Shirley in the UK 2012 travel blog

Donkey rides on the beach

Harlech Castle

View from the tower


Harlech Castle

Woke up early so was packed up & ready to go by 8:30. It was a pretty dreary morning & my car said it was 1C at one stage. It did improve throughout the day & was quite pleasant this afternoon if you were protected from the wind.

I drove the length of Wales, from south to north today & the change in scenery was dramatic. I started off with very peaceful green rolling hills & then came through steep craggy snow-capped mountains. Now I’m on the coast, in fact my front door is 2 houses from the beach but I haven’t been out exploring yet.

The apartment is fine. It’s very cosy with lots of wall heaters & a gas fire in the living room but it was supposed to have a washing machine & it doesn’t which is a nuisance & another stupid fridge without a freezer so no ice this week for my drinks. I met ‘Will’ & have arranged to use the washing machine in the main house (which is a B&B) tomorrow.

Another dramatic change in my drive today was I migrated from hedges along the roadsides into slate country so now there’s stone walls everywhere which are very intimidating on these narrow roads. At one stage today there was a bloke towing a caravan behind me & we met another caravan. I managed to squeeze past but those 2 caravans might still be there.

I drove up through Aberystwyth but didn’t stop until I got to a place called Baymouth where I stopped for lunch. I had a delicious Welsh Beef & Vegetable pasty sitting on the sea-wall watching kids go on donkey rides. I’d never seen donkeys on the beach although I’d heard of them & I was amazed at how tiny the donkeys were. Obviously just for kids, not for grandmas, otherwise I would have had a go.

I made a minor detour & stopped a Harlech Castle. Again, as a castle is was just like most but its location & its history are wonderful. It cost me £1.70 to get in which was less than the parking fee & just to be there was magic. I suppose it’s got a lot to do with the song but to me Harlech has always been very special.

I was getting tired by the time I’d climbed all over the castle so I set the GPS for Llanfairfechen & arrived here about 4:00pm. The key to the apartment was where Will said it would be & now I’m settled in here for the next week. School holidays are over now so things should be much quieter & there’s so much to see around here. I think the weather is going to be reasonable but, if not, I’ll work around it.

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