Day 3: We got up fairly early this day and set off to look around Snowdonia Mountain and surrounding areas. Not wanting to disturb the ‘peace’ of the campsite we decided to get breakfast while we were out and we drove to the first town we found which was called Porthmadog. I have no idea how to pronounce it in the correct Welsh way but after Dad made an attempt we thereafter knew of it fondly the way he had decided it was pronounced – ‘Port Mad Dog’ (said in the most Aussie country bumpkin voice one could imagine). The poor guy copped it – especially from C.
Over breakfast we had a look at some brochures and discussed how we’d spend out day. We decided we were going to head up to the top of the mountain on a train from the next town along but when we got to the town where the train leaves from we found there was a long wait and the cost would be expensive so we settled with looking around from the comfort and warmth of Betty. Snowdonia is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to and I have to say that it was my favourite spot of the whole trip.
After driving part the way up ourselves and stopping to see some views we then decided to head to a see a few of the old castles that were around the area. First deciding to head to Caernarfon and take a look around Caernarfon Castle. It was really cool – I do have a fondness for old castles having a strong interest in history and I’ve been to a few castles since being over in the UK but this one was something else. It was the oldest of the castles I’d been to and in a lot of ways was still exactly as it had been originally. It really is amazing to think about how old the buildings were.
After spending a few hours there we then decided to head on another scenic drive and slowly make our way back toward our camp. The drive was stunning. We ended up making a quick stop at Harlech Castle but decided not to go in as it was getting quite late and we were tired and hungry. So we set off to have dinner along the way before heading back to our campsite to quietly make our way to bed.
Although the day had been lovely and sunny and ‘warm’ in comparison to the other days we still prepared ourselves for a cold night… we just had no idea what we were in for!
By the time we’d made it home the weather had started to turn. In the middle of the night I woke to the sound of the tent flapping and realised that the roof was dipping inwards. It sounded like it was blowing a gale outside and pelting with rain. Waking C, I asked him to go and check the tent was ok (well, I wasn’t going out there!). He assured me things were ok, that the storm wasn’t as bad as it sounded from where we were inside the tent, and he swiftly went back to sleep. I didn’t though… I lay awake and listened to the ‘storm’ and watched as the tent roof steadily got closer to my head. I then heard a ripping sound and woke C again.
This time I was sure things were not ok. We soon discovered that one of the tent poles had broken in the not-so-heavy wind. By this stage Ma and Pa had heard us scuffling around and had woken up to see our tent caved in. It was 2am and we hadn’t paid our bill and it was too wet to really pack up properly… so we all had to climb into the van and sleep together. It was actually hilarious. It had certainly been a LONG, LONG time since I’d had to sleep in the same bed as my parents, I was a lot bigger and the space was very small. Poor Colin had to sit (yes, sit) in the front seat and try to curl into a position where he could get some shut eye for the remainder of the night!!
Previous and subsequent parts to this story can be found here:
(Sadly, I never finished this 7 day travel tale)