Sunday 25 April 2021
It's over eight months since we were last out in the van and we're very happy to be back! Our last trip away was a couple of days on the Llyn Peninsula in early August 2020, although the last time I blogged was our stay on a C&CC CS in the village of Cynwyd in July last year.
We're now on a CL about 3 miles south of Cynwyd, very close to the village of Llandrillo. We've had a relaxing day, enjoyed our dinner and are now chilling out in the van with a cup of tea and a cherry bakewell, having watched the sun set over the hills to the west. The CL is full, so it's clearly a popular one.
With some Lockdown restrictions only recently lifted (although pubs, restaurants and cafes are still closed in Wales) we didn't want to travel too far from home. So the hour and a half's journey here was about right. We'd packed up the van over the past few days and loaded some foodie treats to celebrate our first van trip for many months. Salty loves being in the 'vanny' but for some reason he seemed very spooked during the journey. Over the past months he's spent quite a bit of time in the van as we worked on a few internal improvements, but that was static on the drive. He seemed very unsettled and ended up crouched under my driving seat, unwilling to come out. It didn't help when we stopped at the Rhug Estate - just a few miles short of our destination - to find the car park rammed with hundreds of revving motorbikes.
Shortly after we arrived at this C&MC CL - called Tynant - part of a working farm. It's a lovely spot, with 360' views and surrounded by newly born lambs. It's a long time since we had a van trip, so it took a while to get back into the routine of using the levelling ramps, getting hooked up to electric and getting the kettle on! Lunch was a quiche bought at Rhug and a sliver of lemon drizzle cake! The sun was shining in a cloudless sky, although the breeze was quite chilly. We relaxed for a couple of hours, soaking up the peace and quiet. The CL has an information 'shed' - literally a wooden shed with lots of information inside. Some local walks from the site are displayed, so we decided to take a short walk along a footpath track through the forest, mainly to give Salty some exercise and work up his appetite, as he hadn't eaten all day. The track took us through a lovely old deciduous forest, with a few delightful old Welsh long-cottages and small-holdings. This is shooting country and there were a lot of pheasants on the path and close by in the woods. Our passing flushed them out of cover and poor Salty didn't know which way to turn! He's a terrier; flushing and chasing prey is instinctive, so he's always on a lead. The sun felt warm in the still shelter of the trees and we enjoyed listening to the birdlife and the river flowing below. This path is part of a longer walk we'll do on another day, so we didn't go too far before retracing our route back to the van. On the way down we met one of the owners as we walked through the farmyard and Cathy had a good, long chat with her entirely in Welsh, whilst Salty said hello to their docile black labrador in his usual grumpy terrier style!
Dinner was pre-cooked fried chicken with salad and a bottle of white wine, enjoyed in the warmth of the van, looking out over the fields and hills. The sun eventually set over the wind turbines set on the brow of a hill to the west and the sky slowly turned pink then purple. The wind has dropped and the silence is only broken by the new-born lambs calling for mum. Salty has settled down thankfully and spent the evening sat in the driver's seat watching the lambs (from the safety of a locked van), before snoozing.
We've recently invested in a new memory foam mattress, replacing the uncomfortable coil-sprung one; it's going to be much kinder to our backs, the springs won't be sticking in me and we won't be rolling into the middle any more! I think the deafening silence here, combined with new mattress and pillows, will result in snoring all round....not too long from now! Tomorrow we'll explore a bit more, with a walk up to a circle of cairns in the Berwyn mountains. Goodnight all.
|View from the Galley
|Relaxing after a stressful journey for Salty
|Poor photo of a red kite
|"Maureen Stone - a woman of grace, joy and laughter"
|A small splash of colour
|Nido....panad a teisan!