We left Isle of Anglesey, driving from Amlwch along the east coast to Beaumaris where Tony used to visit many years ago to service marine engines in that Marina. Then over the Menai Bridge towards Snowdonia. We stopped a few times en route to admire the scenery, green and pleasant in the summer sunshine. The mountains of Snowdonia provided a majestic backdrop; caught in the summer haze they resembled huge mammoths standing along the horizon, their grey backs almost blending into the hazy blue sky.
We drove along the Vale of Conway, stopping to visit the Swallow Falls. They charged us £1.50 each to view the falls – and very pretty they were too. However, when we reached the bottom of the gorge we were hugely entertained by four fit young men swimming in the pools at the bottom of the waterfall, jumping and diving. They were climbing up the wet, slippery walls beside the fall and sliding down again carried down by the rush of water. I don’t think the sad attendant at the top had any idea were were being treated to such a spectacle.
We arrived at the pretty little town of Betws-y-Coed (sounds like Bettersea Coyd). The area was a base for walkers, cyclists, canoeists and horse riders and the town was heaving on that warm sunny evening. There were lots of people enjoying the cool waters of the river – paddling and swimming in the deeper pools whilst others lay in the sun along the grassy banks. There was a narrow stone bridge spanning the river towards the town centre and a crowd had gathered to watch some youths jumping from the bridge into the water. There was a stern sign warning folk not to jump at risk of prosecution – but the sign was in Welsh, mostly.
The following day we cycled a circuit of 25K along country roads and tracks, some very steep. The scenery was just beautiful, leafy country lanes, green fields, lakes and rivers with the green backdrop of the Welsh hills. The foxgloves and heather by the paths were vying with each other to win the “colour me purple” contest. Outside the towns we saw few cars but plenty of walkers, horse riders and cyclists.