Day 31. Betws-y- Coed and the north of Wales

Lakes and mountains on today’s drive home

A slow start this morning, The Navigator says I snored a bit last night, funny, I didn’t hear it so I claim innocence on the basis of diminished responsibility, I’m not sure what that means but it doesn’t matter, I’m guilty anyway.

Breakfast in the kitchen downstairs is a good selection of cereals, tea, coffee, toast, fruit and if you pay an extra 2 quid a hot breakfast. I do the hot breakfast option and leave the house pretty full.

Todays Travels

First stop is in Betws-y-Coed, Paul and Liz check out the railway museum beside the proper train station and The Navigator shows me the way over the railway line to shops that remarkably have no appeal to me at all, but never the less I try to look interested, but it is hard. The road to Colwyn bay is a lovely drive and the two backseat passengers see a bridge they’d like a photo at, clearly they didn’t see how narrow it was, maybe later on the way home we’ll check it out.

The first stop is Colwy Bay and Colwy Castle.Its another of my Great Grandfathers Edward I’s constructions during his conquest of the Welsh heathens bwteen 1283 and 1287. This one cost about 12,000 quid versus Caernarfon which cost 25,000 quid. Its a pretty impressive building but not, my view, as good or as impressive as Caernarfon Castle. The castle became a destination for painters in the last 18th and 19th centuries, much like the area around Betws-y-Coed because of the light. Ww take a wander around the High Street of Colwy, but The Navigator finds nothing to buy, she’s already emptied the shop at the castle and I guess the weight on her arm from shopping bags is getting a little tiring.

Next stop is the short trip over to Llandudo on the other side of the river/bay. Its a touristy spot with a pier with cafes and other entertainment but its not looking that appealing so we decide to head to Bangor for a look and some lunch.

On the North Wales Freeway a detour is made into Abergwyngregyn, to see if its a quaint Welsh village with a pub or cafe we can have lunch at. Its not the best call we make today, but the worst is giving it a second chance seeing if there is anything near the church, a left turn over a bridge and the road is so narrow its lucky to squeeze a motor bike let alone an expensive Mercedes. There is nowhere immediately obvious to stop and turn, its so close its claustrophobic, I feel sweat break out on my brow but luckily a driveway appears and a five point turn gets me turned around and out of the godforsaken goatrack going up a Welsh mountain. Back on the freeway we turn of to Bangor past Penrhyn Castle with Beaumaris Castle on the other side of the water.

Bangor doesn’t start well, the bakery where we decide to lunch has nearly run out of food, one woman serving has a dose of the blues and is banging chairs around, clanging cups together, she’s in a bad mood and we’re in a better mood after we leave the place. Not the best food but fuel for travel it is. We then head to have a look at the pier, it doesn’t look that impressive and we miss our turn into the park and end up taking the long road out of Bangor, and possibly the last time I’ll see Bangor.

We decide to head back towards Betwsy-Coed along a different road, the A5, the scenery is spectacular, lakes, rocky green mountains, cars everywhere, walkers, motor bikes flying past. Its a motor bike heaven up here. The Snowdonia scenery restores my sense of enjoyment in travelling in this beautiful place. Its just the mostly larger towns and cities that seem to annoy me, but maybe its just me.

We find the bridge mention earlier, god its skinny and high and just on the other side we find a carpark. Two young guys are fishing in waders with fly rods n the fast flowing stream and two older men, one I assume is their father encouraging them from the bank. Its a nice stop but they don’t catch a fish for us. As we leave and get to the middle of the bridge a silver Audi comes flying up the other way so I have to reverse back to the less busy side of the bridge, no Pembrokeshire wave from or to the wanker.

The bridge and the fisherman

Dinner tonight is a Abbasi’s, a curry house in Betws-y-Coed. Its a great meal after a few drinks at the Royal oak Hotel.

We’re back at the B&B a bit after 7pm. Tomorrow we move camp to Llangolen for two nights before we head to London for a for days before we fly home. I love the travel but after 2 of the last 3 months travelling I’m looking forward to some time at home.

Ciao Pauolo


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