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 May 6th 2012 - Penrhos and Holyhead

I woke that morning to the sound of light rain on the van roof and when I looked out of the window it was to see a very cloudy and grey sky, however by the time I'd taken the dogs for a walk and had some breakfast (the power was back on again) it had come fine and the sky was brightening up a bit. My first port of call that day was the car boot sale over on the Anglesey showground then I intended to make my way up to Holyhead - there were some good photographic suggestions in my book and it was also one place I hadn't so far explored.

My mission at the car boot sale, apart from looking for mice, was to find some aerosol-type gas canisters for my portable stove; I usually have half a dozen in my camping box but only had two left so I needed to top up my supply. However, the camping accessory stall where I would have got them from wasn't there and though I walked all round the sale twice there was no-one else selling them so I was out of luck; there were no mice either, but I did find a murder mystery book which looked very interesting so that was my one and only purchase. By the time I left the showground the clouds were clearing, the sky was turning blue and the sun was shining, and with hardly any traffic on the road (everyone uses the A55) my drive up the A5 was a very pleasant one. My next stop was the Stermat store up at Valley, I was sure I would get some gas canisters there as they sold camping accessories, but once again I was out of luck - and I think of all the times I've been in there that's the very first time I've not actually got what I went in for. I did find some spare guy line though, a vast quantity on a roll for only £1.69, and as I needed some anyway it meant that my stop wasn't a total waste of time.

From Stermat I drove the relatively short distance to Penrhos coastal park and as I approached along the causeway I could see that the board advertising Pete's Burger Bar was on the pavement near the entrance - that would do for me, a visit to that part of Anglesey just wouldn't be right without having a cheeseburger from there. First though was a dog walk, so with the van parked facing the view of the bay I let Sophie and Sugar out from the back and set off along the path, stopping every so often to take a photo. By the time I'd reached the bay at the far side of the white house built out on its rocky promontory I was feeling ready for a coffee and a cheeseburger so I turned round there and made my way back to the van.

When I went over to the catering van to order my cheeseburger and coffee I noticed that the printed extract from one of my last year's blog pages was still stuck in the side window - I hadn't expected that after all this time, I thought it would have been taken out ages ago, but Pete (who isn't actually called Pete) said he'd had quite a lot of people reading it so he'd left it there. I had to wait while my burger was freshly cooked and prepared but it was worth the wait; it was, as always, excellent, and if there ever comes a time when Michelin stars are awarded for cheeseburgers then Pete's Burger Bar deserves a top rating. And for anyone reading this and wondering what's so good about these things, I can only suggest that you go to Anglesey and try one - you won't be disappointed!

Back on the road again I drove along towards Holyhead and followed the streets and avenues down towards the ferry terminal - I was hoping to get a couple of photos of one of the huge passenger ferries but without going into the terminal itself I couldn't find anywhere convenient to park, so I drove down to the fishing dock to see if there was anything interesting there. A handful of fishing boats made a splash of colour in the harbour and after taking a few shots - which were nothing to do with my book - I set off again, this time to Breakwater Country Park at the far side of Holyhead marina.

I hadn't heard of Breakwater Country Park until I read the book so I was looking forward to seeing what was there, if anything, and also re-creating one of the featured photos. The approach to the park was via a long country lane which made a for very pleasant drive, and when I finally got to the end I found an information centre and car park - and it must have been my lucky day as the ticket machine was covered over, and when I went to ask in the information centre I was told it was out of order so parking was free that day. With the dogs on the lead and my book in hand I set out to walk round the nearby lake, and almost immediately I came to the spot where one of the book's photos was taken from - although there was a difference in the time of day, and the surface of the water was rippled in places by the breeze instead of being still, I nevertheless managed to get a photo near enough identical to the one in the book, then with the camera at the ready for shooting any other scenes I thought looked nice I set off on a circuit of the lake. It wasn't a big lake so it didn't take very long to walk round but I got several goods shots from various points, and I have to admit I was quite impressed with the place.

Close to the spot where I'd started from was a gate leading onto a lane and a short distance along was a rough steep track leading up to the top of Holyhead mountain; according to the book there were some spectacular views from up there so, nothing ventured nothing gained, I decided to walk up and take a look. However, when I was only part way up I turned to look back and the view I got from there was good enough - immediately below me on the left was a patchwork of fields bordered by the very rocky coastline, and on the right was the country park. In front of me I could see the marina and the one-and-a-half mile long breakwater with its lighthouse at the end, and in the distance to the right the silver-white chimney of Anglesey Aluminium rose up above the roof tops. With a couple of photos taken I made my way back down the path and returned to the van - the next stop was the breakwater itself, although I had no intention of walking right out to the end; I would save that for another time.

The breakwater was reached down a bumpy track off the lane leading from the country park, and just before I got to the breakwater itself I pulled up and parked at the side of the track. Another lane emerged onto the track just there and on the corner was a motley collection of derelict stone buildings - they looked like two rows of small cottages set at right angles to each other and what would have been a much larger house, and they were bordered on two sides by a high ivy-covered stone wall with towers set at strategic points. There was no indication as to what they would once have been - a manor house maybe with adjacent servants' quarters? - and as they were surrounded by steel mesh security fences I was unable to take a photo so I had to make do with a shot of one of the towers. With a few shots of the marina taken from the beginning of the breakwater I retraced my route down the track and the lane and found somewhere to park so I could look round the marina from the other side.

Those were to be my last shots of the day as time was getting on and I was ready for a brew, however as I drove through Holyhead towards the A55 - I was going back to Benllech the fast way for once - I suddenly decided to call on Louise who I had visited last year. I didn't really expect her to be in; with it being a bank holiday weekend she would quite probably be away camping herself, but it wasn't really out of my way to call. With the route remembered from last year I found her house easily and I was quite surprised when I found she was in; I think she was just as surprised to see me too. She invited me in and with a mug of coffee to hand we sat down for a good chinwag; time flew by and before I knew it it was 8pm and time to leave if I wanted to get back to the camp site before it went dark. I'd spent a good couple of hours in good company, with the only 'downside' being that as I left Louise told me it would be raining all the following day - I wasn't sure if she was joking or being serious but it wasn't something I really wanted to hear!

Going down the A55 and through Llangefni was the quickest way back to Benllech; it was a pleasant drive in the remains of the evening sunlight and in half an hour I was back on the site with the awning connected to the van. The evening had turned quite chilly once the sun went down though so I was happy to find that the power was on and I could use my fan heater, however it wasn't to last; just before 9.30 the light went off and the fan heater and fridge died a death, and I knew that once again I would be having an early night. So with the dogs walked for the last time that day and my hot water bottle to keep me cosy I was snuggled into my bed by 10pm. And thank goodness I'd bought that book from the car boot sale - I'd finished my other one at breakfast that morning, so at least with the light from my camping lantern I'd have something to while away the time until I drifted off to sleep.