With no sunshine to enhance the rich gold and copper colours of the mountain landscape there was no point going up there so I abandoned my original plan and drove down to Llaneilian, thinking I would walk up to Point Lynas lighthouse and part way along the coastal path. Plan B didn't even get off the ground however as I'd just parked the van and was about to get the dogs out of the back when a thick mist, which seemed to have suddenly arrived from nowhere, spread across the fields in front of me.
If that had come in from the sea there was no point going along the coastal path so I decided to give up and go back to the camp site, but halfway back there Plan C swung into action. I'd left the mist behind and driven back into bright sunshine so I pulled into a lay-by and had a look at the map book for somewhere new to go - the estuary at Dulas beach was one of the few places I'd never been to before so off I went in search of it. With no signs anywhere saying 'beach' I had to rely on my own sense of direction to try and find it, though at one point I was distracted for a while when I came across St. Gwenllwyfo's church, though as it was closed I could only get a shot of the outside.
Leaving the church behind I continued round the narrow deserted country lanes, hoping that I wouldn't meet something coming the other way unless I was near a convenient passing place. Cottages were few and far between, I had no idea where I actually was and I still hadn't found the estuary, but as I rounded a bend I saw something which temporarily put all thoughts of it out of my mind - running down the lane in front of me was a female quail followed by her brood of eight or nine very tiny chicks. The little things were all over the road and I didn't dare drive any further in case I ran over them so I stopped the van and got out to shoo them into the safety of the long grass under the hedge. This was a photo opportunity not to be missed though so before they all disappeared I gently picked one up and took an arm's length shot before putting it back in the grass and returning to the van; I didn't know where the mother bird had got to but presumably she would go back to her brood once I'd gone.
Not far from where I'd seen the quails the lane became narrower and steeper so not wanting to end up somewhere I couldn't get out of I did a three-point turn in about twenty three and headed back up the hill. The estuary seemed to be out of reach from that side of the bay even though the map book had shown me differently, but there's more than one way to skin a cat so if I couldn't get to it by road then I'd walk to it.
Back on the main road (eventually) I took the turn off for Lligwy beach, which was easy to find, and parking the van at the side of the lane I crossed the very rough and bumpy car park and reached the Anglesey Coastal Path. I really needed to go left but decided to go right first and walk a short distance to get a shot of the beach from up above. The path was quite narrow in places with a thicket of trees along one side, and as I approached a bend I heard a rustling sound - and there, down a narrow gulley a few feet below me, was a young Friesian cow looking up at me through a wire fence. It seemed a very strange place for a cow to be in but it must have been okay as just after I took the photo it turned round and ambled off through the trees.
From that point on my quest to find Dulas beach began in earnest so I retraced my steps to the car park and picked up the coastal path at the far side of it. I walked for quite a distance past several small rocky coves and deserted sandy beaches before the path turned inland and came out onto a narrow lane. My sense of direction told me that turning left would take me up in the direction of the main road, which I didn't really want, so I turned right, and a short distance further on gave me a view of part of the estuary through the trees - it looked like my goal wasn't too far away. I'd just taken the second shot when four young sheep tumbled out of the hedge in front of me and went trotting off down the lane - it seemed like it was my day for encounters with animals.
Round the next bend I finally found a beach of sorts and the lane actually ended right on it. I wasn't sure what I'd expected but a huge lagoon stretched right and left, and other than a handful of cottages visible across the far side (the side I'd just been driving round) and a couple of shipwrecked boats there was just a whole lot of nothing as far as my eye could see. Seeing the cottages across the lagoon told me that there must be a way to get down there by road; I obviously hadn't found the right lane (or maybe the locals kept it a closely-guarded secret) so I'd wait until I got back home, try a bit of internet research, and make another attempt during my next Anglesey holiday.
With the tide creeping in fairly rapidly - it had almost reached the marker post in the first shot above while I was wandering about - I didn't linger too long as I didn't want to risk the possibility of getting cut off somewhere, so I headed off back up the lane. Back on the coastal path proper I turned left through an access gate and walked across to the edge of the headland where I got a good view of the land spit which formed the lagoon, and the estuary right out to the open sea.
Returning to the path I hadn't gone very far when I came across another access gate and a sandy slope leading down to a beach. Out of curiosity I went to take a look and what I found really surprised me; a small deserted sandy cove with wild flowers growing here and there. It was truly stunning and looked like it could have been somewhere abroad - and the photos I took don't really do it justice.
Back on the coastal path I walked without stopping again until I got back to the van; although I had my phone with me I hadn't checked the time at all since I left it so I was surprised to realise that I'd been walking and wandering for over three hours. With a can of Coke from the nearby cafe and a good drink of water for the dogs I chilled out in the van for a while before setting off back to the camp site.
I'd not gone far along the main road when I ran into mist again, which increased as I got nearer to Benllech, and when I reached the camp site I found the whole place was covered in a blanket of the stuff; it was unbelievable, considering that only a few miles along the coast I'd been walking in hot sunshine with blue sky. Not knowing how far the mist had spread I decided not to go out again, and looking at the dogs I don't think they wanted to go anywhere else either.
The rest of the day and evening were spent reading and watching a bit of tv, with a slightly earlier-than-usual pre-bedtime dog walk round the site; the mist had finally gone and it was a beautifully warm and clear night. Thinking back later over my marathon quest to find Dulas bay and beach, and the beautiful little cove I found on the way back, I decided that the whole area needed further exploration another time - and come hell or high water I would find a way to get to the far side of the lagoon by road!