Last week we went on a mini-break to the far north of Wales. I usually say I live in North Wales, but I live at the southern end of the north -- if that makes sense. Go just a little bit further south and the next town you come to is definitely Mid-Wales. The reason for our trip was that G had received an email from the restaurant in Bangor University offering a free bottle of wine to alumni who booked a meal with them. As they are only open a couple of nights a week, it had to be during half term, and if we were to claim our free bottle of wine, we couldn't very well drive home. The solution was to book a night in a hotel, and thus the mini-break came into being.
Neither of us know Anglesey very well. It's further than we normaly like to drive for a day trip and there are so many beautiful places nearer to home that we've never really bothered. However, as we wouldn't have to drive back the same day, we decided to explore the bottom right-hand corner of Anglesey.
Our first stop was Moelfre, a little village on the coast. We found a free car park and then walked down a narrow path between houses, past a quaint little cafe/restaurant, to the beach.
From there we followed the coastal path round to the lifeboat station. Moelfre has recently had a new lifeboat, which entailed building a new lifeboat station because the new boat wouldn't fit into the old building. It was completed earlier this year and looked very splendid. It was open, so we could go in and look at the high-tech new lifeboat and also view the boards that list all the rescues that the crew have undertaken over the 160 years it has been saving people and boats.
New lifeboat station, Moelfre
By now we were getting hungry, but the quaint cafe was very crowded as it was an unnaturally warm day for the time of year and of course it was half term. There was, however, the slight problem of having no cash. I hardly ever use cash in a normal week because I pay by card for everything. I do try to remember to get cash before we go away but I had forgotten. G thought the cafe might take cards, but I wasn't sure. Anyway, it was so cramped and busy inside and they didn't seem to have ready made sandwiches (which was all we wanted, we'd booked a posh dinner for the evening remember!) that we decided to abandon it and try elsewhere.
The public toilet in Moelfre wasn't open (seasonal only), so we drove back to the slightly larger Benllech. There the lack of cash caused another problem. It cost £3 to park in the cark park for the day. I could only scrape together about £1.65 in bits of silver. Anyway, we didn't want to stay all day; we just wanted a quick wander round before moving on elsewhere. However, the public toilet was open, so after using the facilities, we decided to abandon Benllech and head to our next port of call.
As we were about to turn back onto the main road, we were saved by a Tesco express with parking, and sandwiches, and a cash machine. There was a moment of excitement when I came to use the machine, pressed "No" to answer the question, "Did I want to carry out another transaction?" and was slightly boggled when the machine proceeded to eject a debit card. Fortunately, the owner of the card was still in sight so G chased after him and managed to catch him as he went into a cafe.
Next stop was Traeth Bychan (which means Tiny Beach). The car park was huge. It could have coped with a hundred cars. It also cost £3 to park for the day, but as it was deserted with just one other solitary car parked there, we ignored the ticket machine and sat and ate our sandwiches without paying. Having then realised that there was a bit of free parking a little further down the lane, we moved our vehicle and got out to explore. The exploration took about 2 minutes. The name should have warned us but it was indeed a very tiny beach. But this then led us to wonder why the car park was so large. If that car park was full in the summer, where did all the people go? What did they do? If they all stayed on the beach, they'd have had to stand like penguins! We could only assume that they all arrived with boats or jet skis which they launched and sailed out into the bay. Or perhaps they all set out along the coastal path?
To be continued...