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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

Sunday May 28th 2017 - A grey day at Bala


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. 


Driving back along the B roads there were some lovely views but again there weren't many convenient places to stop, which was a shame as I could have got several nice photos, however I did manage to stop on a wider part of the road and I got a couple of shots overlooking the nearby fields and the valley.


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.



4 comments:

  1. It do get light early now and as you say the ddawn chorus makes a racket.
    What awesome pictures Tigermouse. Although it was a dull day you enjoyed yourself that's what counts. Pleasant and safe travels/

    Yvonne.

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    1. Thank you Yvonne. The photos came out better than I expected even though it was such a dull day. I much prefer blue skies though! :)

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  2. I agree that you were safe walking through the campsite, who's to know you weren't camping there. If you go to Llanuwchllyn again you should try the station tearoom as they do a lovely cream tea, everyone who does the return journey from Bala station piles in there as there isn't much to do otherwise. It's a shame it was a grey day but your photos of the lake are lovely, makes me want to go back there soon, it's so tranquil.

    Such a shame it was a grey day.

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  3. I don't know what it is about the lake at Bala but I've loved it ever since the first time I went there many years ago. Maybe you'll be back before too long if you use your holiday voucher at the lodge site :)

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