Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Day 15 - Caernarfon to Aberporth

Actual Miles Driven Today - 243

The Menai Bank Hotel 
My stay at the Menai Bank Hotel with Patrick & Rachel was a pleasure indeed. 

A Lovely Hotel over looking the Menai Straight and in a prime spot being a short walk to the Harbour and Caernarfon Castle in the town centre.

Patrick & Glass Repair Strip in place
Being Day 15 it was time for the Third Suspension Greasing Session before leaving. 

Included was the need for a car wash not having done that yesterday with my earlier start.

Patrick chose to provide me with a hose pile and help me to wash the car. 

I had mentioned that I also needed to find a garage to check my tyre pressures. 

In a flash, out came a large compressor and tyre done in an instant. 

While washing Patrick noticed my cracked headlight. 

Being a well organised vehicle owner that Patrick is,  I was presented with a patch of clear glass adhesive strip made for the purpose of repairing such Broken Glass and Cracks.

Rachel, Rebecca & Patrick bid me farewell.
During the evening the day before I was having second thoughts about my partial lap of Anglesey, so, before I set of on todays 188 miles journey, I would go back and do some more of my Anglesey route.

Britannia Bridge once more
I crossed the Britannia Bridge and took the southerly route to Holyhead where I photographed the Harbour. 

On the way I passed this garage with that famous Welsh Place Name.

Holyhead Sailing Basin
Footbridge near to the Harbour
As part of my quest to photograph military bases I then headed for the RAF Valley base where Prince William had been based before he married.
Which one is the Trainer?
RAF Valley
Due to the late leaving time it was now midday so, I set off for the bridge to the mainland once more, but this time, down the fast A55.

Snowdonia in the distance

My coast road route took the A487 & 499 until I diverted off the main road via the B4417 to Aberdaron.

The coast roads in this part of Wales are fabulous driving roads with not a pothole in site. Even the odd castle comes into view

I have Just climbed my first Welsh Hill. 

A quick stop of a photograph

And Mountains all around as we are in the Snowdonia National Park. 

The hill climbs are also great fun.. 

The only downside in the small villages are the speed humps which need careful navigation.

The run down to Aberdaron is a pleasure with a small village at the sea side. 

Negotiating the tricky bridge, I managed to find a parking place in a small gap next to the pub. 

I did not dally for long. Just enough time to pop down to the beach for a quick photo of Aberdaron Bay.

Over the Bridge with a quick Right and Left to the beach.

Aberdaron Bay.

The next road up over the hills towards Abersoch is unnamed but is equally one of the best drives of the day.

The view over the bonnet down towards Hell's Mouth Bay

The Bay at Pwllheli

Having arrived at Porthmadog, the home of the narrow gauge Welsh Highland & Ffestiniog Railway. 

Sadly, I had no time to go hunting for the trains. 

The station for the railway, which runs back to Caernarfon was just visible as I left the town heading for Portmeirion. 

It was a sharp right turn off of the A497 down a narrow drive to the Main Gate of this famous village. 

I cheekily asked at the Main Gate if I could drive down into the village as to drive the Coast Road, I needed to drive on their road.

After a phone call to Management, I was invited in but requested to drive carefully.

Mine Host who did the negotiating needed to get me in free of charge.

In the Village Square, The visitors were all standing behind me.
I drove into the Portmeirion estate arriving at the entrance gate. 

For once I was able to use my charm (or Blag) to get free access with The Green Goddess and drive down into the town square for a photo call. 

I convinced the Management that I needed to drive on their piece of the Coast Road to conform to my challenge. They agreed with me and let me in free of charge.

As I drove slowly through the sea of pedestrians I was already creating interest and the 'I wonder what he is doing here?' looks on the faces. 

'Is this the car used by Patrick McGoohan in the Prisoner'? 

Sadly I had to disappoint them.

I drew quite a crowd of ladies who were each keen to donate to Help for Heroes . 

I did eventually get the photos but stayed for about half an hour instead of my requested 2 mins.

This residential castle is in the grounds in the exit road. I could not resist this unusual choice of
notice featuring the PortMeirion Logo..

Just around the corner I spotted the entrance to the Toll Road at Penrhyndeudraeth which uses the Railway Bridge and cuts off a few miles of estuary road to Maentwrog and back.

Having spotted this route on Google Maps I was doubtful about the large pools of water seen on the road. 
Today, It was no problem, as I sailed across once the traffic lights were with me. 

I was soon driving due south again towards the Town of Harlech, where, there on the hill ahead is the famous Castle.

In the distance I spotted the river estuary at Llandanwg

Going through the pretty Town of Barmouth, where the road swings left to follow the estuary inlet.  

I can just see the beginning of the rail viaduct ahead.

Heading along the estuary for the toll bridge near to Llanelltyd

Looking back towards the famous Viaduct and Footbridge across 'The Bar' estuary at Barmouth

Approaching the old Toll Bridge

 The Toll Bridge and its Herringbone laid Wooden Planks. 

I actually drove past this short road and had to double back to ensure that I did not miss the pleasure and experience of this crossing.

Rumbling over the planks.

Not far down the road I came to the Narrow Gauge Railway at the village of Tywyn.

Unfortunately, the last train of the day had already left.

I was soon back on the coast road once more.

 Driving into the town of Aberdovey. 

 Looking across the River Dovey estuary.

Further up the Dovey Estuary heading towards Machynlleth

The River Dovey Bridge into Machynlleth which I am just about to cross.

I did not realise I had taken a mirror shot at the same time.

The Town Centre of Machynlleth as I drove through, non stop as usual. 
Once again I realise that I could have done with a few extra days to allow me to make more stops.

Tre'r Ddol heading down the south side of the Dovey estuary and the B4353  towards Borth

Entering Aberystwyth where I was intending to take a break for a Coffee if I could find a suitable place to stop.

I managed to find the seafront which overlooks Cardigan bay

The weather was looking grim as I headed for the old harbour area, passing the pier.

I found my spot overlooking the bay, to the left was the cafe where I purchased my coffee and a hot pastie snack. 

Just behind the flowers was a row of benches where I enjoyed the pleasures.

Driving back towards the town seeking my route south to my overnight stay at Aberporth.

Old Civic Buildings on the Harbourside.

Leaving town the dark clouds moved in once again. I had had a rain free day so far.

Within a few minutes the heavy rain started and I needed to pull over to put up the hood. 

Just Driving with nothing to look at as I drove through Aberaeron on the A487

It did not take long for me to become disillusioned by the rain and all I wanted was to get to the Rhyd Country Hotel and have a welcome rest, a nice drink and a warm meal. 

The rain just got heavier and heavier and was going to be set in for very wet and windy night. 

I would go straight to the hotel today and do some coastal doubling back in the morning.


  1. Replies
    1. Now he tells me, but it was April, Showers and all that. {;-)
      In 22 days I was lucky to only have Rain on a few days.