From the boot sale I went straight up the A5 to Valley, where I stopped off at the Stermat store and once again found exactly the thing I was looking for, then drove across the embankment to Penrhos coastal park where I parked up facing the bay and got my usual cheeseburger from Pete's Burger Bar - a stay on Anglesey just wouldn't be complete without one of those. With lunch over I took the dogs for a quick walk round the nearby duck pond then set off to Four Mile Bridge, the first place I wanted to photograph.
There's only one thing wrong with photography at Four Mile Bridge - there's nowhere to park unless you pull onto the pavement in front of someone's house, which is exactly what I did. The house owner was actually in his front garden so rather than just leave the van I did ask if it was okay to park there and he said it was, as long as I left room for him to get his own car out, which I had done anyway, so I thanked him and went for a wander with the camera.
The bridge itself is one of three which connect the Holy Island part of Anglesey to the rest of the island, though it's actually less than 150yds long; the name comes from the distance it is from Holyhead. My first two shots were taken from one side of the bridge, looking towards the mainland, and the second two on the Holyhead side; I didn't wander too far as the next part of my day was the most important - I could very well be in for a fairly long walk and I didn't know just how far I would have to go.
My next mission was to find and photograph Tyger's memorial stone on the cliff top near Rhoscolyn but before I'd even reached the car park by the beach I was beginning to think it was a bad idea. The road to Rhoscolyn is just a single track lane with several sharp right angle bends and no passing places, and with high hedges on both sides it's impossible to see if anything is coming the other way until you meet it on a bend. About halfway down, on one of the bends, is the White Eagle pub/restaurant and it was at that point that I met not one but three cars coming towards me; luckily I was able to pull into the pub car park to let them past, then I reversed out and continued down the lane. Except I hadn't gone more than a few yards when another car came round the bend ahead, so back into the car park I went.
As I had no idea exactly where Tyger's memorial stone was I thought that as I'd had to pull into the pub car park I may as well go inside and ask someone if they could give me directions and luckily one of the bar staff was able to tell me. Getting out of the car park wasn't as easy as getting in though - sure enough as soon as I pulled out into the lane I met two cars and a van coming towards me, and for the third time in about fifteen minutes I had to reverse so they could all get past. This was getting ridiculous,and I was beginning to lose the will to live. Finally though I managed to get a clear run down to the beach car park and my quest to find Tyger's memorial began.
Most of my route was to follow the Anglesey Coastal Path and the first part took me past Rhoscolyn beach and through a small hamlet of houses before hitting open fields and grassland. Across the first field the land rose sharply ahead of me with 'steps' up the hill cut into the earth; when I got to the top I could see the coastguard lookout in front of me and when I turned round I was rewarded with a good view of Rhoscolyn beach, the hamlet I'd just come through, and Rhosneiger in the distance, with the Snowdonia mountains in the background.
From the coastguard lookout I got a lovely view of Gull's Islands and the Rhoscolyn beacon; the terrain went downhill again from there and a bit further on I came to the ancient St. Gwenfaen's Well. A nearby drystone wall went up over the next hill and the path followed it closely, with the terrain and the coastline becoming more rocky as I went along. Down the other side and ahead of me was Pink Bay, so called because of the pink colour of some parts of the cliff face, and the path skirted round this cove and over another short incline before crossing more open and less rocky land.
I'd been told that at that point I wouldn't be too far from Tyger's memorial, though I would have to look for it as it wasn't immediately obvious. I walked on a bit further then ahead of me and to the right, a distance away from the path, I saw a long line of stones crossing the open land; other large stones and boulders were dotted about here and there but the shape of a certain one caught my eye so I went over to take a look. And that was the one I was searching for - Tyger's memorial. With no indication anywhere that it was there, anyone not knowing Tyger's story (see my post of Friday June 5th) would quite easily continue along the designated path without ever seeing it.
A large slab of stone with a flat surface, it had been turned on its end and sunk into the ground. It was less than 3ft tall and had a simple inscription chiselled into its surface, though there was no indication as to who Tyger was or why the stone was there. Situated where it was, close to many others of the same kind, it was a very ordinary piece of stone but it signified so much.
Sitting on the grass in the warm sunshine with my own two dogs at my feet, I spent several minutes thinking about Tyger and the reason why the memorial was there. Growing about twenty yards away were several large patches of wild flowers so before I left I went across and picked a small posy then laid it in front of the stone in memory of a very brave dog who gave his life to help his master and crew.
I didn't know how far it was from the beach car park to Tyger's memorial - and I still don't, in spite of trying to find out from several different sources - but the walk took me an hour, including the few brief stops for photographs; at the speed I walk I would guess it may be between one-and-a-half and two miles, although because of the undulating terrain and meandering path it seemed to be longer than that. It took about the same length of time to walk the route in reverse and it was 6.30pm by the time I got back to the van; as time was getting on I decided against going somewhere else and just set off for 'home'. This time I had no trouble with any oncoming traffic on the lane through Rhoscolyn and the drive back to the main road was completely hazard free.
Back at the tent I made a brew and a sandwich and spent the rest of the evening relaxing; the few weekend campers who had arrived on Friday had gone while I'd been out so I was back to having the camp site to myself again. The dogs were tired out after their long afternoon out so the bedtime walk that night was a short one, and as I settled down into bed later on it was with the satisfaction that, although it had been totally unplanned until two days before, another of my quests had been completed.