I woke soon after 4am that morning to the first signs of daylight and the dawn chorus in full swing - other than the obvious ones like wood pigeons, blackbirds, magpies and woodpeckers I wouldn't know one type of bird song from another but it was lovely just lying there listening to it all. Eventually I dozed off to sleep again and when I woke up properly it had all quietened down apart from the odd tweet and chirp here and there.
The sky was still very cloudy and grey so hoping it would eventually clear up I stayed in the tent until lunch time but when it became obvious that I wasn't going to see any blue sky or sunshine I decided to go out anyway. I hadn't gone all that way from home just to spend my time sitting in the tent so I drove over to Bala, taking the B road route which I discovered at Easter. It brought me out at the north east side of the lake and I was lucky enough to find a space in the small free car park which my blogging friend Eileen had told me about a couple of months ago.
First was a visit to the shops and as I walked along the main street I was attracted by the display of fresh sausage rolls in the window of Gerrard's baker's shop; they looked really nice and as I was feeling quite peckish I bought two and a can of Coke and had a late lunch back at the van. Next was another visit to the lakeside at Llangower; since my time spent there at Easter I'd found out that if I'd 'trespassed' onto the lakeside camp site I could have walked further along than I did and I would have found a shingle beach which could be worth a photo or two.
Even though it was such a cloudy day the air was still very warm and the lakeside was quite busy with people swimming and boating or having picnics on the grass. Of course I had to negotiate the stupidly awkward stile which I'd encountered on my previous visit but at least this time I knew what to expect and I got myself and the dogs over and through it with a bit more success than before. I walked along by the water's edge as far as I could then went up onto the path through the camp site; no-one challenged me or asked me what I was doing there so I got to where I wanted to be with no problems.
Now I don't know what I expected to see when I got there but there was nothing particularly special about the place. One part of the camp site bordered a wide flat shingle beach and a bit further along was a small boatyard with several dinghies and catamarans pulled up onto the shingle and the grassy slope; it may have looked quite attractive on a sunny day but with the grey sky it just looked boring and uninteresting so with just a couple of shots taken I turned and retraced my steps.
In spite of the dull day it was very pleasant walking along at the water's edge and at one point I lingered for a few minutes while Sophie and Poppie had a paddle; the sky did brighten up a bit and a couple of patches of blue appeared through the cloud but unfortunately they didn't last long.
Back at the van I gave the dogs a drink then set off on my next quest, to see what was further along the road towards the bottom end of the lake. It was worth the drive as there were some lovely views but convenient places to stop on the single-track road were few and far between, and any passing places where I could pull in briefly weren't always in the right spot to take a photo. I got a couple of reasonable shots though, then drove on to the village of Llanuwchllyn where the Bala Lake Railway starts from; there didn't seem to be much there though so I found a convenient place to turn round and drove back along the B road.
By the time I'd reached the top end of the lake the sun had decided to appear in fits and starts and there were some good patches of blue sky showing, so I pulled up at the side of the road close to Bala station and went across to take a couple of shots overlooking the river. By that time it was gone 5pm and my lunch time sausage rolls had worn off so I returned to the van and headed back towards the camp site.
Those were to be my last shots of the day, and back at the tent I settled in for the evening, only emerging again to take the dogs for their bedtime walk. I just timed it right too as I'd no sooner got back to the tent than the first drops of rain fell - at least it had waited until then and hadn't rained while I'd been out at Bala. Now I was back in the tent it didn't really matter what it did, but as I settled down in bed a while later I kept my fingers metaphorically crossed that the following day would turn out to be nice.