Not far from Trearddur Bay, and just along the coast, was the small bay of Porth Dafarch; I'd photographed the place a few times in previous years but as I was driving past it anyway I decided to stop for a quick wander round. It looked pretty much the same as the last time I was there, though as part of a beach access improvement scheme a section of the high wall bordering the beach itself had recently been taken away and wide concrete steps put in its place, making it easier for people to get down onto the sand and also providing somewhere to sit. With just a couple of shots taken I returned to the van and continued on to South Stack.
Parking in the top car park at South Stack I walked down towards Ellins Tower RSPB lookout and the lighthouse, but if I was hoping to see the cliff top awash with bright yellow gorse I was destined to be disappointed. For some reason the whole area from Ellins Tower right across to the bottom car park was completely grey; with no gorse, heather or pretty rock plants growing in various crevices the place was totally devoid of any colour and looked very much like the aftermath of a moorland fire. It was completely different to when I'd first gone there four years ago - back then there had been large random patches of yellow gorse among the greenery and clumps of pink and purple flowers growing from cracks in the rocks; now the only flowers I saw were in a few isolated patches as I went towards the lighthouse.
As it was far too warm to leave the dogs in the van for any length of time I couldn't go down to the lighthouse itself so with just the one photo taken I made my way back to the van. Unable to think of anywhere else to go, and with the afternoon getting late, I decided to head back to the camp site via the A5025 which would take me round the north and east side of the island - it was a long way round but it would be a very scenic and pleasant drive in the sunshine.
As I approached the turn-off for Cemaes Bay I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to go down to the little village; it had been a couple of years since I was last there but the harbour is such a photogenic place that I couldn't resist making a return visit for some more shots. As I walked down to the beach from where I'd parked the van by the roadside I noticed a strange-looking structure on the sand, which hadn't been there on my last visit. A closer look showed that it was a 'sculpture' of two bells, one on top of the other and supported by a frame anchored firmly to the beach, and an information board on the promenade wall said that this was a Time and Tide Bell, one of twelve being installed at various places around the UK. Cast in aluminium bronze and situated permanently at the high water line the movement of the waves at high tide will move the clapper to strike the bell, supposedly producing a musical sound.
The sea was already well on the retreat from the most recent high tide and I had no chance of hearing the bell for myself that day, so with my curiosity satisfied as to what the structure actually was I left the beach and made my way round to the little harbour. As usual the place gave me plenty to photograph so I wandered round for quite a while, then with several shots taken I made my way back to the van.
The rest of the drive back to the camp site was very pleasant in the early evening sun and though I could have stopped for photos at another couple of places en route I resisted the temptation - my lunch time cheeseburger had finally worn off and I was looking forward to a sandwich with a good brew. It was well after 7pm when I finally arrived back at the tent, then with the sandwich and brew duly made and still no other campers on site I settled in for a nice quiet evening and final night in the tent.
- 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