33% off calendars. Now £6.00 plus postage!

October travels

25th October 2011
After the journey south, having spent a good few weeks on a rural field in Rutland, we arrived in Dorset. Marion booked a craft fair table whilst I declined to do so, going "birding" with camera instead. Marion had a long day at a golf club trying to sell woollen hats to very few punters in record October temperatures, whilst I had a great time at Ivy lake, spending time with the car park group. These hardy birders had stuffed fat ball into tree bark and were taking shots of Nuthatch as it flitted down for a feed. . . Thanks guys. Marion managed to sell a couple of my images (she displayed a few) which just about covered the table money.
We both spent some time with our respective children at some stage in the month, and I had a great day with Ben as he becomes more interested in photography. I later met with Sal in Brighton and met her Uni housemates. We also did a bit of house DIY at Marion's sisters house, as we spent a few nights on her drive. The wedding I had booked nr Southampton was cancelled, so it was not the most rewarding re commerce. However we settled nr Chichester and had a good time doing walks / jogging and cycling, and stayed for Shelley and Andy's party.
We then moved via Marion's daughters to a nice stop at Hey on Wye. This place made an instant impression and conversations were had re a future property / business in the town. We soon moved again through Wales and responded to an internet invite to meet Kev and Sue, fellow contributors to Birdguides. We spent a lovely couple of hours at their place and made instant friends, and I was inspired by much of Kev's work as much of the bungalow was full of his framed prints.
The rest of Wales was quite tough. We arrived in the remote foothills of Cadair Idris, and managed to negotiate some hairy narrow lanes to get a picture I wanted from Cregannon lake, but then found the small camping site we had tried to book was closed, and the van began to slip on the hill to the deserted farm. We eventually found some grip, turned around and headed off to camp on a larger (but nice) site in Barmouth. The bike ride the next day across the Mawdach estuary and down the Mawdach trail was exquisite. We like Barmouth at every visit and really must spend more time there.
The next move was north to Llanberis, and on arrival found the small pre-ooked campsite full (overbooked) and we spent a night in a beautiful spot on a lakeside car park, not sleeping well as we did not feel secure. We returned to the small campsite the following night, but the site was waterlogged and so we stayed on a small bit of hard ground (after getting very stuck and needing a big pull with a 4x4). This was exposed to the valley od Llanberis and the gusts of wind hit us like a large bat, making three nights with snatched sleep. Half term in wild wet weather is not good. The craft fair we did brought in a small profit, but in the light of sleep deprivation did not seem worth the effort.
Moving 20 miles up the coast to Conwy was like a breath of fresh air. The weather picked up, we found a small sheltered site, and had an enjoyable day visiting Conwy castle, after which we moved here to Lancashire. We are now staying until the end of November at the back of a farmhouse b&b with access to showers, toilets and washing machine...all the little luxuries. We are within walking distance of Martin Mere Wildfowl and Wetland Trust, where I have a photographic exhibition throughout November. I have a lot of preparation work but am looking forward to being in cycling distance of a small town and four great bird and nature reserves.