Well, not only did we have a severe case of the wanties for the sea air but we managed to give ourselves a decent dose in a day-out jolly.
We went to the Llŷn Peninsula in Wales for the day and despite the rather brusque weather - it was great!
We woke early and bundled two sleepy teenagers into the car - they almost instantly fell back to sleep, tousled heads buried into their pillows. Himself drove and I happily tackled my knitting. It is not complicated but I seemed to have lost momentum and decided to make good the journey time to to get some dedicated knitting done.
The weather reports had cheerfully promised dire conditions but we'd decided that if we waited for a nice day - we could wait and wait and wait and miss our micro-adventure. So, with the rain on the windscreen, the boys asleep, knitting under way - we arrived, three hours later at Porth Colmon.
I sat in the car - staring at the purple-grey sea, frothing and expansive - as I tied on my boots. A quick jump out of AND STRAIGHT BACK IN to the car confirmed the need for several more layers on. A second attempt, wrapped up and waterproofed, proved more successful. The wind was rather 'fresh' and very cutting - burning our cheeks and making my eyes water - but it was salty and it was bracing and it was wonderful.
We followed the edge of the coast line down onto the windblown sands were we crossed the small bay and back up on to the coast line. In places the pathway was treacherously muddy and one path we had to give up on as it had been closed due to collapse into the sea.
We returned back feeling completely battered by the air, refreshed and invigorated - ready to eat our lunch. We had a 'carnic' watching the sea chop and churn against the black rocks, as we gently steamed up the windows while we warmed our hands around mugs of tea and filled our bellies with homemade homity pies.
We drove on to another bay - the Whistling Sands. Once parked, we walked up Mynydd Carreg - a small hill above the sands which gave us the most amazing views. The wind by now had picked up and was colder and sharper than before. The skies heavy and the occasional spatter of icy rain drops kept us watching the skies.
We sheltered against the stone wall at the summit which gave us some relief from the buffeting wind.
From here we could see down to the bay where the sands were. Our walk took us down through the fields to the coastal path and followed it until the bay,
Along the way we stumbled through an old jasper quarry (opened in 1094) where we found nuggets of rough jasper. Continuing along the path we were halted by a rather large and warty toad - well we think it was a toad as it walked rather than hopped and it's skin was roughened and dry. It gave us a stern look from it's golden eyes before it trundled off into the grass.
As pleased as we were with our jasper and as tickled we were by the toad - we were delighted by the sight of dolphins - a large pod, we guestimated about 25ish - moving through the rough sea. We threw ourselves onto the grass cliff edge trying to shelter from the winds as we took pictures. Not an easy task - but we saw them and we may have squealed a little (ok, ok it might have been just me who squealed!)
Eventually the clusters of dolphins went out of sight and we just had to move to keep warm.
Our path finally took us to the edge of the bay, leading us through a small twisted woodland, giving us a wonderful respite from the cold wind.
At end of the footpath, two small wooden buildings appeared. As we approached they proved to be loo blocks! What a welcome sight! That, here, on a 'wild-and-wet-and-windy-in-Wales' day, the two little wooden buildings not only had working and clean toilets but loads of loo roll, fresh hot and cold water and a jar filled with flowers - love it!
After making use of the most unexpected but rather delightful facilities we continued our walk down to the Whistling Sands. There were a few other hardy souls enjoying the bracing sea air including a dad and small daughter who ran around joyfully. We were amused by the 'creatures' on the beach - evidence of a warmer day's play.
We walked across the length of the bay and briefly up on to the dunes on the other side. It was cold! Time to return to the car - we still have to drive home and the weather was deteriorating rapidly.
A return journey across the sands, back up on to the farm land and through the fields to the parked car. Once there, off came the boots and down came the rain - we'd only just made it in time!
Himself drove us to a scenic spot where we finished off our picnic and drained the flask while we watched the sea through windscreen wipers - I'd got my breath of sea air, the boys had got their walk and we'd seen dolphins ... what more could we want? (apart for slightly better weather?)