Before my Snowdonia in Spring Tour with Robert Harvey I went to the our favourite pub in Wales, the Red Lion, to visit the Mach Loop. The hope was that I’d catch some planes going through the Loop. Packing for such an extended time plus the uncertainty of the weather and knowing that I would be having a series of very early starts, did mean I packed for all weathers with multiple changes of clothes.
Day 1 Monday 8th May 2023
This was a Bank Holiday and Labour Day in the USA – so pretty sure that no-one would be flying through the Loop. I left Solihull and made my way up the M5/M6 to the M54 and Telford. My usual route using the M6 Toll was a step too far as the M42 had extensive roadworks over the holidays.
This is one of my favourite service areas being small and usually not too busy. The only downside is the lack of a WH Smiths for a choice magazines for night time reading.
After a coffee and cake I met up with my colleague for the Mach loop and we set off in a loose convoy for Dinas Mawddy. The roads heading out of Wales were jammed with cars returning to England at the end of the Coronation weekend.
My planning was way off and when we reached the Red Lion everywhere was closed. Even the back door which is usually open for guest was closed too. The hills were shrouded in mist which was not a good omen.
For lunch we headed towards Dolgellau to the Starbucks, on the by-pass there, for a late lunch. Another first for us having passed by the place many times. The place was packed and
Back in Dinas Mawaddy, we walked down the the side road and then onto the fields to the stream.
We walked along the path at the side of the stream and came to steps that took us back up to Dinas Mawddy’s main street.
To our surprise we both had 4G service on our phones – unlike at the pub where we always had none.
Once back up the main street we called at the tea rooms – this was a first for us. Very friendly and the tea was very welcome. The walls had photos and art for local authors. The image of an F-15 caught our eye and as we chatted about it, the author was sitting next to us and gave us the low down on where he had been to take the shot.
The Red Lion
Just before 5 pm we went into the Red Lion and were able to checked in.
Day 2 Tuesday 9th May 2023
After a late full Welsh breakfast we decided that the afternoon would be a better bet on the hills.
I managed a grab shot of the nuclear power station on our way to Porthmadog.
This was my first visit to Porthmadog. The causeway (Britannia Terrace) that runs across the head of the estuary was definitely a first. The Ffestiniog Railway has a works at the opposite end to the town. As we drove up and down we were passed by trains above us! The large car park (Llyn Bach) was not very full. From there we explored the town. First the harbour.
Down I ramp I explored the abandoned boats and a docked yacht.
Next we could hear a steam train and after a quick check with the guys at the station we went out onto the platform to watch one of Ffestiniog Railway trains depart.
One of the shops, Cob Records, at the end of the causeway (Britannia Terrace) fascinated me and we went inside.
Inside the shop we explored the CD and vinyl records on sales. What a simply amazing collection was on offer. I spent a lot of time looking for artists that I was curious about. Steve found a Little Big Town CD for me and at £4.95 this was not your usual charity shop price!
From Google Maps we could see that there was a Tesco store at the other end of the High Street and from the car park we went through the back streets. On the way we passed a SPAR shop and bought their lunch special offer instead. Time to head back to the Loop.