Holiday Part 2 – Arrival and Caernarfon

Posted: 27th September 2009 by admin in Travel

Some how yesterday we managed to get across from Chester to Portmadog on mostly deserted roads,and no caravans to be be seen! We came down via Denbigh, over past Llyn Brenig on the B4501 and then after a short run on the A5 we headed south on the B4407 over the moors to Ffesiniog before hitting the main road to Portmadog, a fantastic drive over some stunning barren moors, not meeting a handful of cars on each of the 2 stretches. Not a place you’d want to break down however as no phone reception for 20-30 miles!


The hardest bit was finding the cottage, eventually we found it, half a mile down a track from the main road in the middle of a working farm. Very isolated, and all the better for it, its pitch dark at night, something you don’t experience enough when you live in a town or city, and not a sound can be heard once work has finished for the day. The cottage has lots of space, big rooms and very nice corner bath. Couldn’t ask for more.


There are views over all the Tremadog crags as well, and what lovely climbing rock it looks! A short walk down the track gives fantastic views of the triple peaks of Moewlyn Bach, Mawr and Hydd, all in the 700m height region, which will be attempted in the next couple of mornings on a nice 6-7 mile walk, 15 minutes drive from the cottage.


Yesterday, was a bit of a sandwich with some nice bread, and a slightly unpleasant filling, with the aforementioned drive over snowdownia being the first slice of bread. The second slice of bread being the couple of hours I spent at cricceth with elise while andrea slept off the poor nights sleep at the travelodge in the cottage. There is something about the sea at sunset, something relaxing, and this coast is not exception, a 15 minute drive down the road, its nice little resort, with a pebble beach, and the compulsary castle! The poor quality meat in the middle was the precautionary visit to local hospital for my wifes increasingly complicated pregnancy!


Today however was a joy from start to end, with the great day out at greenwood forest park, near Caenafon, however this day did confirm my hatred of roller coasts of any kind, even small moderately fast ones. I’ve hated them since I was a teenager, and not ridden one of any sort for over 15 years, and it will be about the same time again after today, this one was designed for older kids and I still felt deeply uncomfortable. Normally Andrea would go on the ride, but the pregnancy put pay to that, so I was forced to join my daughter on the ride, and she was happier than me on it! I can happily climb up a rock and be exposed to a 5m fall or hang 50m above fresh air, but give me a safe tracked ride 6-7m off the ground and I don’t like it one little bit. Life is that strange!


The drive over from the cottage via Bedgellert and Snowdonia held fantastic views. There was loads to do for elise, and was nicely quiet when we arrived at lunch, by the time we left at 3.30ish queues were starting to form, so I can’t imagine what it’d be like in peak season, my idea of hell I’d guess. However, I don’t recommend the overpriced burgers there, didn’t feel too clever for a few hours afterwards.


Going out of season has its advantages, less crowds, accommodation being half the price, and nice clear roads, however the downsides can be a lot of attractions close or scale back operations something we found in later days at some of the resort we visited.


We then took a trip over to Caernarfon on the way back, and, parking just behind the imposing castle, took a walk along the front towards the Victoria harbour, and had a drink overlooking it, before returning through the walled town. Being a Sunday, not a lot was open, so we returned to the cottage to chill before going for a very nice meal in Tremadog at the Golden Fleece. It was the first time I had eaten ostrich steak, and it won’t be the last time either, the only way I can describe it is as looking like beef with a hint of chicken in the flavour.