Monday, May 28, 2012

Carmel Head and Ynys y Fydlin

This last weekend was intended for some catching up with stuff at home but the lure of the coast was just too irresistible during the spell of warm sunny weather. Trev and I were looking for somewhere to hide from the brisk easterly winds that had been forecast.

We arrived at Cemlyn Bay on the north east corner of Anglesey. Beyond the shelter of the bay the sea was a choppy mess of blue and white. However, we spotted a route among the rocks close to the shore leading all the way to Carmel Head.

Before committing ourselves to the overfalls at Carmel Head we landed on a tiny shingle beach and walked over to the other side to check all was well with the sea to the west. It was much calmer so after a short rough stretch we paddled into the smoother waters of Anglesey's west coast.

Passing a series of craggy headlands and sheltered bays we soon arrived at Church Bay.  The welsh name of Porth Swtan is derived from the welsh name for whiting. This follows a tradition for naming natural harbour after the fish that were landed there. Trev and I skipped the fish course and went straight for the strawberries and cream scones all washed down with plenty of tea.

On the way back to Cemlyn we spent a long while exploring this areas hidden gem. Ynys y Fydlin has a beautiful pebbly beach, a freshwater lagoon and pine woodland. The moors above give stunning views to the Skerries, and along the coast to North Stack.

Even with the strong easterly wind sweeping down through woods, this place has a magical kind of peace about it.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Wobbler

The 'Anglesey Wobbler' is a Greenland balance stool made by 'Anglesey Stick'. I first had a go on one of these at the recent Anglesey Sea Symposium and soon decided to order one.

As soon as it arrived I pulled from the wrapping and set about wobbling. It has the feel of a tippy kayak and its principal benefits are the development of core strength and balance. I can see the potential for various games and competitive challenges around the Wobbler.

Kirstine soon began to find the Wobbler quite addictive and soon forgot that this was meant to be my toy!

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Malham Limestone

The last time I was in the Malham area was way back in the 1980s on a geography field trip. This spectacular upland area remains well studied by geologists and popular with walkers. I started my walk by the Malham Tarn Field Centre and quickly made my way to the southern end of the tarn.

Water flows from the tarn, under a road and then disappears. Less that a kilometre from Malham Tarn this substantial beck quietly drains away between a few pebbles and grassy clumps.

Beneath my feet are a myriad of natural tunnels and caverns. This explains why there are valleys and gorges here without water running through them.

This area is famous for its limestone pavements. The spectacular rock formations are attributed to erosion by flowing water but most of the water here has long disappeared underground.

On my way back to Malham Tarn I took in Gordale Scar. This is a steep sided limestone gorge around 100 metres with only a tiny stream in the bottom.  When I was last here this place seemed awe inspiring and huge... and still qualifies.

Throughout my wanderings amongst the limestone of Yorkshire, I was treated to the occasional glimpse of a wheatear, especially in the more sheltered spots.