Jul 18

Skerries & Wild Camping, Wales

Saturday, 7th July

Back in Christmas 2016, we got a lovely gift from our little nephew Eban – a RIB ride excursion to the Skerries, off the North coast of Anglesey, and back down to South Stack. Unfortunately, due to us living in London and bad weather when we were actually up in Wales, the trip was somewhat delayed. Thankfully, we planned a little break away to Wales for a long weekend, and the weather looked incredible – so, a year and a half after getting the gift – we were all booked in to go on the RIB ride.

Our trip started from the Holyhead marina. We were greeted by our skipper called Olly and after we were shown around the boat and the various health and safety tips, we were off – blasting through the waters, North bound towards Church Bay & Carmel Head, before venturing out to open sea, and The Skerries.

The Skerries, [are] a unique group of rocky islands with Trinity House lighthouse, built in 1716, on the highest point. In Welsh the islands are known as Ynysoedd y Moelrhoniaid, which means ‘the islands of the bald-headed grey seals’.

This Important Bird Area and SSSI has a very large Arctic Tern population (over 2,000 pairs), Common Terns and a smaller Roseate Tern population; it is also home to Puffins and Kittiwakes. This uninhabited group of islands has a distinctive cliff and maritime grassland environment.

Trinity House lighthouse

Trinity House lighthouse & the Terns

The first thing we noticed was just how many Terns there are out here, incredible! They kept swooping in and over the boat as we made our way towards Trinity House lighthouse to anchor and watch the wildlife around us. According to the internet, there’s over 2,000 pairs on the island. Just over the brow of the crags, we could also see a handful of Puffins just chilling and coming in to land from being out feeding.

Artic Tern (left) and Common Terns

A Puffin coming in to land

We spent about 15 mins anchored to a buoy just underneath the lighthouse, surrounded by crystal clear seas. All around us, chilling on the rocks, swimming casually and making the most amazing sounds were a whole lot of grey seals. So much wildlife, and never had we seen Wales to sunny!

A cheeky Seal

Look at that face!

As the RIB Ride website says; “We then begin the adventurous nine-mile open-sea crossing to the island of North Stack. Here we explore the caves and the dramatic 100m high sea cliffs of Gogarth Bay to reach the lighthouse on the island of South Stack. We will watch the Chough, Guillemot, Peregrine, Puffin and Razorbill at the RSPB South Stack Cliffs nature reserve before we return.” – which is exactly what we did.

Along the way, we spotted a circus of Puffins out at sea – Olly slowed down for us, so we could take some great snaps.

A circus of Puffins!

Startled Puffin

Being the sharped-eyed skipper that he was, Olly also spotted a few Porpoises out at sea. Down over underneath South Stack we were met by the massive cliffs, and a whole lot of guillemot and razorbills swimming casually in the sea.

A Porpoise

Guillemot (brownish) and Razorbill (black)

From here we dipped in and out of the sea caves, all while Olly was giving us the historical information about the lighthouse, and how they used to load goods onto the island before the steps were constructed etc – all super interesting. Then, we blasted over to Gogarth, a very popular bit of rock, where we could see climbers starting their climb up to the top.

Looking back towards South Stack

And that was it… we cruised back on over to the Holyhead marina – what a fantastic start to our day!

After a quick stop in sunny Rhosneigr for lunch, we cruised over to Tesco’s to pick what would be our dinner – as tonight, we were camping in the mountains.

We packed, and got dropped off at Pen y Gwryd by Dad, our destination was Llyn Caseg-fraith, inbetween Glyder Fach and Foel Goch, overlooking the mighty Tryfan in the Glyderau.

Gina in the Glyderau

Gina crossing Nant Y Gwryd

We headed on up, and had nothing but good times – the sun was blasting, the evening light was starting to fall, and it was looking lovely! We knew once we got to the top, we were in for a great night camping.

Gina on the gamfa

Fantastic evening light

We arrived at Llyn Caseg-fraith, a small lake that’s nicely located above Tryfan just as the sun had started entering its golden hour. Much to our surprise, we weren’t the only ones up there wild camping. There was another tent on the other side of the lake, and soon another guy arrived, hiding his tent behind the rocks nearby. Everyone minded their own business though, and it was very quiet all around. We pitched the tent without a bother – and began our plans of chilling to-the-max.

Our tent, overlooking Tryfan

Gina about to chill with a book

Iest, chillin’

And yeah, this was the scene pretty much for the whole evening. We ate our picnic, did some time-lapse photography with my iPhone, Gina read her book and hit the sack. It was super pleasant up there, not a whisper of wind – awesome.

The evening colours


Sunday, 8th July

We awoke to another beautiful, cloudless sky morning. We had a leisurely breakfast, chilled some more, before packing up the tent and sleeping stuff. The goal for this morning was to head up Glyder Fach, over to Glyder Fawr, and down into Nant Peris the other side of the mountains – where Dad would then pick us up in time for lunch.

Everything on the way up to the Glyderau went super well, we were cruising – enjoying the views.

Morning Gins!

Looking back at Llyn Caseg-fraith

Unfortunately, on the way down the slippery scree of Glyder Fawr, my knee (which I’d been having physiotherapy for for the past 3 weeks) totally gave way. I went down and yep, this was agony. It took me about 2 hours to get down, whereas it should have taken about 30mins – this wasn’t good – as Dad was down in the valley waiting for us. Dad suspected that something might have been up, but he continued to wait until Gina went ahead and met up with him, while I took my time getting down safely. Damn knee!

We got back home, I iced my knee for a few hours, and went over to meet the newest addition to the family; little baby Erain. Then headed over to Pant Du for some lunch and apple juice – which was great! We then decided to take a trip to our fave beach, Llanddwyn for the evening, to chill in the sea (legs only) whilst the sun gently went down.

All in all – a pretty awesome trip back home for the bank holiday!

May 16


So we had a long weekend on our hands, and the first weekend in a long time that i didn’t have to work, so a great opportunity to head up to Wales and have some fun. In addition, we had just acquired Terrell, our new bff, so everything was set up beautifully. The only problem was that the forecast was stubbornly showing downpours for the whole three days, but that as well got sorted shortly before the weekend, and we were ready to go.
On Friday night of course the whole of London town had the same idea to get out and we got stuck in traffic for hours, eventually arriving at our destination super late, after what would probably have been a nice drive through Snowdonia, had it still been light when we were doing it.

But on Saturday, we woke up into glorious sunshine and were happy to be there. We decided to once again go up Snowdon, which we don’t do very often as it is kind of a tourist highway, and especially on the top there is too many people due to the train. But, it is still a nice walk via many of the routes, and from time to time should be done. We decided on the Ranger’s path up and down to Rhyd Ddu, a trail we last did several years ago in lots of snow and frost (&sun). This time, the sun was with us as well, and already arriving to the trail we had some doubts about our choice as all the parking spots were gone, a clear sign that the combo of long weekend and sun brought all the boys to the yard to play. We decided not to be discouraged, found an alternate parking spot and took a hike up from there through a nice farmer’s land to meet up with our ranger’s path. From there, we saw quite a few people, but it was not too terrible, and the walk was very nice overall.


Shortly before summit we got immersed into a thick fog/cloud that wrapped the top of Snowdon, and upon arriving at the top we met the real crowds who had gotten there by the cog train. With no views and the crowds of twerps there was no reason for us to spend much time, and we quickly retreated down to Rhyd Ddu path, which was mercifully sparsely populated, and descended into the sun again. The rest of the walk was lovely and uneventful. Later we bought all the stuff for a four-bean chilli and fell asleep quickly, all sunned out for the day.



Down to Rhyd Ddu

Down to Rhyd Ddu

Down to Rhyd Ddu

Down to Rhyd Ddu

On Sunday, with great weather continuing, we wanted to finally take out our sea kayaks. But for that we needed to run a number of errands, from picking up Iest’s kayak from the bodyshop in Anglesey, to buying and installing roof racks for Terrell, to getting a number of missing items like life vests and stuff. So by the time we were ready to go, it was mid afternoon. We didn’t mind very much though, as the days are long and it was warm and sunny, so we took them down to Aberdesach and set out for some paddling around. There was a bit of wind, so we had some nice mild chops to play with, and I was awesome and Iest will need to get better if he wants to keep up with me. But at least i had some time to take nice macro beach pics while waiting for him to catch up. Beautiful day overall.


On Monday we needed to make our way down to Llundain again, but since we have Terrell we were much more flexible and decided to first go to Beaumaris for a trip to Puffin island. I wanted to go on kayaks but Iest was a scaredy cat and so we went on a little boat with other people. It was nice though as well, as the skipper knew a lot about all the birds and animals and showed us everything. We saw:
– Shags: check
– Puffins: check
– Guillemots: check
– Razorbills: check
– Cormorants: check
– Loads of seagulls: check
…and of course seals, who were very cute as always, just chilling on the rocks in the sun.
Afterwards, we started to make our way down home, stopping over to give Terrell a proper shower, which he needed after the weekend. Surprisingly enough, we didn’t get stuck anywhere in traffic on the way, and had quite a pleasant trip.

Going to Ynys Puffin

Going to ynys Puffin