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Day two in Snowdonia – Portmeirion

The Met Office promised some sun in the morning, turning to showers all afternoon. They pretty much got it wrong, as we had sunshine (it was cold and sometimes blustery, but who cares when the sun’s shining?) and, looking out of the cottage window, it’s still blazing down. And it’s 7pm.

To be fair to the Met Office, we did have some showers – four in total, three of which lasted no longer than about 3 minutes each. The fourth was a doozer, but we were in the car coming ‘home’ by that time.

The forecast for tomorrow – our Snowdon day – is pretty damp, and is currently being considered with a degree of derision. But, then again, looking at another weather website offers a different forecast altogether (snow showers! Eek!). I guess we’ll find out what the weather’s like as we walk up the mountain.

Anyway, today! With the sun blazing we decided to visit Portmeirion – a favourite destination since our stay there, with a group of friends, in 2009. It’s an amazing place, whether you’re a fan of The Prisoner or not. And Vicki managed to blag us in on a family ticket, by telling the ticket woman that two of our party were younger. I guess I was the OAP of the group…

This was my third visit to Portmeirion and I just love it. I won’t pretend to know an awful lot about the reason for it – I did read about it on my first visit but that information has long since been pushed out of my brain by something else. Read up on Sir Clough Williams-Ellis if you’re interested. All I know is that it’s the kind of place you walk around and you tend to see something different every time, be it a sculpture of a seagull on a rooftop, or a previously unnoticed mural on a wall.

We decided to take the red path woodland walk, to join up with the blue path. That was the plan anyway. We quickly lost the red markers and took a few ‘off piste’ trails through thickening gorse underbrush. We had to do a few U-turns and, even now, we’re not entirely sure which route we took through the woods above the village. We did, however, end up down on the sand, heading towards the lighthouse.

It was rather nippy down in the bay, with the wind whipping across the sand. There was quite a lot of pools of water left from the last high tide, and some of it was deep, with wind-whipped waves rolling across the top. As we headed round to the lighthouse, it became obvious that our intended direct route was to be foiled by a deep flowing stream of sea water. So we performed yet another U-turn to find an alternative path (which involved scrambling over seaweed strewn rocks – Carly was very nearly a ‘Man down!’ but we survived).

After all our adventures/U-turns we stopped at Caffi Glas for a rather stupendous lunch (I had Buffalo mozzarella side salad with lovely chips, followed by lemon cheesecake with fresh strawberries). A pootle around the village and the shops done, we decided to move on and headed for Betwys-y-coed.

The idea was to take a short stroll around the back of Betwys-y-coed, along the river (a walk Anna and I had done on our last visit). However, there was a need to visit every outdoor clothes stockist in the village first, to find Vicki a headband/ear warmers to help counteract the ‘fresh’ wind. I was very good – I only bought a ‘dry bag’ to go inside my rather tatty rucksack.

The walk was only about a mile long (although, of course, we did go wrong a bit at the beginning so had to perform yet another U-turn…) so it didn’t take us long. I didn’t see the heron this time, but I did see my first dipper! Sadly my camera is nowhere near good enough to have even attempted a picture (but I was happy I’d managed to (badly) snap a couple of oystercatchers earlier at Portmeirion as I’d never seen those before either).

So that was day two – tomorrow, the mountain!

Pictures on Flickr