Monday 1 August 2016

Bitter Sweet

I hadn't planned to write a post for the weekend just gone - we were visiting a regular haunt and I didn't think there'd be much new to share.  But a few highlights and lowlights - Bitter Sweet moments - changed my mind.

I'd booked Friday afternoon off work and we drove to the north coast of the Llyn Peninsula to stop for a night or two at Porth Ysgaden, a small but very pretty cove with safe sea swimming and wonderful sunsets. We've been here before and enjoyed our stay.  This is wild camping, but we're respectful of our surroundings - we don't overstay our welcome - and we're grateful for the opportunity to enjoy such a beautiful spot.  So rather than a wordy narrative, I thought I'd list the Sweet and Bitter, with a (short) explanation where useful:


Swimming in the cove in the evening light - all alone (at least Cathy did!).

Several sea swims in different locations - refreshing, invigorating, smile-inducing.

Sat quietly watching the sun set into the sea.

The sight and calls of oyster catchers and other sea birds.

Meeting a local guy (sorry I didn't get your name) wild camping in his motorhome - friendly, interesting and knowledgeable about local birdlife and foraging for food, including fishing, picking wild thyme and rock samphire. He also taught me how to use the crab/fish trap, a birthday present from Nicola & Chris. What a pleasure to spend time talking to him.

Meeting Joy and Ian - a couple who were wild camping in a small VW with a pop-up roof. They had read my blog hence their visit to Porth Ysgaden.  It's nice to know someone reads my ramblings!  We hope you enjoyed the peace and quiet and cycling along the empty Llyn lanes.

Coastal walks in hot sunshine.

Lunch at the Ty Coch Inn - great beer and food - I couldn't finish my huge plateful!

Light rock fishing - nothing caught this time but fun watching the small wrasse and blennies chasing my sand eel lure in the gin-clear water!

Discovering new beaches and coves - we particularly liked Porth Nefyn.  A beach we'll definitely return to.

Collecting seaglass and 'lucky stones' - fast becoming an addictive compulsion.


Rubbish on the tidal line.  We always collect rubbish from the beach, taking it home to recycle or dispose of in our bin.  Most is plastic but there's also food and drinks litter left by day trippers. 

 A local man walking his dogs telling us the local council are clamping down on campervans parking overnight in such places.  He has a van himself and also likes to wild camp, but believes the local campsites have been complaining.  The fact is we don't want to pay over £20 to park in their field when we're self-sufficient and don't need to use any of their facilities. Nor do we want to book a pitch several weeks in advance, preferring the spontaneity of a last-minute trip.

A boat-owning lady stating rather loudly "no wonder they're stopping these 'caravanettes' from parking here" despite the fact that her 4-wheel drive vehicle and long trailer were taking up about 4 parking spaces. We'd happily pay a reasonable fee to park here overnight as I'm sure she'd happily pay a launching fee for her boat (it's currently free). 

So it looks like our occasional stop-overs at Porth Ysgaden may soon be at an end.  It's a shame as we love this spot and always leave it cleaner than we found it.  We respect the area, look after it and spend money in the local shops and pubs. My view is 'live and let live' and there's room for all to share this beautiful part of the peninsula - day-trippers, divers, fishermen, walkers, boat owners, campervanners.  All it takes is a sensible approach and some mutual respect.  But it looks like the campsite owners are unhappy that not everyone wants to stay on their noisy, over-priced fields.  Still, there are plenty more places to explore and stay on this beautiful peninsula. 

This is why we love this place.....

Not exactly packed is it?  Car park at about 5pm

Meditating sat on a rock looking at this......

Beauty is in the eye of the stone holder

Cathy swimming late in the evening - warm water all to herself

Breakfast cooked on the Cadac Safari Chef 2 I won in a competition

This is what we see time and again.....sad

All the way from Pachino, Italy

Hot sand, blue sky


  1. Unfortunately the UK is full of NIMBYs and other such folk. I can understand it when people are disrespectful; but like you - we wild camp and don't take advantage or overstay our welcome. We operate in stealth mode. Having lived in Wales for 20+ years, and then in a bustling part of England, I can see both sides. But sadly, there are rules for 'them' (anyone not wild camping), and rules for us. And we fit into the 'you must be freeloading travellers' group. What they don't get, is that we spend money in the locality. We leave NO mess. We are thoughtful and courteous. We pay money to visit their attractions (the money saved not spending £20+ a night in a god awful campsite! The consession is Britstops: happy to buy from a local business in exchange for a good parking spot. We've had some cracking ones). Anyhow, I digress. Basically, for some unknown reason, campervans / motorhomes are vermin to 'them' (you're right about their own parking status though. 4x4s, trailers and other vehicles). Yet if someone parked outside my house (when we had one) for the night I wouldn't complain. I'd have a chat with them about their travels. Sadly, people can be so narrow minded and self absorbed. Bring back the good old days (not that long ago), when people were left alone to get on with their business. Let's just say, Scotland and Europe are looking very welcoming. Though, to be fair, we're currently touring Wales with no issues. Pot luck I suppose :). As for your blog and FB posts ... keep them coming thanks. Always a good read. Cheers.

    1. Thanks for your comment. We're also Britstops fans. We're looking forward to our trip to Scotland next year and many more trips to mainland Europe, where we're warmly welcomed.


    2. Maybe we'll cross paths up in Scotland or Europe next year! I think you've seen 'arroobba' on Twitter (that's us). Looking forward to roaming wherever we fancy too :)

  2. Love the Llyn Peninsula such a beautiful part of the world. Why the minority have to spoil it for the majority, we will never know.

  3. The Llyn peninsular is just a beautiful place and looks like you had great weather.

    Why is it a handful of people with their litter always spoil it for everyone.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.