Tuesday 18th September 2018
We are off on our adventures again, this time to North Wales. A place called Shell Island (just south of Porthmadog). As it’s quite a drive from home and we couldn’t leave until after lunch we decided to do the journey in two hops having a stopover in Hereford tonight.
The weather was cloudy but dry and mild when we left and stayed that way until we reached the CCC site at Little Tarrington.
A lovely quiet site with an adjoining fishing lake surrounded by trees – idyllic but as its only overnight we didn’t get to see much. We also had to use the Freeview TV channels as the satellite signal was blocked by trees near our pitch.
Overnight the wind started to blow but it did stay dry.
Wednesday 19th September 2018
After breakfast and battening down the hatches we left Hereford. It was about 10.30 – the wind was not too bad but worse was forecast for later. We made good progress (tractors permitting)
and stopped near Welshpool for lunch about one o’clock in a lay bye beside the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway line – no trains today though.
After our break we were back on our way, the wind getting progressively stronger, and the scenery getting more spectacular.
Large hills (mountain like),
very steep with water cascading down in fast moving streams beside us as we climbed the edge to reach the highest pass in Wales,
and then down the other side
using the engine and gears as well as gentle breaking so as not to go too fast.
Then down on the relative flat to Barmouth.
We arrived at the Shell Island site just after 3 o’clock and while Nigel did all the usual booking in stuff I text our friend Aileen that we had made it. She replied with directions to find her on the very large site. On the road to her we could see the sea with much white water being churned up by the wind.
There are no marked pitches on the island just a 6m rule between vans so we selected our spot and unhitched Betty. We had a good chin wag with Aileen and then went for a bit of a tour of the whole site in Voyager (too windy and cold to use the 2G’s). If the weather was better, like earlier in the summer it would have been superb. We got back levelled up and unpacked ready for a nice quiet evening.
We then thought we would try a short walk to see the view around, only intending to be out a few minutes so left everything in the van and didn’t bother locking it as there was nobody else around.
Voyager decided to lock herself – with all our keys inside her along with wallet and cards etc we had a bit of a problem.
Our 10 minute walk turned out to be over an hour but luckily Aileen was able to assist with some tools which Nigel used to get in – and I’m not going to tell you how – but I was more than a little worried I can tell you.
Back to normal we ate and watched TV as the wind blow and the rain poured. Then to bed.
Thursday 20th September 2018
After a rather disturbed night where the fridge kept cutting out (flashing an error light). We reset it a couple of times but after a while it gave up all together.
In the morning Nigel had a good look at it and cleaned the flue – thinking maybe the wind had dislodged some soot and blocked the burner. His efforts were in vane however so more investigation is needed and in the mean time we have a defrosting load of frozen food.
We went and had a coffee with Aileen and her friend Dawn in the site cafeteria – using the 2G’s to get there. While there the rain came in heavy again so we had to use our ‘emergency poncho’s’ for the return trundle. It was only a ten minute trip but we were well soaked by the time we made it back and got the scooters away into Betty.
On checking the forecast it looked like more rain and wind for the rest of the time we were booked to stay on the island. The tail end of ‘Hurricane Helena’ then ‘Storm Ali’ and ‘Storm Bronagh‘ were all going to hitting North Wales and points further North.
All in all we reckoned that was enough to send us home early.
We packed up and set forth driving over the high pass in the pouring rain and the twists and turns going down the other side even in a low gear was a bit hair raising, but I’m getting braver – a few years ago I would have demanded Nigel stop so I could get out.
We drove all the way home (with a short stop for a quick sandwich) – it took about four and a half hours. So we were very tired when we got back – had a takeaway meal and an early night.
Friday 21st September 2018
After our early departure we were feeling a bit deflated so had a good chat and looked for a nice camp site on the south coast. We had a good look at the 10 day forecast which looked good for next week so booked six nights away on the CCC Normans Bay site at Eastbourne.
But we hadn’t taken into account that bad things happen in threes.
Getting Locked out.
We thought the bad weather would be the third.
We were wrong!!