|It Barely Fitted - © Glyn Davies 2011|
This beach has been on my radar for years but for some crazy reason I'd never actually been there. I'd driven past it on my way to Aberystwyth on numerous occasions, and have always felt the lure and intrigue to stop and visit but never actually applied the brake. This weekend was different. I've gradually become somewhat photographically numbed by Anglesey after perhaps fifteen years regularly photographing it, and the mountains of Snowdonia have become my new Mecca. Thing is, Carol's job as a personal trainer, dealing with clients 1:1 in her studio is both mentally and physically demanding so quite often by the weekend, the last thing she needs is a huge slog up the mountains for fun - so she really wanted a coast day instead! I wanted something new, so we spontaneously threw a dart at Cardigan Bay!
|Board Walk to Freedom - © Glyn Davies 2011|
The sunshine was intense and heart warming, though the viscous Northerly gale was biting cold. We had arrived at the sunny backlit pine-tree car park in the dunes by late lunchtime, but the wind was so cold that we actually ate our picnic IN THE VAN to save frost bitten fingers! On leaving the van we were wearing full outdoor layers from T-shirts, fleeces, Rab mid layers to GoreTex outer shells ! We both wore gloves and head wear, yet the sky was blue, the sun remained brilliant and the dunes and grasses were deliciously back-lit and summery looking, I can see why those atop sunny Everest look like Michelin Men even when the sun looks baking, if we were so cold at sea level ! We walked down a new looking boardwalk across hefty dunes and suddenly we were at the beach I'd always wanted to visit, and it far exceeded my expectations!
We turned North and immediately felt the full brunt of the Northerly gale in our faces. Progress was not difficult but was definitely slow. The wind was so strong that sheets of sand were lifted off the beach and blown towards us like swirling fog around our feet. A dog in the distance jumps for a stick and travels 20 feet before landing ! It sorted "men from the boys" as they say, and I noticed a few beach visitors start in this direction then turn back very quickly, but Carol and I were on a mission to get to the far point and the estuary beyond, and it was maybe two miles of beach walk against this headwind.
|Naked Rush - © Glyn Davies 2011|
I was blown away [pun intended] by the patterns and tones caused by the sheets of wind-driven sand over the shore, it really was like looking down at the earth whilst flying through low cloud but anything taller than one foot or so remained clear and static, betraying the impression! Thing is that on a beach this size it was easy to fall into the trap of repeating what you'd just photographed twenty feet earlier ! I looked for specific shapes within the low dune like like beach formations and balanced them against the rapidly drifting clouds.
|A Star Was Revealed - © Glyn Davies 2011|
After a battle to the 1/3 of the way point, we found a sign marking the naturist area of the beach, and if truth be told the main reason I'd wanted to visit this beach since I was a teenager :-) As a youth, this place represented an intriguing destination through naughty ignorance, but as an adult ex Cornishman used to stripping down in quiet coves, and having since visited many such beaches around Europe, it was now an innocent, natural and stunning place to be truly connected with nature for a few hours in warmer weather with like-minded people. And this place is almost as perfect as Treen in Cornwall for that :-) Today however, clothes were kept firmly in place ! We passed through the naturist section into an equally deserted last sandy stretch where finally we found a boulder section where we could shelter from the sand-blasting, and have a chance to slurp hot sand-free coffee.
|Exposed Shells - © Glyn Davies 2011|
The shells at the point were abundant and varied and indeed comprised most of the beach surface. It was fascinating to ponder about these millions of inanimate objects which were once small underwater life forms, now just remnants of their unusual existence. We wondered just how many millions more shells would have been found here maybe 100 years ago, before they were regularly raided by holiday makers taking mementoes of their vacation home with them ! :-) We also wondered just how many more shells would have been found anyway, maybe 2000 years ago or more, simply through less pollution and exploitation by humans. With these big notions swirling around our heads we were blown for home, this time running before the wind, sand dolphin companions swimming alongside us. We seemed to arrive back at base in half the time it took to travel outward, so we spent some time fascinated by the fantastic wind blown sand formations and partial 'burials' along the first section of beach. Carol was wearing her 'Able Creations' hat today, and was busy enjoying her photography just as much as I was enjoying mine, and I have to say I'm glad she's not a pro or I would be given a run for my money :-)
|The Fitness Poet, Creating Visuals - © Glyn Davies 2011|
This is a place I will return to many times, for many reasons :-)
All words and images are strictly copyright © Glyn Davies 2011
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