The road from Abergele itself toTowyn was pleasant enough but it soon became more commercialised, with large holiday sites spread out on each side, a fairground and various shops, cafes and amusement places - not an area where I personally would stay but good for families with kids. At the far side of Rhyl I drove through Prestatyn, again passing several holiday and static caravan sites, then the road turned inland; about half a mile further on I saw a sign for the beach so I thought I may as well take a look, and I ended up in what I thought was a most peculiar little place.
A narrow lane with bungalows on one side and a grass verge and deep ditch on the other ran from the main road for about a mile; towards the end I passed yet another holiday site and a small amusement place, a small cafe, a garden/household centre and a takeaway place, and eventually came to a car park with a pub/restaurant at the far end of it. It was far too cold and windy to take the dogs for anything like a decent walk so I left them in the van while I went for a look round. There was nothing much to see really, the road ended in a grassy bank with another cafe just down below it and miles of salt marsh at the far side of it - if this was the 'beach' then it seemed to be completely devoid of any sand. The cafe was advertising fish, chips and mushy peas for a special price and as I was feeling quite peckish by then I decided to go and have a proper meal rather than coffee and cake - but this turned out to be just as peculiar as the place I was in.
There were no customers in the cafe and just two staff who both totally ignored me for quite a while until I actually spoke to the one who was wiping the tables over; eventually she took my order though it was obvious from her air of reluctance that she felt like I was an intrusion and was probably wishing I wasn't there, then when my meal finally arrived it was minus the mushy peas. Now fish and chips without mushy peas could very nearly be classed as a reason to start World War 3 - it just wasn't on! So I went over to the counter and asked, only to be told that there were none available; what a let-down! And why advertise what you haven't got?? So I ate my meal without the peas, paid my bill at the counter on my way out and went back to the van, wishing that I'd gone to the pub/restaurant instead and deciding that I would probably never to set foot in this strange little place ever again.
Back on the main road again I followed it for several miles without finding anywhere or anything of interest; I couldn't even see the estuary, which was why I was driving along there in the first place, and I was, theoretically, heading towards home so before I got too far I turned off onto a minor road and headed towards the A55. The road wound steeply up a hillside and through a couple of small villages, and the higher up I got the more snow there was piled up on the pavements and grass verges, though the road itself was clear and I reached the A55 without incident. Heading back towards Abergele I decided on the spur of the moment to stop off at an old church set back off the road itself.
Known locally as the Marble Church, St. Margaret's at Bodelwyddan is a Victorian church in the French Gothic style, and though it's built mainly from limestone it does have an appearance of white marble, especially when the sun is shining on it. I've passed it many times on my journeys to and from Anglesey and often wondered if it was as nice inside as it looked from the outside, and I wasn't disappointed; it was a beautiful place and the stained glass windows were lovely - the photos I got certainly didn't do it justice.
After signing the guest book I made my way back to the van and headed back to Manorafon where I took Sophie and Sugar for a walk as far as the castle and back. The rest of the afternoon and evening were spent reading and watching a bit of tv, then as the time crept up to 11pm I took the dogs for their last walk of the day before retreating to my bed. It had been a funny old day somehow; it was a pity that the weather had let me down for what I originally intended to do, especially as it was the last day of my break, but I hadn't really wasted the day. I'd seen inside a lovely old church and still got a few photos, and as Manorafon is fast becoming one of my favourite camp sites I know there'll be plenty of future opportunities for me to take the photos I want.