Tuesday, 3 April 2012

The Actual Trip: Day 4

Hello from Holyhead where the weather is the very definition of "Wet and Windy". A good day today where I didn't get lost once, despite driving through a city. Well, ok, it was a very small city where all I had to do was turn right, but St David's is still a city!
Newgale. Was blowingagale.
The day started with the weather looking quite bright. I'd filled up on my Travelodge "Breakfast Bag", which was tastier than I had expected. First up was the surprise toll bridge on the A470 just north of Pembroke, all of 75p and then through Haverfordwest onto what was a great drive to St David's and up to Fishguard. I took a few photos at Newgale and the beach looked tempting until I got out the car and realised how windy it was. I'd left quite early this morning (well, half 8) and can conclude that rush-hour is a very calm affair in rural Wales.

After Fishguard (more photos) the long drive up the A487 continued. The weather clouded over somewhat and by the time I stopped at Aberaeron it was starting to look quite miserable. On to and through Aberystwth I'm sure the views would have been impressive if not shrouded in cloud. Next up was Machynlleth where my route hugged the coast of the Snowdonia National Park. By the time I got to Aberdyfi and stopped for lunch it was bucketing it down.
Fishguard. Pretty.

I think I managed to miss the worst of the rain by having lunch. The drive itself was quite fun, even in the wet and the traffic was very light most the way. I couldn't help but admire the short walls alongside either side of the road (and later on the A496), not for the fact that I didn't want to get my car anywhere near them, but that at one point in time someone (or more likely someones) had spent a lot of time and effort building them. along with making the road fairly decent.

The rain easing off a bit I headed round through Barmouth and Harlech and could admire the mountains a bit more now. It was then on to Porthmadog and what seemed a very long drive to Pwllheli where I had another stop. It was then up the wide and straight A499 (completely different to the narrow winding A399) for the final leg to Holyhead. Through Caernarfon where there were huge queues going in the other direction it was then a quick hop onto the A55 to get across the Britannia Bridge. Annoying I didn't get the chance to admire the bridge too much as the traffic was quite heavy and I was heading off at the next junction. Or so I thought, then I remembered at the last moment that I needed junction 8, not 8a, which was about 100 yards later.

At this point, with over 6 hours driving behind me I thought "ah, just a quick trip round Anglesey then to  Holyhead". Was nearly another hour, not helped by a couple of really dawdly people. I did manage to overtake one of them but I don't have the greatest confidence for pulling off safe overtakes on roads I don't know. The other one eventually turned off. Nearly took a wrong turn when I finally got to the A5 where Holyhead was signposted in the opposite direction to what I was expecting and, again at the last moment, I realised that this was because the signs wanted me to use the A55, which I didn't.
Pwllheli. Difficult to pronounce.

The bridge across to Holy Island was very very windy and the steering wheel was gripped very firmly! And then there I was, Holyhead, heading over the railway line to the Travelodge. All in all it took about 7 hours, again a bit longer than expected. Today's excuse will be the 3 times I had to sit at roadworks where convoys were operating, particularly outside Aberystwyth where it took a good 20 minutes to get through. Along one of my favourite roads tomorrow, The A55 North Wales Expressway and then back to England, where hopefully it won't be raining quite so much.

1 comment:

  1. Love the pictures around Fishguard. Many, many years ago we had a couple of holidays near Fishguard in a holiday house with a real cromlech in the garden; and also a couple of holidays further north in a village called Llanbedr. Always wanted to go to Anglesey...
    Happy motoring!