For the second morning I woke up to rain, though the wind had dropped considerably from what it had been the previous night. By mid morning the rain was showing signs of stopping and there was even a few patches of blue appearing in the sky; not wanting to be stuck in the tent for a second day I decided to chance it and go out. I needed to find an RBS bank and as I hadn't seen one in either Corwen or Llangollen I thought there might be one in Barmouth, also I wanted to walk part of the Barmouth Heritage Trail - and maybe the weather would be better on the coast.
Driving down the A494 south of Bala the sun finally came out and changed the surrounding scenery from drab to lovely but unfortunately it didn't last long and I ran into more on/off showery rain. Instead of going straight down to Barmouth when I got to the A470 I turned off onto the A493 and headed for Fairbourne on the other side of the Mawddach estuary; I'd been told it was nice there so in my quest for more photos I thought it would be worth taking a look. The A road was so narrow and winding though that it should have been classed as a B road and it seemed to take forever to get to Fairbourne - and what I found when I got there didn't impress me at all.
The road crossed the main railway line and ran parallel to the shore, with a high bank topped by a concrete sea wall on one side and a few bungalows, a small amusement arcade and a cafe on the other, and it finally ended in a rough-surfaced car park on a spit of land right by the estuary. It seemed to have been a long drive for a whole lot of nothing, and when I got out of the van it hit me - a wind so fierce and so bitterly cold it almost knocked me off my feet and took my breath away. So much for thinking the weather may be better on the coast! No way could I walk the dogs in that, it was far too unpleasant, so I just snapped a long distance shot of Barmouth across one side of the estuary and the hills around Cader Idris on the other side then got back in the van and headed back towards the main road.
By using the toll bridge across the upper reaches of the estuary the drive round to Barmouth didn't take too long and I had no problem finding a space in the main promenade car park when I got there - the bad weather must have kept a lot of (probably more sensible) people away. After a quick run round the perimeter with the dogs I left them back in the van and went up to the main street in search of an RBS bank; unfortunately I didn't find one but what I did find was a camping shop, and a quick look round got me a much-needed pack of gas canisters for my camping stove. After a quick coffee in Goodies tea rooms I returned to the van, and giving up all hope of the weather getting better - it was raining yet again - I set off on the drive back to the camp site.
I used the toll bridge again to get back across the estuary then as the rain seemed to have stopped for a while I parked up and went for a wander with the camera - I was determined I would get some shots while I was out. An information board in the car park told me that this little place was Penmaenpool, something I hadn't known when I stopped there last year, though the grey clouds were in complete contrast to the blue sky and sunshine I'd experienced back then.
Walking to the end of the lane I got half a dozen shots then set off back to the van. It was drizzling with rain again by then but the sun was at long last pushing through a break in the clouds, and as I got nearer to the bridge it appeared from nowhere - a perfect rainbow, low down and spanning the river just the other side of the bridge. Definitely a photo not to be missed, and I'd just taken the shot when it disappeared again almost a quickly as it had arrived.
Before I got back in the van I decided to take a couple of shots from the bridge itself but that idea was soon scuppered. I'd only walked a couple of yards past the toll booth when the woman in charge came out and told me it would be 20p to walk across. What?? I'd just paid 70p to drive across from the other side, no way was I going to pay another 20p just to walk a few yards back to get a photo, so I gave up and instead walked part way along the riverbank near the car park. That gained me another couple of photos and I returned to the van fairly happy with the shots I'd got.
The sun finally managed to break through the clouds properly and big patches of blue sky appeared, making the drive back to Felin Uchaf very enjoyable and the late afternoon and early evening very pleasant. With the absence of the rain the pre-bedtime dog walk, although short, was taken at a leisurely pace, then I snuggled down in bed to watch another dvd - Mrs Brown's Boys this time, the most recent one which my son got me for Christmas, and I laughed so much that my ribs were sore by the end of it. And when I finally settled down to sleep it was with fingers metaphorically crossed that the following day's weather would prove to be much nicer than the last couple of days.
- 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