Day 25-07 May 2012. Distance travelled today is 63 miles
This morning I can only describe the weather as average with a hint of rain in the air. I slept a little longer last night and didn’t wake until gone 0800 today and opening the blinds I find the site is emptying rapidly. I am able to take my time as the site warden said that I didn’t have a deadline to leave by today.
The place I stayed last night is called Shawcross and it is in the village of Oakford. Although it is a large site it was very peaceful and surrounded by some woodland and open country beyond to the sea. I waited some time on the site but unfortunately the red Kite failed to return and entertain us.
With time not being an influence I will be able to relax during the day. I only intend to do somewhere around 50 – 60 miles today and stopping at a few more places. I have researched some on the Internet and I have some expectations of what I might find along a lot of coastal roads today. My next stay tonight will be at Tywyn which is west of Aberdovy (the home of the Outward Bound experience).
As I depart the village and out through the picturesque country lanes I soon find myself on the equally quiet and picturesque A487 as it hugs the coast northwards. Pulling in briefly to Aberaeron and parking at the harbour, I have the beach on the other side and the contrast between the quiet of the beach and the activity of the harbour was fascinating. A brief stay here and I return to the main road to go and have a look at Arberath. Arberath has quite a history from its origin in Norman times following the Norman invasion.
It was used in the 12th century by local Monks as a sea port to bring in Bath stone from Bristol. The stone was used to build an Abbey in the area. The village church still has tower of Norman architecture. During the 19th century the village was involved in shipbuilding but this ceased with the demise of the shipbuilding industry after 1850.
My next interesting stop is the village of Llansantffraid and after considerable negotiation of the village lanes I was disappointed to find that all the accesses to the shore were gated and too far to walk. I did however make the effort and managed to view the shoreline from a distance until common sense prevailed and I returned to the motor home. Jogger passed me, puffing and panting (that was the jogger as well as me) and he asked if he could have a go with my oxygen. Llansanffraid means “Church of St Bridgit”. Between 1254 and 1850 there had been 17 variations to the spelling of the village name. Not wishing to be out done Powys County Council decided that they would alter the spelling in 2008 to correct a centuries old mistake. It was decided the letter “T” should be removed. Incensed by this decision a poll was carried out in the village and the vast majority wanted the “T” retaining. With the help of the village councilor and the MP the letter “T” still remains today. Looks like democracy wins.
On then to Aberystwith; a town of some 20000 population which is swollen in the summer by the influx of tourist to this grand part of Wales. The history of Aberystwith goes back to before the Bronze and Iron ages, but the first recorded history dates from the building of a fortress in 1109. The castle was all but destroyed in 1649 but part of the towers still exists. A mansion was built in 1783 and gardens were created by blasting away parts of the hill and many thousands of trees were planted to create the landscape which is so popular today. Coleridge is said to have been inspired by the area to write a passage in his famous poem Kubla Khan. In 1895 a group of businessmen formed the Aberystwith Investment Company and completed a number of building projects including the land Pavilion for the royal Pier. Reading this kind of information on the Internet before I visit the places puts a different perspective on seeing them and fires the imagination about what life might have been like.
Taking a slight detour I travel along a minor road to take me closer to the coast and to Clarach and Borth.
These are both quiet and pleasant places where a day of fun and relaxing could be easily spent given the weather. Leaving here I make my way to Machynlleth and then westward again along the coast road calling at Aberdovey and finally just before Tywyn for my nights stay.
I will be staying at a site for only 5 caravans or motor homes and it is a quiet site set below a small range of hills to the east and the sea to the west. The site is called Riverleas and the surrounding fields host a variety of sheep and cows happily grazing. A warm and friendly welcome was given by the owner who wished me a comfortable night. Tomorrow will include travelling on the coast road from Tywyn and ending my day in Harlech.
Enjoy your day today