Sunday, 10 August 2014

Lleyn revisited

When the girls were little we used to rent a cottage annually on the Lleyn Peninsula in North wales (the top left hand corner of the country, the bit that sticks right out into the Irish Sea) usually at Nefyn or further west. This year we decided to do it again and rented a large house above Abadaron, right on the tip of Lleyn for all of last week. The weather forecast was dismal, but as is often the case on Lleyn the weather we experienced largely denied those dour predictions of the weather man.

Naturally I took loads of photos, but other people's holiday snaps can be a bit tedious so here's just a small selection to give a flavor of our week, and of the beautiful peninsula of Lleyn (if you avoid Abersoch!).

Please click on any picture for a larger image.

On arrival last Saturday the weather was dry but dull. Here's a view down the drive of our rented house. 

An enlargement from the above picture shows  the distinctive hill of Mynydd Rhiw, above Hell's Mouth (Porth Neigwl) bay

Claire and Dave play 'windy badminton'  on a gusty Sunday morning. Facing into wind, you can play solo! 

Once a year the Lifeboat Station at Porth Dinllaen holds an open day, and this year it fell on the Sunday of our week. We parked at the 'Ciffs Hotel' above the beach at Morfa Nefyn and walked the couple of miles through the golf course and along the cliff top to the Lifeboat Station almost on the tip of the promontory. Last time we were here the Lifeboat Station was much smaller and an all-stone building with a slate roof in the traditional North Wales style, but after 26 years the old life boat (the Hetty Rampton) has been retired and the newer, larger boat (the John D. Spicer) required the demolition of the old building and construction of a bigger station to house it. 

The 'John D. Spicer' in its new lifeboat station

A slightly fuzzy crew member explains how the boat is operated. In rough seas the hatch in the foreground is shut and the boat operated from inside the cabin.

Inside the new high-tech boat. It has twin 1,000 hp Caterpillar diesel engines and full electronic control. Miniature throttle levers, with bow thrust controllers and a tiny steering tiller are provided on both wings of the bridge, and internally in the seat arms of the forward seats as well. There is also a conventional 'ship's wheel' on the right hand wing of the bridge visible in the previous picture.

Chris and Claire on the 'John D. Spicer'

Looking out along the slipway from the boat's fore deck 

 Stern view, showing the winch used to haul the boat back up the slipway out of the water. Before launch the engines are started; they are liquid cooled using a heat exchanger in the keel to transfer heat from the engine coolant to the sea. An outboard engine powered RIB (Rubber Inflatable Boat) is housed in the stern and can leave the 'mother ship', Thunderbirds style, to manouvre closer to rocks or ships in distress. The RIB is then recovered into the John D. Spicer by simply driving it onto the stern ramp, complete with occupants, then the ramp is raised to enclose the RIB in its stern compartment and protect it from the sea.

We walked back along a cliff-foot path to the beach at Port Dinllaen, then along the beach to here, the Cliffs Inn at Morfa Nefyn where we had parked and where we would have lunch. The Lifeboat Station can be seen on the end of the far promontory (click on the picture for a larger image, or see the picture below).

The new Porth Dinllaen Lifeboat Station seen in tele-photo from the car park of the Cliffs Inn, Morfa Nefyn 

This brings back memories - just about to order lunch at 'The Cliffs'. Helen, Claire, Dave, Chris. Back in the days when the girls were little and we came to Lleyn for a couple of weeks every year the 'Cliffs' was our usual lunch spot. Back then it was run by Glynn and Mary who opened it in 1973 on the site of a small guest house and restaurant. It was THE place for meal on the peninsula, offering excellent food at good prices and it was advisable to get there early if you wanted a table for lunch. Everybody wanted to eat at the 'Cliffs' and queues for tables to become vacant were the norm.

It changed hands in 2003 and lost its magic. You can still get a good lunch there but it's not as good as it used to be and it's not the value it was. There's more competition from other pubs these days, and probably fewer people holidaying in the UK. Queues for tables at the 'Cliffs' are a distant memory.

Abadaron beach in Monday lunchtime sunshine with the balcony of the Ty Newydd pub tempting us.... 

....So hey ho, another lunchtime, another pub lunch! The gang on the terrace of the Ty Newydd perusing the menu. 

Our rented house in lovely Lleyn sunshine 

Outdoor scrabble, a favorite post-beach pass time 

 Abadaron is the 'last' village on Lleyn being on the end of the peninsula, but Llyn itself stretches a couple of miles further into the Irish Sea to the rugged headland of Mynydd Mawr. There is a narrow road, becoming a track, that leads out to this lonely spot high above Bardsey Sound where there is a (now disused) coastguard look-out station. This is the view back along Lleyn from there.  

Here's an enlargement of that view (click for a larger image) showing the spine of Lleyn made up of extinct volcanoes. In the left foreground is the rising ground of Mynydd Anelog. Beyond, behind the wooded Mynydd Cefnamwlch are the distinctive three peaks of 'The Rivals', or more correctly 'Yr Eifl'  near Trevor. Just in front of them is Garn Boduan near Nefyn. Dominating the scene right of centre is 371 meters high Carn Fadryn, with Carneddol on its right flank. Mynydd Rhiw is off the picture to the right.

Looking in the opposite direction is the tip of Lleyn, with Bardsey Island beyond

Here's a picture of Bardsey that I took many years ago from our dH Chipmunk

Finally, looking west Abadaron is at the left end of the first bay in the picture with Trwyn y Penrhyn point and the Gwylan islands beyond. In the distance is the promontary of Mynydd Cilan at the far side of Hell's Mouth bay (Porth Neigwl). The misty line of hills in the far background are those bordering Cardigan Bay in the Harlech area.

What a great week! Might have to do it all again next year!.


No comments:

Post a Comment