Three nights on Ynys Mon

16 Sep

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With the Newspapers going crazy about the hottest weather for September since the birth of time, we set off on Monday morning for Anglesey or more correctly, Ynys Mon. It was quite sunny and we enjoyed the steady drive up the A5 from Llangollen. We did encounter a “steady Eddy” who insisted on driving at about 30 to 35 mph on the long approach to Betwys Y Coed. The ol’ fella then drove through the very busy town at about 40 mph, not even swerving to avoid pedestrians. Oh dear.

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We had a very lazy evening, lounging around in the Caravan and next day, in the rain (anyone awake at the Met Office……….. ?????) we drove over to Beaumaris for lunch at the George and Dragon. This pub, dating back to at least 1410, provided the best Cod and Chips that we have had for a very long time indeed. The Robinsons Dark, on draught, was fine accompaniment. The weather picked up for the afternoon and we carried on west to Plas Newydd, one of our favourite National Trust properties.

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The weather was dry and warm but what a difference from our last sun soaked visit . We toured the house then sat watching the boats on the Menai Straits. A gentleman came along with his King Charles spaniel. He had lived in the village on the mainland to the west called Y Felinheli. In 1951, when he moved there as a child, it was still on exporting dock for slate from Llanberis. The land all around the village belonged to Lord Duff. Vaynol Estate dated back to Tudor times. The gentleman’s father had been Clerk of the Works for Lord Duff. Lord Duff had married Lady Caroline from Plas Newydd following Rex Whislter’s sad demise in WW II. Rex had been in love with Caroline but it was a future doomed by war.

The gent told us that Lord Duff was a good employer. He had been visited by Lady Caroline when he suffered illness. The gent had worked on the dry dock at Y Felinheli and also helped lay the road deck on the bridge nearest to Plas Newydd. He remembered Lord Duff converting a small harbour into his own swimming pool but it enjoyed little use despite the huge cost involved. The most dangerous section of the straits were pointed out to us. What a priviledge to meet this Gent. He told us about the abundant deer, hundreds of herons which vanished following some 1960s factory developement and how workers from Ynys Mon used the ferry which used to operate from Y Felinheli to take them onward towards the slate works at Llanberis. Some stayed away from the Island for a whole week’s working. Some from the dock went back and forth each day.

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Wednesday dawned hot and sunny. We drove down to the south west tip of the Island, camped up for the day with the campervan and put the bikes to good use. It was baking hot. The slight sea breeze just making it comfortable for a bit of exercise. We only managed about 7 miles or so but better than none. That night we had dinner at The Bull , on the A5025 between Benllech and Marian-Glas. On Thursday we headed back down the A5 but not before chatting to a chap with a Romahome at Cae Mawr caravan club site.

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He had enjoyed his R20 Romahome for ten years. The layout was very practical. A dinette on one side for two and a long sofa for lounging on the other. A small kitchen to the offside rear and a a porta potti and wash basin to the nearside. He had previously owned a series of Dandy folding trailer tents and to crown it all, a Fiat Bambino, similar to my wife’s uncle’s Pandoro. These tiny, 850cc engined wonders went slowly and rotted gently from day one, but they were great fun. I am determined to find my original advertising Fiat  brochures to post on here.

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The journey home was in lovely sunny conditions. That UFO above the Elddis is my much photographed finger…………… This was a comfort and lunch break south of Cerrigydrudion, close to the karting centre. I used to whistle my Cagiva Raptor down that straight……….. I enjoyed the bikers whipping past my open cab window but my wife was not  enlivened by this impromptu spectating. I do miss that Suzuki TL engined 1000cc twin. SOB !

Determined to get in a trip to Cornwall and another to Portsmouth. Probably take the caravan to Poldark land and go solo to Portsmouth. Regardless of the weather !

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