Walking Wales

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Highlights from a 10 day visit to Ireland and the UK as recorded during my visit.

This morning started off with a traditional Welsh breakfast, no blood sausage—which I did try in Ireland—complete with a rather peculiar piece of bacon that had the body of a spiral ham and a trace of a bacon tail. Same animal, so I foolishly thought it made little difference. Au contraire. Our dinning room companions were quick to inform us that Brits could never find passable bacon in the states. Little wonder since it was a bit of an anomaly even for my palate. And the toast? Well, I nearly choked on my toast; which was served on a little silver drying contraption. If you ask me, I'd say it was near lethal.*

Thoroughly stuffed, our driver (the husband/owner of the Ingledene B&B) dropped us at South Stack, a lighthouse not far from where we were staying. We descended several steps hoping to climb the 200 steps to the top of the lighthouse; only to discover, half-way down, that the gate was closed. No entry. A tad dejected, we turned around and headed back to the top. Apparently we had arrived a little too early for opening on a Bank Holiday.

The remainder of the day, a little over five hours, was spent along the Coastal Path trail. A walking/hiking trail that hugs the shoreline and runs the entire diameter of Anglesey. We, of course, only needed to find our way back to the B&B, so we set off in search of a bright ambling adventure surrounded by tufts of pink seathrift, dancing yellow buttercups, wild roses, queen annes lace, delicate white and lavender orchids under food, meadows of fragrant grass, a yew like shrub that donned a small yellow blossom and emitted a cocoa butter fragrance, and salt sea mixed with whiffs of warm allium. It was the melding of springtime under a canopy of sunshine and a smattering of clouds. More perfect conditions could not have been had.

Along the way we saw gulls, razorbills, and vigilantly looked for one of only 12 pairs of nesting puffins; talked with amiable volunteer guides; took a detour down to a rocky beach strewn with bottles and debris; side-stepped giant cow pies and walked alongside herds of munching bovine; passed through a series of wooden gates; climbed stairs attempting to stay along the barely visible grass-trod path; slung legs over stone walls and continued on through a tidy trailer park; greeted fellow walkers; dodged a growling canine; came upon a little red sailboat atop a giant sea of sapphire; stopped to drink in the wonder of it all and tried, in vain, to capture the sublime beauty in a few pixels. It was impossibly gorgeous and I think (nay, now know) that I shall cherish this day as one of my favorite memories of the entire trip.

*My traveling companion wrote a thorough exposition on all of the food we ate. A salivating salute to be sure. However her blog is private, otherwise I'd let you read more about all the other delicacies we dinned on.

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