Monday, 29th May.
Last night, after we sorted ourselves out in Caernarfon, we hit
the road and
headed towards the Isle of Anglesea. Holyhead is the town at the far
end of the island, and for some unknown reason that was where we were
going. We decided to take the scenic route along the coast.
Well, we would have if we hadn't got completely lost. We turned off
the A5 and fairly soon had no idea where we were going. Another case of
Ian's inept navigation? No, not entirely. We were driving along
winding roads that were only just big enough for the car, and these
roads were not marked on the map. We doubled back and took a turnoff
(no roadsigns anywhere!) and eventually found ourselves at a town which
I guessed to be Llangaffo. We stopped, studied the only roadsigns we
had seen for half-an-hour, and worked out where we were. I'm sure it
was a source of great amusement for the local whose living room we were
parked next to. TV or lost tourists outside? He chose the telly.
Having regained our bearings, we got back on the A5 and made it to
Holyhead. We stopped near the port and looked out across the ripples
towards Ireland. Although it was so dark we had no idea which direction we
were pointed, so we could have been looking towards Scotland. Or the
other side of the bay.
Today was a Designated Castle Day. First up we went to Caernarfon
Castle, by the waterfront in Caernarfon. We took a guided tour of the
castle. Our group grew as we trundled around. There were a couple of
Australians (he had a ponytail), an American couple, a Dutch couple
(she was afraid of heights) and a South African who asked too many
questions for my liking.
We then walked up the hill to visit the Roman fort of Segontium.
What was left of it,
rather. And what was left was not a lot. So we sat on the grass,
basking in the sunshine, and Charmari engaged in some girly
behaviour by making a daisy chain.
There was a market going on in the centre of Caernarfon, where all
the usual crap was being peddled. Obviously a global phenomenon.
We had lunch by the water, and I can honestly say that I've never
eaten yoghurt with a knife before.
Conwy was our next destination. The road hung off the side of the
mountains along the coast. We were listening to an Irish radio station
which would occastionally break up, usually when they were
back-announcing a track.
The streets of Conwy were extremely narrow and winding. We managed
to find a parking spot near the castle, sheltered from the sun. The
roads go through the old town walls that extend from the castle,
encircle the old town and return to the castle. And where the road
goes through the wall there's only room for one car to get through.
And no room for pedestrians. The builders of the town's fortifications
just weren't thinking ahead when they built the wall 700 years ago.
Most of the entertainment took place in the courtyard. There were a
few families congregated here, and the kids were having a great time.
One boy was running around with his sword, re-enacting battles of
days gone past. A role in "Australia's Most Wanted" surely awaits.
A dad was having a kip on the grass, and his kids had plucked as much
grass as they could and piled it up on his belly. Little angels,
The sad reality dawned soon enough that we'd have to leave and start
our journey back to London.
The traffic was light as we drove south. We were driving through the
town of Llanrwst when I spied a green park across the river. I
pulled over, and retrieved the footy from the back of the car.
We put on a dazzling display of football wizardry for the locals, who
weren't in the slightest bit interested. They probably see Australians
kicking a funny shaped ball all the time. After our kick-to-kick we
wandered over to watch a cricket match at the ground next to the park.
They were a mixed bunch, from youngsters to blokes about Mike Gatting's
age. It had gone 6pm when we remembered that we were supposed to be
going back to London.
On the way back we stopped at another services area, but there were
no old people wandering around, en masse or otherwise.
There were a couple of little kids in their pyjamas, and a lot of
Indian families. Which was weird.
All too soon I was back at the Dawes Road Palace, unpacking the car.
Tomorrow I have to return the car.
That means I'll be battling peak hour London traffic.