Monday, 11 August 2014

Aberdaron and Caernarfon

We were planning an early start today but managed to sleep in and didn’t get away till nearly lunchtime. First stop was Aberdaron, the end of the north west peninsula by Bardsea Island. The weather is looking unsettled but by the time we arrive the clouds have cleared, although the wind is cold. The car park is full and there’s literally nowhere else to park; we drive on a little and find a lay-by but can’t park without blocking others in. From there, we have a great view of the car park from here and notice a couple of cars leaving, so we drive down and manage to get a space.

It’s a pleasant beach with a small river running through it but the graveyard behind it is a bit offputting. The biting wind means there are few people and those there are nestle beneath windbreaks or huddle below the overhang of the hotel where we have lunch. While we’re eating the clouds gather and our walk on the beach doesn’t last long, although Alex insists on taking off his t-shirt because we’re on a beach.

We set off for Caernarfon but my interest is piqued by signs for the whispering sands and we turn off to find them. We end up at Porthor Beach, which is much more sheltered than Aberdaron and quite beautiful. There are fabulous rock pools at one end and a long crescent of sand, although we don’t manage to make it whistle. Alex enjoys exploring the rock pools and trying to find a sea anemone with its tentacles out.
We push on to Caernarfon which turns out to have the most spectacular castle. It’s well-preserved and has several towers intact as well as the entire outer façade. We spend a couple of hours exploring and Alex amuses us by providing an idiosyncratic guided tour. It’s close to closing time so there are few other visitors, and they have to let us out though a small door in the huge gates when we leave.

Returning to Portmeirion we spend a little time exploring the areas that are only open to residents, then cook dinner, light a fire and settle down to watch Twelve Monkeys. Given the current Ebola outbreak, it seems scarily appropriate.

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