Childhood Revisited II
After enjoying last years excursion down the memory
lane hills and dales. Tuuli and I just had to go back this year for more. It’s not just the beautiful places that we had to get back to, we had to get another family dose of Parc Farm caravan park, the place I spent most of my childhood summers. Click here to view last years trip.
First place on the list of ‘gottagobacks’ was Llechwedd Slate Caverns in Blaenau Ffestiniog, North Wales. The featured image above is the from ‘The Miners Tramway’, a shot that millions must replicate each year but I thought what the hey, I like sheep, especially lamb shank.
Mam and Dad took my brother and I all around the caverns somewhere in the late 80’s. It was a ‘little’ different this time around in 2012, with Mam being left upon ground level to drink coffee and smoke cigarettes while playing endless rounds of Bejewelled on the iphone, these days she simply must refrain from ambling over any rough terrain ever since she hurt her knee in a freak boogie boarding accident in North Carolina.
Then of course there was the shear comedy of having to shoehorn both my brother Ben and I into the claustrophobically spacious deep mine carts, but aside from the deafening symbolism to lose more than a extra few kilos, a great experience was had by all and Mam beat her high score.
Above: Llechwedd Slate Caverns
Above: Mam, Ben and Young Tomas. Late 80’s
The caverns haven’t changed much since we last visited, maybe some things ought to be though, like the speakers that handle the speech in each chamber on the tour. It was tremendously hard to tell what was being said, most likely due to water damage in the speaker cones, the speeches sounded like they were being delivered from beneath a few pillows. Time to replace them.
Also, we did feel that we were hurried around the place far too much. I was trying to snap just a fleeting few shots here and there but the lights were dimmed and we had to scramble to the next spot for fear of breaking a bone in the dark. It wasn’t as if I was anchoring in with tripods either (I never carry one with me).
“Ah you want to take a nicely picture? I sort the lights for ya”….(fade to black).
Above: The Berwyn Mountains
Amongst many places, we revisited Conwy castle, Harlech Castle, Cadwaladers Ice Cream in Porthmadog (They have bubblegum flavour!), the small town near Lake Bala, the little village of Llanfyllin which my cousins have always affectionately called – Llanflufflin.
On a side note, I’m amazed after spell checking every place listed in this post, I had in fact got them all correct. Like a boss.
Above: A View From Pistyll Rhaeder
This was easily the most daring adventure on the trip, the hike to the top of the Pistyll Falls, one of my absolute favourite places to revisit.
The drive to the falls from the small town of Llanrhaeadr Ym Mochnant would have the term ‘hair raising’ a servere understatement.
One must drive along a road that in previous centuries was best suited for one way traffic and horse pulled cart. Today, it’s exactly the same but now must accommodate the likes of Eddie Stobart. Both ways.
Upon our arrival I glanced upward across the journey to the top of the falls, digesting the steep inclines of mud, loose slate and slippery rock. Evidently I had somewhat overlooked the necessity for appropriate footwear.
Flip flops are more a potential death sentence than a sensible choice of attire to climb this kind of terrain.
My brother Ben braved several heart attacks and respiratory failures, remedied by precisely timed rests amongst thistle and sheep cack. A victory but also a miracle that we both made it up and down alive.
Above: Lake Vyrnwy
We went back to Lake Vyrnwy for a meal at the highly recommended Tower Tavern. It was excellent. Go there. Now.
Above: A View From Harlech Castle
Above: Climbing the towers at Harlech Castle
Above: Entrance to Harlech Castle, Ben on the left and me on the right, somewhere in the late 80’s
Above: Once My Childhood Summer Home
We also sat on our bums eating the finest fish and chips, also some of the best barbequed food cooked expertly by BBQ Jedi Masters – Adam & Jeff. Thanks chaps, you have serious skills there.
Above: Meet The Neighbours
Images would not be complete without the likes of these folk. Alas, they scared away the sheep. Kudos to the moo on the far right for demonstrating that he can lick his own nostril.
Above: The best part of coming home
Above: Horse Riding in Llanrhaeder, late 80’s.
Huge thanks to my Mam, an absolute trooper, cooking us the best sausage, bacon and egg, carting us up hill and down dale and for being the very best Mam in the whole wide wurl.
Already miss you guys and we are already looking forward to the next trip.
Pssst…. This blog post has been powered by three cups of Milicano.
See all the photos from this series – Full Set On Flickr
Childhood Revisited – Post from 2011