The 7th of August 2015, eight adventurers set off for a weekend of camping, barbecuing, surfing, eating, drinking, chilling and climbing on the stunning North Welsh coast near Abersoch. The Team, notably short of two of its key members Kasia and main organiser Bea who we must thank for arranging, due to an unfortunate and painful looking cycling accident comprised of the following –
We all set of in various vehicles from different destinations, all
converging on the same destination, the campsite of Treheli a few miles West of the picturesque town of Abersoch. Stu and I, having picked up Bart from Stoke Railway Station, from where he had made his way up from London, continued over to the bleak and uninspiring town of Crewe to pick up Erik, from whence we continued on our merry way, only stopping for an excellent lunch and a beverage at the Tollemache Arms
The rest of the journey across the unremarkable countryside of the Cheshire plain proved fairly uneventful, so much so that half of our contingent where overcome by the underwhelming plainness of it all. Maybe that’s why it’s called a plain, because it’s just plain boring?.
Finally, after driving through the now stunning scenery of Snowdonia and calling in at the small, but reasonably well stocked Asda at Pwhelli to stock up on barbecue provisions, alcohol, eggs, meat, bread and more alcohol, some taking about a quarter of an hour to decide which wine would go best with a burger, we reached the Treheli campsite, located literally right above the beach of Hell’s Mouth, as basic as it is scenic.
When I say basic, it’s about as basic as you can imagine, the Cool Camping review says it all. However, this was the view from our pitch, which makes the lack of facilities forgiveable.
Pretty soon after the rest of the group showed up and after a brief exploration of the site, we pitched our tents. In stark contrast to the straight rows of evenly spaced tents, our area soon took on the chaotic semblance of a middle eastern refugee camp, complete with smoking camp fire.
After a brief excursion to the beach, where, amongst other things, a giant phallic symbol was etched into the sand. We returned to eat and drink the evening away before retiring to our tents. Some of the group claim to have been disturbed by loud snoring in the night, personally I think they’re making it up as I didn’t hear anything!
Saturday morning dawned bright and clear and somebody’s idea of a perfect start to the day was doing a few hundred squats.
However, the rest of us just settled for a somewhat haphazard eat what you can find breakfast and then it was off to the surf shop.
Here we met Al, a Welsh surfer dude and thoroughly nice guy who got us kitted out with our wetsuits, then it was off to the ominous sounding Hell’s Mouth. This turned out to be a nice, pleasant sandy beach, with gentle waves rolling in, ideal for a bunch of nutters who hadn’t got a clue what they were doing.
The dreaded Weever Fish
So after a quick warm up, as if we weren’t warm enough wearing black wetsuits on a hot sunny beach and a quick safety briefing, where we were warned the most dangerous thing we would encounter was the dreaded Weever Fish. This is about the size of a minnow (Ooh scary) but it comes equipped with horribly poisonous spines waiting for the unwary to step on as it lies in the sand on the tideline.
We were kitted out with huge, soft foam collision proof surfboards to lessen the chances of actually maiming yourself or anyone else in the vicinity. The next couple of hours were spent mostly falling off them, and some of us actually managing to stand up on them by the end of the session, thanks in no small part to the patience and perseverance of Al.
Zinc Bar & Grill
Then it was back to Abersoch as we’d worked up an appetite by now and the Zinc Cafe Bar & Grill lured us in. If you’re ever in Abersoch, looking for a nice place to eat and drink, this is the place. Good food, huge portions and fun, friendly, helpful staff. Prices are pretty good too.
It was then time for a second raid on Pwelli Asda, this time for something a bit more upmarket than burgers and sausages. This time we had salmon steaks and chicken skewers on the menu and very nice they were too.
Some people were amazed that I had black pepper and oregano in my camping kit! But then doesn’t everybody?
Bear Grylls has got nothing on me!
By Saturday evening, the wind was getting up with the promise of rain on the way. So it was time to put our combined ingenuity and resourcefulness to the test and build a windbreak using sticks, bits of salvaged scrap metal and yoga mats. However, it did the trick!
We fell asleep to the sound of rain beating down on nylon and snoring (allegedly) and awoke to a typical day in North Wales, damp, misty and raining., just what you need for packing tents away.
We could have got away without paying the campsite as they didn’t even realise we were there but honesty got the better of us and we decided that our group consisted of two families of four, so we still got the cheaper family rate.
The crappy weather meant cycling was a no go, neither was surfing as none of the cars were big enough to fit surfboards in anyway. There’s never anyone around with roof bars when you need them!
Indoor climbing finally got the vote and it was off to Caernarfon climbing wall, which also has a nice cafe (don’t this lot ever stop eating?) for breakfast.
This climbing centre also has some amazing bouldering as well as decent top roping, including this amazing horizontal bouldering area.
Then it was time to bid farewell to Delphine and Victor who had to head back to Manchester to catch their plane, also dropping off Erik on the way, so we were down to five and guess what, they were feeling hungry again!
The next stop was the Mulberry which overlooks Conwy Harbour, where by now the rain had ceased and we were back to glorious sunshine.
Sunday roasts, steak and ale pies and some veggie nut thing were consumed then after a quick visit to the souvenir shop and a bit of posing on the local sculpture it was back in the cars for the journey East. Stoke railway station was swarming with police when we stopped to drop Bart off, but he managed to avoid them and catch his train to London.
The End, Fin, Fine, Slut, Koniec!