I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it. I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labor, it is the gift of God.
So, finally the travail temporarily halted, giving a chap a chance to enjoy the good of all his labor. It feels like quite a long while ago now, but at the back end of July we made or annual trek down to the Llynn Peninsula for the summer gathering of the clans.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
A time to chill on the campsite and a time head for the beach; a time to snorkel and gawp at sea-life and a time to play beach cricket; a time to build elaborate castles and a time to row an inflatable dinghy around the bay; a time to burn sausages on the barbie and a time for a chinwag with a cup of tea.
All of the usual fun and games in fact. The weather was good once again – windy but generally bright. The inflatable dinghy was new: TBH bought it for little S’s birthday. It’s pretty huge – certainly big enough for the whole family to use together, at least at present. Watching TBH rowing it round in circles will be one of my abiding memories of the week.
I did more snorkelling this year than I have before, I managed to get out at some point almost every day. The top of a low reef of rocks is revealed as low tide approaches and those rocks seem to be the most likely place to spot things. There are regularly many fish, some of them quite large. This year I saw a dogfish and followed it around the rocks for a while. I also watched a fairly sizable spider-crab methodically picking titbits off the rocks to eat. Rock-pooling too is very rewarding and B’s aptitude and enthusiasm for spotting and catching all kinds of interesting fauna continues to grow.
I didn’t take my camera down to Porth Towyn at all this year, but since we go there every year, and have been doing so for many years, there are several previous posts with lots of photos.
Part of what makes this holiday so relaxing is it’s predictability – every year we go back to the same laid-back campsite and essentially do mostly the same things we enjoyed the year before.
One slight departure this year: one afternoon, whilst the kids were being entertained at the circus (thanks Jane), TBH and I managed a short walk along the beach at Porth Dinllaen near Morfa Nefyn. It’s a bigger sweep of beach than Porth Towyn, with a great view to Yr Eifl and it’s neighbours.
One the west side is a narrow headland…
…near the end of which the lifeboat station is being rebuilt.
It was a cracking walk, which I’d happily do again, especially since we didn’t get as close a look as we would have liked at Borth Wen on the far side of the headland.
A regular fixture in our Tudweiliog trips is an ascent of Carn Fadryn. It’s a small hill, but it dominates this part of the peninsula and a modicum of effort is hugely repaid with vast views and a throng of wildlife.
A flock of choughs were flying over the boulder field, and two pale bids of prey swept down low over the hillside.
The bracken covered lower slopes seem to be a haven for creepy-crawlies. Labyrinth spiders cover the gorse with their intricate webs and hosts of butterflies, whites and…..
…flutter around the bracken. We always seem to see and least one dor beetle, and B enjoyed trying to catch the many grasshoppers….
A little higher up, this hairy oak eggar moth caterpillar was inching across the path.
It’s quite a large caterpillar, I wondered about the moth.
Carn Fadryn doesn’t take long to climb, but once you’re up there are bilberries to snaffle and views to be admired…
Lunch at the top, or some sort of snack at least, is de rigueur.
The kids seem to have decided that a visit to a castle is another essential element of this, or indeed any, holiday. We’ve visited Caernarvon a few times, and last year branched out with a trip to Beau Maris. This time we took a short drive to Criccieth.
It has a small castle, a little deficient in dungeons and battlements and such like, and with only one one tower and winding staircase, but the cracking views over the town and along the coast in both directions go a long way to compensate.
Today’s post has been brought to you by the wonderful northwest coast of Wales, by the Byrds and by Ecclesiastes.
I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?
Make the most of it while you can.
Seems about right to me.
Or am I missing the point?