About Me

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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 July 16th 2017 - Part 1 - Aberffraw & Cable Bay

The previous evening's hopes for nice weather came to fruition and I woke to blue sky, fluffy white clouds and sunshine. The first place to visit later that morning was the big car boot sale over on the Anglesey show ground then from there I drove over to Aberffraw. I'd been there a few times but had never walked to the far end of the beach so this time I was going to do a circuit - down the lane from the car park, across the dunes, along the beach from the far end, along the riverside and back to the van.

A large relatively flat area of rough grassland lay between the lane and the dunes proper, and the grass itself was dotted with small areas of tightly-knit tiny pink flowers growing close to the ground; I don't know what they were but they were very pretty and worth a quick photo. It took quite a while to walk through the dunes; the first ridge was quite high and as I approached the second ridge I was looking forward to seeing the beach but I was destined to be disappointed. Instead of a beach I was met with another huge expanse of the dune system, looking rather like a strange green lunar landscape; I could hear the sea this time though so it couldn't be far away and sure enough, when I topped the final ridge I was rewarded with a great view along the beach.

Finally down on the sand I walked along at the water's edge with Poppie having the occasional paddle and Sophie running free, playing her own little game but never getting more than her paws wet. The tide was on its way in and the river, which was little more than a stream at low tide, was gradually filling up and widening out; Poppie decided to have a swim and was so eager to get in the water that she almost dragged me in with her, though Sophie chickened out as usual and found something interesting in the grass instead.

Back at the van the three of us had a drink then set off for the next port of call, Rhosneigr, though on the spur of the moment I decided to make a brief stop at Cable Bay. It had been a good few years since my last visit and though there was nothing there I knew I could get some nice shots so it was worth stopping for a while.

A short wander along part of the Anglesey Coastal Path above the bay got me a handful of shots then I returned to the van and set off for Rhosneigr. A post written last year on Ruth's blog had shown me something I hadn't previously known about, and as it had been quite a while since I'd last gone to Rhosneigr I was going to seek it out for myself.

Saturday July 15th 2017 - Caernarfon harbour

Another damp grey day arrived, and though the drizzly rain had stopped by mid morning the cloud was still hanging around in the afternoon. Again it wasn't nice enough for the photos I wanted to take so I decided to go back over to Caernarfon to see my cousin at the golf club. There was only one thing wrong though - when I got there I found that yet again he wasn't in. This time he'd gone to pick up his new car from somewhere about an hour's drive away and wouldn't be back in work until the following day. Well there's more than one way to skin a cat as the saying goes, so if I couldn't find him at the golf club I would track him down at home.

The day was showing signs of brightening up when I came out of the golf club so when I got almost to the harbour I parked up and went for a quick wander with the camera. The tide had been out when I went round there last year, this time it was in and with the sun trying its best to break through the clouds I got some fairly good shots of the boats and the castle.

The drive to David's house didn't take long and although he wasn't in his wife Hilda was; she said he wouldn't be long though so she made a coffee and we sat chatting until David came in. It was good to see him and I spent another hour or so with the two of them before taking my leave and heading back to Anglesey. The weather had improved greatly by then, the sun was out properly and most of the sky was back to being blue again, so the evening on the camp site turned out to be really nice - and with only two full days of my holiday left I was really hoping it would stay that way.

Friday July 14th 2017 - A rainy day and Red Wharf Bay

The lovely weather of the last couple of days was non-existent when I woke that morning - it was grey, raining and windy, and not very nice at all. My plans for the day had been well and truly scuppered so I spent the morning watching a dvd then towards lunch time I drove over to Llangefni to get some supplies from Asda for the dogs. 

On the road into the town, and just round the corner from the supermarket, is an independent convenience store with a car park at the front and that's where I saw one of the oddest things I've seen in a while. In the corner of the car park, and nearest to the road, was an outdoor 'launderette' - two huge washing machines and a tumble dryer specially for doing duvets, pillows and throws. I've never seen anything like that before, and it must be a recent innovation as it wasn't there last year; it was so bizarre that once I'd parked the van at Asda I walked back round the corner and snapped a couple of photos of it.

Before I went into Asda I went to have a look in the nearby camping shop; I didn't think they sold tents but it was worth having a look. I was right, there wasn't a tent to be seen anywhere in the shop, it was accessories only, so I went back across the road to Asda, then with the shopping done I drove back to the camp site and spent a relaxing afternoon with my book. The rain eventually stopped, the clouds started clearing and the sun finally came out, making the late afternoon quite pleasant, so just to stop the day from being completely wasted I drove the couple of miles to Red Wharf Bay to walk the dogs and get a handful of shots. 

Back at the camp site again I re-connected everything to the electric supply, made a meal for myself and fed the dogs then settled in to watch a bit of tv. After five days I'd got used to living in the van, although I'd much rather be in a proper tent; hopefully it wouldn't be too long before I got a new one but until then I would just enjoy being a bit of a nomad.

Thursday July 13th 2017 - Part 2 - Ambling round Amlwch

The next bit of exploration that day was totally unplanned and done on the spur of the moment. From Dulas Bay I drove up the A5025 towards Parys mountain, with the intention of exploring some of the parts of it I didn't see on my visit there a couple of years ago, however as I got near to it I could see there was a huge patch of white cloud sitting right over it, and though the sun was still shining any photos I took would have a washed-out look. So I changed direction and drove over to Amlwch harbour instead; I've been there several times over the last few years and nothing ever changes but it's an attractive little place and always worth a few more photos.

Leaving the van in the car park beyond the fishing dock I walked back down the hill to the Sail Loft cafe with the intention of getting something to eat and drink, only to find that the place was closed. The sign on the door which displayed the opening times told me it should have been open but the door was firmly locked so obviously it wasn't, though I wasn't too disappointed. With a photo taken overlooking the dock I went down the hill to the harbour side and treated myself to a white Magnum from the gift shop at the entrance to the Copper Kingdom Centre, then set out on my next quest. 

Situated somewhere on the cliff top across the other side of the harbour was an old windmill - it could be seen from the road above the quayside and I'd noticed it on previous occasions though I'd never thought to try and find it before. This time though I decided to go and look for it but with no idea of its exact whereabouts or how close I could get it was a case of following my nose until I found it. 

From the harbour side I went up onto the main road which ran through the village, turned right then a hundred yards or so along turned right again. A very pleasant minor road with houses and gardens on one side and hedges on the other soon narrowed into a lane with views over the harbour; this in turn narrowed into a track no wider than a normal car, and with dense trees and shrubbery to my right I lost sight of the harbour so I could only hope that the satnav part of my brain was taking me in the right direction.

A bit further on the track went uphill and joined a tarmac lane which skirted round a large fenced off area of private land - and there on the right, set back just a few yards from the lane, was the windmill. Research has since told me that this was Melin y Borth, a corn mill built in 1816, and with seven floors and a height of over 60ft it was the tallest windmill on Anglesey. It closed for business sometime in the early 20th century, the buildings surrounding it disappeared and by 1929 it was an empty shell. The land on which it stands is now owned by Anglesey Council and steps have been taken to halt the mill's decline. I would have loved to have a look inside but sadly it wasn't possible so I had to be happy with a photo taken from the outside.

Making my way back towards the harbour I passed a house with a garden which was a riot of colour. A packed border ran the length of the path and the gravelled area was filled with several wooden planters and pots; it looked lovely, and was certainly worth a quick photo. Across the road a small open grassy area with a recently painted bench overlooked the harbour, and steps down the cliff side took me from there back to the end of the quay.

I crossed from one side of the quay to the other at the top end of the slipway, though I did walk down it far enough to get another photo, then I made my way back towards the car park, stopping every so often to get shots of the various boats moored alongside the harbour wall. I've probably taken the same shots of the same boats several times over the last few years but it's such a lovely little place that I can't resist taking more.

As I walked back past the entrance to the Copper Kingdom Centre I was very tempted to get myself another Magnum but I resisted - one treat in the day was enough and the afternoon was getting on anyway so I decided to head back to the camp site and make myself a proper meal, though I did make a slight detour on the way.

The little sailing cove of Traeth Bychan (Small Beach) lay at the bottom of a lane off the A5025, about a mile and a half from the camp site; it's an attractive little place with a cottage which has an unusual and jumbled up mish-mash of a garden so I decided to pay a return visit. Unfortunately by then I'd left the blue sky behind and much of this part of the island was covered in thick white cloud but I still managed to get a handful of photos, although the garden ones would have looked much better with a blue sky.

Back at the camp site I prepared a meal for myself and settled in for the rest of the day. The cloud eventually cleared and the sun came out in force again but other than the bedtime dog walk later on I had no desire to go anywhere else - I'd had enough adventure for one day so it was time to relax for a while.

Thursday July 13th 2017 - Part 1 - Portobello beach and a watery experience

Another extremely warm sunny day arrived and by late morning I was on the road again, this time on a quest to find Portobello beach. Since trying, and failing, to find a way to the far side of Dulas Bay last year I'd found out that my good sense of direction had actually taken me down the right lane and if I'd left the van by St. Gwenllwyfo's church a short walk would have taken me straight to the bay. I'd also learned of Portobello beach, a little known beach at the seaward end of the Dulas estuary, and after seeing a photo of it I thought it looked so nice that I had to go and find it.

There wasn't much room to park outside the church so I pulled in by a field gate across the lane; hopefully the farmer wouldn't want to use the gate any time soon but judging by how peacefully the cows and sheep were grazing I thought it highly unlikely. It was a pleasant walk down the lane from there and I emerged onto the shingle at the side of the bay; to my right was a wide expanse of sand flats with the Afon Goch river cutting through on its way out to sea, and somewhere to the left was Portobello beach. Not far from the end of the lane I came to the seaweed-encrusted carcass of a long dead fishing boat, its ribs looking very much like the remains of a large prehistoric bird, then a bit further on the shingle finally gave way to a very small sandy beach backed by a high retaining wall to some private land. 

The little beach was dissected by a creek a couple of yards wide with a very shallow stream running through it and with a crossing point made out of a pile of stones; I was glad about that as I had my trainers on so didn't want to get my feet wet. From there the beach was stony for quite a distance then all at once, at the point where the river met the sea, I came to a wide expanse of clear flat sand - I'd found Portobello beach. A little way along the seaward side was a rocky outcrop across the sand and at the other side of it, set back off the beach, was the large Mediterranean-style Portobello House. That part of the beach was more stony but it still looked nice and was certainly worth a photo.

With just a couple of shots taken I didn't linger and within a few minutes I was heading back the way I'd gone. All went well until I got to the little creek; although it was still a long while to high tide I hadn't realised or noticed just how quickly it came in along the Dulas estuary - the river had widened, flowing into the creek, and the shallow stream of only twenty minutes before was now well over ankle deep. Even the stepping stones were under water and there was no way I could cross without getting my feet wet so it looked like my trainers were in for an unwanted soaking.

As if that wasn't bad enough there was worse to come after I'd crossed the creek. The river had widened so much that the water was right up to the retaining wall at the end of the little beach - I was cut off, and to get to the next section of beach a few yards away would entail some serious wading. It was fortunate too that I was wearing cycling shorts as the water came above my knees; the dogs had to swim, and while Poppie was quite happy Sophie wasn't impressed at all and was obviously glad when we finally reached dry land. When we got back to where the old boat lay the water was already creeping up round one side of it; fortunately the beach at that point was backed by a grass bank with a footpath which made a good escape route, so I was able to get back to the bottom of the lane without any further mishap.

Back at the van I dried my feet off and changed into my spare trainers; the weather may have been very warm but I didn't really want to spend the rest of the day walking round in wet shoes. With the comfort factor sorted I gave the dogs a drink then turned the van round and headed off for the next part of my day - and hopefully it wouldn't be as eventful as the last half an hour had been.