I had a look into the meaning of this isle’s name and I came across a few explanations, Try HERE and it will be clearer.
Once called ‘Mam Cymru‘, the breadbasket of Wales.
We woke to high winds and more rain and the nearest hill well under cloud.
‘Tourist time’ we agreed, I’d always wanted to see the Menai Suspension Bridge built by a fellow Scot, Thomas Telford and as it wasn’t that far away. It was the start of a plan which involved breakfast then off across to Anglesey.
We left Bangor town centre and headed across the Menai Straits but the bridge we crossed was the Pont Britannia, more info HERE . We headed north and stopped at a vantage point in which we saw both the suspension bridge and Ynys Gored Goch, an intriguing island out in the Swellies, more info HERE. I made a mental note to find out more about and found it has quite an illustrious history. We carried on and headed towards Holyhead on the separate Holy (Holyhead?) Island and as we passed through the town of Llanfair Pwllgwyngyll a sudden realisation hit me where we were, the town with the longest railway station name world-wide…the wonderfully named Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. If I’ve spelt it wrong, just refer to the image in this post and the explanation. It was seemingly conjured up as a tourist attraction and by the number of folk talking photographs when we visited, it has worked.
We soon left the station behind and the day was turning into blue sky and sunshine although it was very breezy. A training jet then seen flying at low-level across farmland from the nearby RAF base.
We headed towards the port town of Holyhead, in the early 1800’s the government laid down a plan to connect London to Dublin with a direct road (later the A5) and responsibility for completing the project was given to earlier mentioned engineer Thomas Telford. The history of the A5 is HERE . I’ll let Wikipedia relate the history..
We soon crossed the causeway into Ynys Gybi (Holy or Holyhead Island), we drove along the waterfront following signs to the Breakwater Country Park which Holyhead Mountain looms over. The ruins of a large quarry on its north side and the associated quarry buildings which supplied the stone for the local breakwater.
As we got out of the car to stretch our legs, the conversation started ‘Much charge left in the VX7 ?’, ‘Dunno maybe’, ‘its a Marilyn’, ‘It’s not far away’, ‘We wouldn’t have that much height to make’, ‘It wouldn’t take long’. Patsy said ‘Go for it’ so we did heading up one of a myriad of paths taking the line towards the highest ground and just below the summit, a light scramble up some loose scree but a more than leisurely stroll on other paths.
In our hurry to set off, we never checked for a notebook or pen but Roddy had his Swiss Army do everything knife with a small pen and his OS map was our log. I searched high and low for the summit geocache which escaped me but I have since read that the hill was also activated two days later and someone found it during the activation. Another one escaped me, at least I looked this time, on Tal Y Fan my gps had shown I was 23ft away and in the murky weather etc, I forgot it DOH!
We shared contacts again and first in the log was Sean PZO for the second time and Sean was to activate the hill two days later. It was a local station Bob RZL somewhere just below us in the nearby town before we gave Patsy 2WØUPG a call down below in the car park. I called and called and nobody but soon we got a call from Gwyn XAS on the mainland in Conwy. The sky around us was a deep shade of blue and sitting in the ‘shelter’ out of the strong breeze it was pleasantly warm.
Two more contacts to finish the activation, Paddy PAD in nearby Trearddur Bay and last name in the log was John ZPL near our base in Bangor. Unfortunately due to the battery situation we had to cut the activation short although we did try some calls after John but no takers. It was satisfying to bag another hill and make some more contacts. I could sit at the summit on this hill and play radio regularly. I mean look at the colour of that sky !
We packed everything away and decided on an alternative way down, heading east we ended up skirting the edge of Holyhead before finally speaking with a dog walker who pointed us through a path which led us back to the car park. It was a cracking day for a stroll and a first activation whilst dressed for sightseeing.
It was another quick stroll around the old quarry buildings reading about their use in the past.
It was time to head back to Bangor via the Suspension Bridge, we stopped to take some more photos and finally we left Anglesey by the bridge I had wanted to see.
It was a shower and change of clothes for our last night at Pentir.
We had ordered and were eating when we got asked to ‘join’ in on what is the regular Quiz Night in the Vaynol. We threw a quid each in and were given our question papers. We set about trying to kick the grey matter into gear and we completed the first quiz paper, a written exercise. To our surprise, we came in the top half…
It was time to settle down for the main event and phew! these questions were hard and I mean obscure into the bargain but we knuckled down and the two young ‘uns with me came through and we handed our quiz sheet in with a ‘ Looks good’ comment.
The drums rolled, the top three in reverse and guess what ? we finished second, one point behind the winners but delighted at going in cold…Silver for the lads. More cider to celebrate.
Please never mention Zig’n’Zag to me again please…..
Early next morning it was packing time which doesn’t take us men long and off yes, you’ve guessed where and for what.
We left Bangor behind and it was to head home and a six-hour journey, leaving Wales behind we headed north up the motorway where we monitored 2m FM and soon I was working Richard JTD on three separate WOTA summits, Harrison Stickle, Pavey Ark and Thunacar Knott. Three WOTA points was a bonus.
A quick stop in Wigan for water, loo and scran before a non stop return home.
It was good to have been away but also good to return home.
An excellent five days spent with both Roddy and Patsy, three hills climbed with Snowdon our intended done…
Thanks to Roddy for the company on the way up and down the hills, the craic etc. To Patsy for his driving all those miles and for our punning competitions….
It was the weekend to rest then back to the daily grind…..