as I followed the twists and turns of the narrow country lanes I began to wonder if I would ever find it, but eventually I saw it a couple of fields away as I rounded a bend in the lane. When I pulled into the car park the first thing I saw was a notice saying that dogs weren't allowed in the grounds, but I wouldn't be staying long anyway as I only wanted to take a few photos. I was destined to be disappointed with my first shot however; the photo in the book showed a very colourful flower border in the foreground, but although there were a few flowers here and there they were more of the wild variety rather than the coloured heathers and rock plants shown in the book. In the field next door to the mill were some mock Iron Age dwellings which showed how farmers from that time lived, but as I would have to pay to get in I just wandered round the grounds and took several photos of the mill from different angles.

The mill was situated in an area of land which was slightly higher than that which surrounded it and as I'd driven along the nearby lane I'd noticed over the tops of the hedges that Holyhead wasn't too far away so I decided to make that my next stop. The book had suggested the Celtic Gateway Bridge as a good subject to photograph, although the examples given had been taken at night when the bridge was lit up; I'd no intention of waiting several hours until nightfall though so it remained to be seen if I could get some interesting daytime shots of it.

It didn't take long to get from Llynnon Mill to Holyhead and as I drove under the bridge I saw an almost empty car park just on the left providing a very convenient place to stop, so I pulled in there, got a ticket from the machine, and with the dogs on their leads set off to get creative with the camera. The bridge was certainly unusual in many aspects and I took several shot of various bits of it from different angles; I don't know what the huge pointed thing was supposed to be but viewed from underneath it reminded me of a giant whalebone, and from the bottom the steps to the top looked rather like the stairway to heaven though nowhere near as fancy.

With the bridge photos done I went back to the car park and climbed the nearby steps to the grounds of St. Cybi's church which was another suggestion in the book, and my first photo there was taken from underneath the trees in exactly the same spot but with a bit more overhead foliage. There wasn't really anything much to see other than the church so with just four shots from different angles I made my way back to the van; the time was almost up on my ticket anyway and as there was nothing else to see in that vicinity I decided to drive round to the promenade near the marina and have a walk along there. Parking was free along the promenade and I was lucky enough to find a space but I wasn't there very long; with lawned areas on each side of the road and tubs of flowers here and there it was a very pleasant place but there was nothing really exciting to take photos of, so three shots and I was back in the van and on the way to my next port of call.

I couldn't pass through Holyhead without calling to see Louise, who I'd got to know through UKCS, so I made my way round there but found there was no-one in; her next door neighbour told me she had gone shopping, so not knowing when she would be back I wrote and posted her a brief note then drove the few minutes down the road to Penrhos for a cheeseburger - well it would be a sin to drive past without stopping for one wouldn't it?! It was while I was eating my burger - which I managed to do without dropping any onions - that Louise sent me a text; she had arrived home and read my note, and though it wasn't far for me to go back I knew she would be busy so I put my visit on hold until another time. Anyway, the tide was well in in the bay and Penrhos looked much more attractive than it had done in the grey weather a few days previously, so with the burger finished I took the dogs for a walk along the path and snapped a couple of photos.

My next stop was at Sandy Beach round the other side of the bay; I'd been there last year but the weather had been quite dull so I wanted to see if it looked any nicer in the sunshine - it did, marginally, but as there was nothing there only a huge caravan site I only stayed long enough to get a couple of photos, in fact I didn't even take the dogs out of the van for that one. On the way back to the main road I passed a quaint little chapel situated on an 'island' at the junction of two lanes; it was the brightly coloured wild flowers growing all round the perimiter wall which attracted me so I pulled up on the nearby grass verge and took a couple of shots before continuing on my way.

My final stop was at Cemlyn Bay; it was one of the few places on the island which I hadn't been to before so I didn't know what, if anything, would be there. The winding country lane from the main road ended in a small rough-surfaced car park belonging to the National Trust and it seemed that much of the area was a designated nature reserve. A long sloping shingle ridge separated the sea from a large inland lagoon which was home to a variety of seabirds, and clumps of colourful coastal plants were growing from the shingle. With no-one else around, and nothing but the sound of the sea lapping the shore and the calling of various birds on the lagoon it was a really peaceful place to be, and with no dog restrictions on the beach, other than to keep them away from the immediate area of the lagoon, I was able to let Sophie and Sugar run free. I walked along the water's edge for quite a distance before turning round and heading back to the van; it was well after 7pm by then and time to think about going back to the camp site.

When I finally arrived back at my pitch I found that the lads from the tent across the field had packed up and gone, and other than one tent pitched near the top corner I had all that section of the field to myself so I would certainly be having a very quiet night. I spent the rest of the evening watching a bit of tv then when the daylight faded I took the dogs for their pre-bedtime walk before settling them down for the night and taking myself off to my own bed. I'd had a lovely day, the weather had stayed nice for me and I'd got some good photos so it was a good way to end my holiday - and if it rained the following day, well it didn't really matter as I would be going home.

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