Corwen & Anglesey –> North Wales
I tried really hard to make 2 vans in the dark on a concrete car park look good. Epic fail.
Still. I took about 50 gazillion pictures (all pretty much the same, most of them even blurrier) then gave up and sat down for the barbie cooked by somebody wearing a head torch.
We’d arrived at the Corwen Walking Festival on the Friday evening to help the guys from Cotswold (clothing/gear/sponsor) set up their tents and ended up mingling in Paul’s van over, ahem, *a few* bevvies. Some of the guys took up the offer of a free overnight stay in the tents they had set up for Cotswold [to go on sale the following day] while others – like us – chose to spend the night on the car park of the Corwen Sports Pavilion. Which was a first for us.
We had a right laugh though and woke up with a bit of a sore head early the following morning to set up the NEWSAR stand. Mr B even cooked bacon sarnies for everyone.
Here’s Paul and his super cute search dog Mist(y) dancing the Fandango. I had hoped that Mist(y) [below] and Maisie [above] would become bezzies but after a *handbags at dawn* incident during a game of fetch it became pretty obvious that wasn’t gonna happen so after their little spat they were watching each other like little hawks but managed to hold it together for the rest of the day.
It made sense for the Mountain Search & Rescue guys to be out and about in the hills during the walking festival so after a few hours spent manning the stand to generate some cash we hooked up with Paul, Chris & Mist(y) and went on a little hike around the area. For anyone interested in coming along next year, you can see details of all the routes etc. on their web site (here).
After a bit of a hike and a bite to eat Paul suggested a quick & easy training session for Mist(y) involving Mr. B as the body and me trying to keep up with the dog while not disturbing her too much as I’m trying to run through heavy going heather. Urg!
So Mr. B ran off to play hide’n seek with a dog.
Once in position Paul put the harness on Mist(y) to make her aware that it was *game on*. She became very excited; she knows that if she finds the body she gets to play with her favourite toy. For anyone interested in finding out more about Search & Rescue dogs [something we hope to get into with these two] take a look at Paul’s blog or head on over to the SARDA web site.
The lady of this manor came out and asked me in no uncertain terms why I was taking a picture of her house. As we were on a public footpath (that runs through her immaculately kept grounds) I can only assume she’s not too happy about strangers being allowed to roam free and snap away [I did reply that her house is very pretty...]. At the end of the day, if she doesn’t like ramblers I guess she should have bought another one.
We had hoped to be able to find a pub to relax in at the end of the walk but unfortunately the only one we came across was closed. So we headed back to base, spent some more time on the stand then said our goodbyes and carried on to Anglesey where Mr. B was to take part in a helicopter search & rescue training session the following day.
I’m not totally sure which campsite this was – I have a feeling we thought it was the closest one to the airfield and Rhosneigr rings a bell [and so does the price, £16 for the questionable pleasure of looking at a load of static tourers......]. Still. We literally turned up to park, sleep then go to the airfield first thing Sunday morning and so paid for convenience rather than scenery.
I drove us to the carpark by the airfield and we waited for the other teams to turn up. Some of them came from as far afield as Staffordshire for the day. Once everybody had arrived Maisie & I made our way to a nearby beach to spend the day walking and lazying about. I had never been in the van with the dog on my own so that was kinda strange.
I could see the helicopters from where I parked the van and played about with my zoom lens for a while. As it happened the helicopter earmarked for winch training that day was called out to an incident and so they never got to do their stuff. And just in case you wondered – we think Kate’n Wills attended the opening ceremony for an early bike race that morning but he wasn’t actually on duty that day so Mr. B never got to see him. Got to see his name on the rota though #lameclaimtofame.
And finally: pics from inside the compound. Courtesy of another Paul. And Mr. B’s iPhone. And maybe a teeny weeny bit of editing by me.
So then. That was our last weekend before the twins. And what a fabulous time we had!