Llandovery to Newbury

After a lazy breakfast followed by a lazy lunch in Brecon, we wandered the town, very nice, randoms shops in random streets, Sally picked up a lovely top in the Red Cross Charity Shop, and then we were on our way home.

We travelled down the A465 and A4042 roughly along the River Usk, which looked lovely and worth putting on the future “hit list”. All in all, with the variety of stops and places it felt like we’d been away for ages and done a lot. I hope that feeling continues into the next trips.

New Quay to Llandovery

We drove East through Lampeter, possibly nice but completely shut on a Sunday, and stopped for a while at Dolaucothi Roman gold mines, unfortunately closed but a nice little walk down to the river.

On to Llangadog to meet Sally and Gary at The Goose and Cuckoo pub for a nice Sunday lunch. Suddenly the village was hit by a flood of sports cars from “The Cannon Run” with Ferrari’s, Mclarens, AMs, and assorted other big engined cars roaring through. Our presence (and a combine) seemed to unsettle them as we broke their steady stream of cars and the second half missed their turning and set off in the wrong direction… probably still stuck down an unmarked track somewhere🤣

A few miles further we got to Llandovery (RFC) where we pitched together and chatted the rest of the afternoon, finishing with an assortment of olives, Hummus, and sushi!!!

Sally then treated us to a tour of the town and Roman / Norman castle and pretty little town centre, and back to site at sunset

Walking coastal path to New Quay

After a leisurely start we set off along the coastal path to New Quay, for the most part gently undulating (avoiding the optional cliff walk section 😱)

Although no dolphins or seals it was a lovely sunny walk until the last 500yards descending steeply into New Quay, testing knees+++

We had been recommended the Lime Crab fish and chips near the harbour, and had cod and chips and mixed seafood platter, though Ying wasn’t so sure about the battered mackerel…

New Quay was pretty busy which is good, and plenty of marine activities going on.

After returning

We wandered off to see the sunset over the sea… then back for a simple ham sandwich

Beddgelert to New Quay

It started a bit blustery made more worrying by the number of recently fallen trees, and then started pouring, scuppering our plans for Portmeirion en route. However we zigzagged down western Wales visiting

Porthmadoc – raining

Dolgellau – rather grey but possibly nice with a crowd, Covid seemed to have done its thing there…

Past Cader Idris – looking imposing, one of dads favoured walks but we didn’t feel able to tackle it today.

Down its glacial valley

and on to Aberdovey, fairly windswept today as you can tell. We happened across and bought a very eco runner for the hallway, half wool, half recycled plastic

And wound our way down to New Quay and Tyr Ffynnon campsite. Pretty remote but with views out to the west over the sea, with good walks beckoning tomorrow down into New Quay

Llyn Llewelyn

Today we took a leisurely 10km walk from the park through Beddgelert Forest in a big loop taking in views of Snowdon

The Forest was amazingly lush (i.e. dripping wet) with moss covering almost everything that didn’t move

At the top we were greeted by Llyn Llewelyn (lake) where we stopped for pate sandwiches and wished we had brought crisps and apples to turn it into a feast. Clearly the conifers were past their best and many had fallen or been felled to make way for…?

Don’t look too close Lynn…

Back to the van and delicious Chorizo pasta, then cleared the awning in anticipation of strong winds in the morning, and then off to New Quay (possibly Portmerion on the way weather permitting)

Beddgelert to … Beddgelert

Today stayed put at Beddgelert Camp Site, after a rainy night we found we’d pitched on what turned into a river. Luckily our neighbour opposite upped sticks and left a dry and level pitch for us to move into.

We then decided to walk into Beddgelert village itself, about 4 undulating km away. Part forestry commission paths/roads, part gravelled path through fields with glorious views across to Snowdon (it’s the one hidden by this little hill !)

Beddgelert itself had recently been flooded as evidenced by houses with carpets strewn across gardens and several businesses closed due to floods but provided us with baguettes and coffee for the return walk, only after seeing the Beddgelert to Caernarfon Steam Train leave (supposedly with one family per carriage!

En route we saw this lovely stream with mossy banks and imagined fairies and goblins dancing around…

Back at base (new dry one) convinced we saw a nuthatch on tree next to our old pitch (sadly no photo) but Ying thinks it was a green woodpecker through the binoculars

Chester to Beddgelert

A lazy breakfast of slow cooked bacon rolls (Cadac BBQ still not mastered) then walked along the canal, part of Christleton and looped back.

Drove Off along A55 coastal road planning on stopping in Conwy, but noticed Conwy RSPB nature reserve and tried that instead. Lovely views across the estuary and lakes there, seeing redshanks, and grey herons, cormorants and egrets as well as terns and ducks etc. I had to explain to Ying that only flightless Emus remain in Africa, the one overhead was the migratory Emu…
Well worth the accidental stopover.

Unfortunately as we turned left, Menai Straights and Puffin Island across the sea, it started to rain, right through to the campsite. Maybe the clue is in the lush vegetation around the site…

Christleton nr Chester

Stayed the day in Chester, parked at Netherwood Campsite. Walked to Liz and Micks allotment which looked very fertile and productive in an autumnal way and ate firm but sweet pears straight from their trees. Enough stowed away for the rest of the trip😁

Abortive trips to Grosvenor Garden Centre then GoOutdoors trying to find a mini windbreak then back to Lizzie for Lasagne and ginger cake courtesy of Waitrose

Back to the campsite for simple but pleasing shower and hence to bed

Tomorrow Snowdonia…

Trip 2 – Chester – Wales circuit

(Yesterday) we set off from Newbury to Chester to meet Ollie and Jenna at Ring’O’Bells at Christleton for lunch. Lovely to meet up with them and catch up with news including Jenna’s new job. Settled into campsite in Christleton, then off to Liz and Mick’s for fish pie and blackberry crumble, yum. Their garden is very lush and would have loved to accept the offer of cuttings but not sure campervan is ideal incubator for them.

average 41mpg (9m/litre) so far including heater on once or twice, but mainly motorway/dual carriage

Day 3 – Buxton to Newbury

We started the day with bacon butties, and coffee, then tidied up and were ready to go in double quick time. Much less faff that a tent, Ying always is meticulous with cleaning and drying the tent before storing away for months or a year before the next trip. No such bother this time!

We decided that to make the day worthwhile we would visit Bakewell, home of the famous tart/pudding, then “pop over” to Dovedale on the of chance it would be quiet…

Bakewell was chocker, we hadn’t factored in the Monday market, the Bank Holiday and the end of the summer season. Social distancing was not their highest priority. However we did strike lucky and found a table for two at the Bakewell Tart Shop in town and sat down to a really delicious Steak and Kidney Pie, and Steak and Stilton Pie for Ying. Followed by Bakewell tart and pudding respectively and we were very satisfied.

Of note, this is the same Bakewell tart shop were we previously (15 yrs ago) bought and brought home a sumptuous Bakewell Tart to Newbury. The next morning we both had a sliver of tart, saving the rest til later and left for a short while (I don’t recall what to do but only 1-20 minutes). On our return there was an odd piece of tin foil on the floor and a rather satisfied but guilty looking Tiffany – and No Bakewell to be seen… Some things you don’t forget!

Subsequent to this nostalgic reunion with the Bakewell tart, we drove off to Dovedale… but what a disappointment. We should have known, it was August Bank Holiday and the place was absolutely packed with tourists (albeit the numbers of tourists were swelled by us two, but we don’t count!). We made it up to Lovers Leap but then turned back. There was very little communing with nature. In future I’d recommend a freezing cold day ideally with some sleet and freezing rain thrown in to have any chance of enjoyment. Oh well…