Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Day 14 - Poulton Le Fylde to Caernarfon, Wales

Actual Miles Driven Today - 227

I had estimated that today was going to be the most difficult for me to make work. 

This fear was based on previous experiences during the first three days of the trip. 

My strategy to cope involved an earlier start than before, no car washing and an early night to bed on Sunday so that I would be refreshed.

Ready to Leave the Shard Riverside Hotel, Poulton le Fylde
With the best WiFi so far I had to capitalise and complete the Three Blogs. 

That blew getting the early night sleep. I was awake again at 6am so with an early breakfast was ready to leave an hour earlier at 8am.

Ready to turn Southwards at Fleetwood Promenade
The drive up to Fleetwood docks where I would pick up the coast road was a crawl with Monday Morning traffic. 

Nothing special here as I began to turn southwards. 

There was the beginning of the Blackpool Tram tracks followed quickly by the first tram heading north.

The first tram Spotted at Fleetwood
Trapped inland by the Tram Tracks

The road soon switched across the tracks to be away from the sea side. 

The concrete fencing keeps everyone in their place. 

Fleetwood is largely residential until the early signs of Blackpool are visible in the distance.

Ugly Hotel Complex
Club Land for Gentlemen
The Bigger Hotel Brands

North Blackpool is where the large hotels are located. 

The further South, the change is to Small Hotels and B&B's and by the time the space between the Third Pier and the Pleasure Beach is reached,  we see the 'tacky' mix of 'Seaside Attractions and Amusement Arcades'

First Sighting of the Blackpool Tower
The Blackpool Tower tip comes into view early and parts are shrouded in scaffold and protective covers.

My Leaning Tower of Blackpool
I can see right up your nose!
The north and better of the three piers is almost opposite the Tower and its famous Tower Ballroom.

And the Main Pier
Overhead the illuminations become more elaborate as I drive southwards.

Into the Tacky End of the Promenade Drive
More trams pass but none are the vintage ones associated with famous illuminations time in October. 

The concrete wall have gone giving the road and promenade a clean appearance unlike cluttered Fleetwood.

The 3rd Pier
Next the Pleasure Beach comes into view with those scarey high big dipper rides. With my early hours there is no activity to see, only the empty tracks.

Too Early for any activity on track.
THE BIG ONE's famous Twisting Vertical Drop.
Blackpool is left behind me as I drift into Lytham St Anns, home of the famous British Open Golf Tournament. 

All I can see now are acres of grassy sand dunes along the coast side of the road.

The Famous Lytham Windmill
Southport's Suspension Bridge
I make my daily fuel stop before heading off through Preston's duel carriageways until I drift into Southport along the prom following Nick Taylor's simple but clear instructions to find Lifes Motors in West Street.

Nick Taylor, his R100 & David Randell at Lifes Motors
Nick and Graham Perry are there waiting to greet me follow soon by Dave Randell and his wife.

A very welcome mug of coffee is soon warming me. I left off two of the six layers I have been wearing today, which was a mistake. I was frozen.

A Busy Showroom at Lifes.
The Lifes Motors showroom is a picture of Morganesque history with an abundance of lovely photos amd items of memorabilia surrounding the colourful mixture of cars on show.

Some Family & Business History at the 'Oldest Morgan Dealers'
Unfortunately I could not stay too long so car stickers applied and donations received I had to bid everyone farewell and get on my way to Liverpool to meet Roadster 100 past owner Bob Capes outside of the Cunard Building, 

The run into Liverpool
The miles of wide duel carriage way leading into the city centre are infact the coast road here. 

I was concerned that there may be one closer to the sea. 

I was forgetting that the many docks around Bootle preclude that. 

For me without sat nav, the benefit was that this road leads exactly to where I was going. 

The Three Graces dominated by the famous Liver Building with the Liver Bird set on the tallest of its towers.

There was Bob, with his R100 Cap on,  waiting patiently for me on the corner by the Traffic Light. 

I was only 1 hour late.

The Famous Liver Building Short of Tower
The Third Grace

Outside the Cunard Building (2nd Grace)
We took our various photos in this beautiful spot where Bob boarded the Green Goddess (aka Road Eater) before we headed for the Birkenhead Mersey Tunnel.

 With Bob thankfully navigating, the coastal route back to his home on The Wirral was easy to find. 
It is so nice to relax when someone else is leading the way.

Bob in the Passenger Seat, Posing at the Fort
At home, Jenny was waiting to greet us both and we had a pleasant lunch hour together before more farewells. 

It was raining hard now so the Hood had to be erected for the run into Wales and the journey to Llandudno, in Wales.

Jenny and Bob at Home with The Green Goddess
Now you can see the complete Bob Capes

We were soon crossing the boarder into Wales where I was instantly aware of the plethora of signs in the Welsh Language, always at the top. 

Navigation was going to be harder here, proved as I took the wrong extit from a roundabout and found myself heading back towards Chester on the trunk road.

All I managed to photograph at Conway
My one handed camera operation frustrated me again as I approached the beautiful Conway Castle. 

The slider had moved to video so no photo in that split second opportunity. 

This has happened frequently as the list of short messy videos on the SD Cards will testify.

Toward the Marine Drive Toll Gate
As I approached Colwyn Bay I paused to phone Barry Wynn to say that I was nearby. 

Twenty Minutes later we were to meet at the beginning of the Great Orme Marine Drive. 

I actually managed to arrive before the scheduled 4.30pm

Busy Llandudno Promenade
The run into Llandudno is beautiful with the whole town visible on it sweeping setting around the curve of the bay. 

Barry Wynne told me that The Mostyn Estates keep the building owners in check demanding when paintwork needs improvement.

Michael & Barry at the Great Orme Toll Gate
Meeting Barry Wynne, of our Insurer Gott & Wynne. for the First Time
Unfortunately the 'Rest & Be Thankful Cafe' was closed so no 'Cup of Tea together. 
We just exchanged Photos before I set off for my, also anti clockwise, circuit of the Great Orme. 

Barry had kindly arrange for a Toll Free circuit for me.

The Rest and be Thankful Tea Shop.

At the other end of the Marine Drive I needed to find the road to Bangor which proved difficult with out any signposts. 

Even tuning Right did not work here either. 

Visiting a few cul de sacs, Eventually by ever increasing circles I arrived at the roundabout and off I went once more.

A quick trip to Bangor followed by another magical mystery tour to the Menai Bridge also following a visit to the Menai College Car Park first. 

This does not auger well for the rest of Wales.

Beaumaris Castle in the evening light.
I crossed over the bridge onto Anglesea and headed for Beaumaris Castle, which was easy to find, then I got lost in a maze of single track roads. 

I was now getting very tired and developed quite a headache. 

It would take over two more hours to do the circuit, if I did not get lost again.

When I eventually came back to civilisation and a road with signs I could read, I headed for the newer Britannia Bridge and Caernarfon. 

I had had enough for one day. 

Anglesea would have to remain as a 'Part Circuit' on this trip. It was, like the Isle of Skye, an optional extra after all.

Tide is out at Caernarfon 

Caernarfon Castle & the Old Swing Bridge

Part of the Moat
The Old Main Gate

My evening stroll around Caernarfon, in the strong evening sun, yielded some lovely photos of the Castle, used for the investiture of Charles, as the Prince of Wales.

 Water Feature

Tomorrow I will be heading for Aberporth in an equally Regal Manner. 

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