Tag Archives: Holyhead Wales

UK Trip Day 7: July 20/14

21 Sep

Just a quick recap for Day 6 of vacation, after the cliff jumping I got a taxi ride back to the B&B had a quick shower and went to the attached cafe for lunch where I devoured fish n chips, Mmm! πŸ™‚ I didn’t have anything else planned for the rest of that day, I wanted to wait and see how I felt. I was told there was an interesting lighthouse that people liked to go to, you can climb all the way to the top but I just wasn’t feelin it, ya know? Normally I’d have been all over that lighthouse excursion but after lunch I went back to my room and napped lol Yes, that is right, I napped. I was exhausted! I think not just from the cliff jumping but the whole week, I think it caught up to me and knowing that I had my own room (no more hostels, woot!), and knowing that starting the next day I’d be surrounded by family, my body decided forget climbing a hill and then a bunch of steps, it was time for sleeeeeep.

Some might say I wasted that afternoon and evening, but I don’t feel I did. I worried a bit that evening I’d regret not having done something once I no longer had the chance but nope, I still don’t regret it. I made endless cups of tea in my room, took my time packing and getting organized, had that lovely nap, watched some tv, read some of my book, went on facebook cause that was one of the only places in Wales I’d had internet and well, that’s pretty much it, shrug. Heck, I even went to bed early! *gasp*

July 20th aka Day 7

I wasn’t sure how long it would take to drive to Manchester from Holyhead Wales so I decided I should probably leave around 9am. My rental car was due back hmm…noon or 12:30pm, somewhere around there and I was worried what would happen if I was late. I went to the cafe for breakfast and when the lady took my order she commented that she noticed the day prior I hadn’t eaten the bacon or sausage, I apologized and told her I forgot to mention to her I don’t eat pork. She seemed so worried I wouldn’t have enough to eat so with my full Welsh breakfast she didn’t bother with the pork but instead I got an extra egg and some fried mushrooms, yum! I dallied a bit over breakfast, had an extra cup of tea, basically did whatever I could to stay longer. I really didn’t want to leave.

I didn’t want to leave The Beach Hut B&B (seriously, nicest people ever!). I didn’t want to leave Wales (I fell in love with that country). I didn’t want to leave that section of my vacation (I learned I looooove going on vacation alone, who’d of thunk it? lol). I just didn’t want to leave, sigh. But leave I did, and only a tad behind schedule. πŸ™‚

Thanks to the wifi at The Beach Hut I looked up directions to the Manchester airport the night before and wrote down quite possibly the most detailed directions anybody in the history of the world has ever written lol Oh, and Dave being the awesome man that he is, when I was partway down one of the flights of stairs with my stupid heavy suitcase he saw and came rushing up the stairs to take it from me! When I said not to worry he made a comment, I don’t have the exact quote or anything, but it was something like of course he would help and I should have come and got him because of course he’d have brought it down all the stairs and not just the final flight of them. Love that man! πŸ™‚

I said bye, told them I had a great stay and I loved the place, loaded up the car and *sniffle* left Holyhead. 😦

I was so sad to be leaving I took pictures while driving, *rolls eyes at self*

I was so sad to be leaving I took pictures while driving, *rolls eyes at self*

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Driving back towards Manchester I was much more confident on the highways, heck, even on the little roads and within city limits. At the beginning of the trip, when I was leaving Manchester and on my way to Llanberis I wasn’t sure of the speed limits anywhere so I am sure I was going slower than I needed to. On this leg of the drive not only was I more comfy driving on the left side of the road, and more comfy with the style of driving over there, I was also more used to the road sign placement so I actually noticed signs in enough time to read them properly which meant I knew the speed limit, yay! This meant I got to Manchester waaaaaaaay earlier than I predicted lol

Returning the rental car was thankfully a lot easier than the ordeal I went through picking it up – if you don’t know what ordeal I am referring to feel free to clickΒ hereΒ to read all about it. I had to fill out a form when I dropped the car off, there were all these questions asking about how happy I was with the service etc. I chose to fill out the form truthfully, and then when I was giving it back to the lady at the returns section of the lot I mentioned I had a horrible experience at pick up and now that I’ve told the truth on my form I was probably going to get charged for something (damage to the car that I didn’t do etc) because the powers that be within the company would be unhappy with the review I gave. She said no, she was the one who assessed returning vehicles and she promised she wouldn’t charge me for anything just because I wrote the truth on the form. I wasn’t sure if I trusted her, which is horrible to say, but it is true, shrug. I never did get random charges by them on my credit card and I even got an email asking me to fill out a longer online survey because they heard I had an unpleasant experience. I filled out the form and their response was that next time I rent a car from them I can get a discount. I won’t ever be renting a car from them again, but the offer is nice.

All this time I’ve been talking about the car, I don’t think I ever put a picture up of it, here ya go…

The little Kia that got me through Northern Wales

The little Kia that got me through Northern Wales

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It really was a cute little car, great for the tiny roads. It handled well and was comfy, go Kia! πŸ™‚

I had time to kill waiting for family to pick me up, originally it was going to be Sue, who when I was younger I used to call Aunt Sue even though she is my cousin cause she was an adult and I wasn’t and it is polite to have a prefix in front of an older than you family members name but now that I am all grown up I just call her Sue…actually…most of the time I found ways to get around calling her her name cause I felt a little odd calling her Sue but she’s not my Aunt so I can’t call her Aunt Sue anymore and well, it was kinda awkward lol By the end of the trip I got it sorted out though lol So anyways! She was going to pick me up but then I got a phone call from her son Liam saying he was picking me up, along with Samantha (his sister), and Bryan (Sam’s son)…still with me? πŸ˜‰

Liam ended up calling me from the car cause they were lost and needed me to give them directions to where I was waiting (I was at the car rental office) which I thought was hilarious cause I have absolutely nooooo sense of direction, however! I had my freakishly detailed handwritten notes I had made for how to get to the car rental place from Holyhead so I read off to him the section of the notes that were pertinent to him and eventually he found me, well, they found me. πŸ™‚

It was great seeing family, and it seemed almost magical how for a week I’d been travelling on my own and sorting things out by myself and all of a sudden I was in a car with people who had my back, aaaaaand who understood much better than I how everything worked lol Finally! People who could answer all my random questions about all the odd little things I’d been noticing but had nobody to comment to about them lol Oh, and even better, someone to drive who knew (roughly) where they were going. What a relief!

To be continued…dun dun dun… πŸ˜‰

UK Trip Day 6: July 19/14

10 Sep

This is the big day! My most exciting day! The day I was most looking forward to! πŸ™‚ I was surprised I slept at all the night before lol I woke up early, made my way down to the cafe that is attached to the B&B. The lady who helped me when checking in was manning the counter, I don’t know how she was so friendly so early in the morning but she was lol

I got my full Welsh breakfast, which by this point, was starting to seem like a normal way to start my day lol Only thing is I forgot to tell her I don’t eat pork so I ended up with a huge thing of bacon and some sausages, ugh, I ate everything but the meat, obviously.

Dave came out and I asked him for directions to where I needed to be, I was hoping it would be close enough I could walk/jog there but when I asked about that he looked at me like I was a tad cuckoo lol which is ok, lots of people look at me that way when I say I want to walk to get where I’m going lol πŸ˜›

Since I couldn’t walk/jog there I asked if they wouldn’t mind calling a cab company for me but Dave said nope, he’d give me a ride there! How awesome is that?! First he carries my super heavy suitcase then he gives me a ride to the outskirts of town, love this guy! πŸ™‚

So where was I going you ask? I was going to the home base of a company called Anglesey Adventures, their website is http://www.angleseyadventures.com I thought I had signed up to go coasteering, which if you are like most people I know, you have no idea what that is, which is ok cause I didn’t know what it was either lol I stumbled across the company and their adventures when I was researching what to do in Northern Wales, this video is what sold me on signing up for fun times with this company…

Now, there was a bit of confusion because when I booked my spot with them I thought I was going to be doing what was in that video but when I got there they had me signed up for cliff jumping only, not coasteering. sigh. Also, only out of the awesomeness of the owner Grant did I still get to go because nobody else had signed up for the same day/time and normally they would have cancelled the outing but since I signed up so far in advance they didn’t want to cancel on me so it was just me and a guide, no group! When Grant first told me this I was a tad nervous but that is cause I am sometimes shy and I didn’t like the idea of just me and a guide, he (the guide) would see just how much I sucked since there’d be nobody else to look at lol also, I was counting on the peer pressure from the group to help me jump off the cliffs lol In the end though I was really grateful it was just the guide and I because I’m pretty sure I would have died without so much attention being given to me πŸ˜›

The first thing that I noticed when I got to the office site was that there were no women around, I eventually found one lady in the office manning the desk, and there were some twenty-somethings in the same washroom as I but they were from a neighbouring campsite, they weren’t taking part in any of the adventures. When I asked about that I was told that women don’t really sign up for this stuff, most of the groups are guys going on a stag weekend. What’s with that? C’mon ladies, go out there and have some adventures already! lol

I was given a wetsuit and told to put some swim shorts on over top of it, I knew that already so I brought the closest thing I had, which was a swim skort type of thing lol I figured it might look weird, wearing a black skort over top of a wetsuit but whatev, I’m a girl, I can wear a skort if I wanna! πŸ˜› lol The reason for this is because the cliffs are so sharp they tear through the wetsuit material super easy but swimsuit material is tougher and doesn’t get damaged nearly as quickly. Once I heard that I resigned myself to having my skort die at some point but it actually survived without a scratch.

The guide brings along a water proof camera and takes pictures through out the adventure so I have actual proof of what I did! lol He said to remind him to take the pics cause he often forgets, I reminded him at the beginning, and we did get some, they turned out pretty well, I think…

I do this whenever I'm on vacation and there is a beach lol

I do this whenever I’m on vacation and there is a beach lol

Final prep on the beach before heading to the cliffs...I didn't tell him to take this one lol

Final prep on the beach before heading to the cliffs…I didn’t tell him to take this one lol

It looks like a really big jump when looking down!

It looks like a really big jump when looking down!

Big step out so I don't hit any of the cliff on the way down...

Big step out so I don’t hit any of the cliff on the way down…

Happy and safe bobbing about in the ocean

Happy and safe bobbing about in the ocean

Different angle...I was told to keep my knees bent cause that area was a bit shallow and you didn't want to hit the bottom

Different angle…I was told to keep my knees bent cause that area was a bit shallow and you didn’t want to hit the bottom

Tryna act all cool and nonchalant, like this is stuff I get up to all the time lol

Tryna act all cool and nonchalant, like this is stuff I get up to all the time lol

So here’s how it works, you walk out to the beach, put your helmet and pfd on, get given a safety talk and head to the cliffs. They are super slippery and right from the start I thought I was an idiot for doing this, I can be a slow hiker on rocks when they are dry, why didn’t I think about the fact the surface of the cliffs would be slippy? Β The guide said not to worry, everyone starts off slow even though the beginning part is the easiest but before I know it I’ll have sped up and be going much faster on difficult areas, I didn’t really believe him but turns out he was right! πŸ™‚

The first cliff jump is one of the shortest ones, the first four are actually not huge, they gradually get a bit higher with each jump. They start you off there so you can practice your form, and so the guide can see how well you listen to instructions, if you don’t do as you are told, or you suck, then you can’t do the super high jumps cause it’d be too dangerous.

An example of the instructions I got for one of the jumps went like this:

Take a big step out because the lower part of the cliff comes out farther then the top part we are on so you need to make sure you clear the rocks, also, don’t go to the left because there are rocks under the water in that area that you can’t see from here but trust me, they are there, also, don’t go too far to the right because there is a patch of seaweed and you don’t want to get tangled in it…oh, and if you jump too far out there are more rocks…

Sooooo, basically, you are told which small area to aim for when jumping, and you better get it right! lol

After each jump you swim over to the next section of cliff that you will be climbing and up ya go! There was one part where the guide climbed up first, braced himself and sent a knotted rope down that I could use to help me climb up, that particular area was extremely slippery and he said the rope would make it easier…it did and it didn’t lol I was part way up and my foot slipped, I swung out a bit then slammed in to the cliff side with most of the hit landing on my right knee, oh man did that hurt! I kinda hung on to the rope for a second trying not to make any noises of pain then realized the poor guy was still holding the rope and a wet person is not a light person so I basically mentally shook it off and kept climbing lol There was one other section, near a top of a cliff where he cautioned me to be extra careful because a person the previous weekend had slipped there, landed face first and chipped a tooth, ack! It took him saying that for me to realize I could actually get hurt in more ways than just some bruises.

All in all, I would say if you want adventure, want to test your limits, want to see how brave you are, go to Anglesey Adventures! They are really nice, the excursion, though not what I was expecting, was still ridiculously exciting, it really gets your adrenaline pumping! Definitely worth the money! πŸ™‚

UK Trip Day 5: July 18/14 Part 2

8 Sep

After the mining expedition ended I followed the nice people who were headed in the same direction as I and managed to get to Holyhead. I warned them I drive slow on the narrow, windy roads and they assured me they did also. Lemme tell ya, their idea of slow and my idea of slow, totally different! lol

My final stop in Wales was Holyhead which is on the island of Anglesey. It’s a cute, tiny town that unfortunately is struggling a bit, at least that is how it seemed in the areas I saw. There were a lot of closed pubs and shops which is too bad cause it was a pleasant place and I swear I met the nicest people in the world there. Or at least the nicest people in Wales lol

I realized once I got in to town I had an address for the B&B I was booked in at but had no idea how to find that address, oops! Oh and yes, you read that right, a B&B, no more hostels for moi! Not that the hostels weren’t awesome but I was oh so ready to have a room to my own and not need to share a washroom lol πŸ˜›

Turns out I didn’t need to worry about finding the place, I drove in to town on the main road and was following it through town when I came upon the B&B, it was just there, like it was meant to be!

The B&B is called The Beach Hut and if you ever want to find it the address is 4 Hibernia Terrace, their website is http://www.thebeachhut.me.uk They have completely reasonable prices, a view of the ocean (admittedly the view is slightly marred by traffic going on and off of the ferries but really, how often do you stare out the window while on vacation?), breakfast is included in the price (a full Welsh of course! lol), people who go above and beyond to make you feel welcome and to help you out and while the room I was in was small, it was beautifully decorated, had everything I needed and more and the bed was super comfy! πŸ˜€

If it seems I am going on and on about this place, well, I am, but it is worth all the praise I can heap on it lol

The B&B rooms are over top of a cafe that is part of the B&B, I climbed 2 or 3 long flights of stairs to get to my room and Dave, the owner was sooooo nice, he carried my suitcase the whole way up! I am incapable of packing light, that poor man having to carry that bag, I felt bad for him. He and his wife (least, I think it’s his wife) made sure I was settled in, gave me directions to the nearest pub so I could grab dinner, answered my questions about directions for where I needed to be in the morning and then left me be.

My evening wasn’t all that exciting, but I was ok with that. I had a shower, reveled in not having to rush cause it was myyyyy bathroom lol found the pub, had an ok dinner, was a little sad the pub wasn’t like the pubs you see in movies depicting pubs in the UK, this one was quiet, pretty low key, shrug. When I got back to the room I repacked the suitcase, got everything I would need for the morning ready and had an early night. It was so glorious to be able to stretch out in a full sized bed, to enjoy a pile of pillows, cuddle under a duvet.

I had to be up early to be at my next days adventure so I watched a bit of tv, finally was able to go online cause I was somewhere that had wifi aaaaaand passed out lol

Best B&B Ever!

Best B&B Ever!

My view

My view

Remember in my last post I said I learned a lot during the mining expedition and would share some of that next post? Well here ya go! lol

– the mining town was created by the mining company, the houses were rented to the miners and a freakishly large amount of people lived in each small house

– the miners were paid in a combo of cash and credits, the credits could be used at the mining company store only

– miners were responsible for buying their own mining equipment, which they could buy from the mining company, putting themselves in debt to the mining company…seeing a trend here?

– boys as young as ten were working in the mines, they were used for a variety of jobs, they were trained so young because the average miner died by his mid 30’s leaving his sons behind to support the family…basically the entire family was like indentured servants to the mining company

– to save money the miners would use shorter than recommended fuses for the bombs, the kids were the ones who would light the short fuses then run for cover, they were faster than adults so had a better chance of not getting blown up

– the miners spent all day in the mine, didn’t even go outside for lunch, usually there was a small canteen type shop in the mine, run by one of the miners wives or daughters where they could buy a hot drink and simple meal, they ate by candlelight but the caverns are so large and candles so precious they were in mostly dark even when eating

– there is an underground lake in the mine that is freakishly deep and drowning was a legit concern

– approx 95% of the slate hauled out of that mine was thrown away once it saw the light of day, the slate had to be perfect and once it was in daylight and smaller flaws could been seen it would be deemed unusable, it was tossed on to the side of the mountain so now when you climb that mountain you see these strange formations that are nature growing over the piles of slate

– slate used to be used for only one or two things, not like today where it can be used for all sorts of stuff but a historical association deemed the slate on the outside of the mountain historically relevant so it can’t be taken and put to good use, it has to stay there

– when the mine was abandoned it was too hard to remove some of the larger pieces of equipment from the mine so it got left behind, when you go through there you walk along train tracks, come across equipment I don’t have names for lol there is even an old miners shoe in there, and when I say old I mean like 100 years old!

– oh! miners used to put nails in their shoes to make them last longer

As you may recall from last post I have no pictures of the inside of the mine because my camera battery died after I took two pictures at the beginning of the adventure sooooo I stole the following pics from the internet, I can promise you they are all images from the same expedition I did, they just aren’t pics taken by me nor do any of the pics have me in them, sigh. But at least you can see some of the stuff I did!

Ziplining

Ziplining

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Abseiling

Abseiling

Crossing the underground lake

Crossing the underground lake

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Climbing the waterfall - there was more water when I did it...

Climbing the waterfall – there was more water when I did it…

The Land Rovers they use

The Land Rovers they use

Abandoned equipment I can't remember the name of

Abandoned equipment I can’t remember the name of

Vertical air shaft you climb to get out

Vertical air shaft you climb to get out

Climbing - who'd have imagined such steep climbs inside a mine?

Climbing – who’d have imagined such steep climbs inside a mine?

comin doooown!

comin doooown!

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