Arwen's meanderings

Hi everyone and welcome to my new blog. My name is Steve and i am the lucky owner of a John Welsford designed 'navigator' named Arwen. I built her over three years with the help of my father, father-in-law and two children. She was launched in August 2007 at Queen Anne's battery marina in the barbican area of Plymouth. This blog is a record of our voyages together around SW England.
Arwen has a YouTube channel of her own. Search "plymouthwelshboy".

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

pssst a secret confession.....

Number one son and I like narrow gauge railways in Wales.........I cannot believe we have confessed to this....but there we are.  It's part of our heritage...we come from engineers, both sides of the family, all of whom loved steam engines. One grandad even worked on one of the narrow gauge welsh railways as a chief engineer for many steam is sort of in our blood really.

Which is why we headed north to the welsh highland railway at Caernarvon this weekend just gone. Opened recently, it now runs all the way to Porthmadog, through the famous Aberglaslyn Pass. Twenty five odd miles of magical welsh highland scenery, on the flanks of Snowdon. Twists and turns, switchback loops, passing through places full of slate mining history.  I won't bore you with the details but actually it was a good journey.

we travelled first class on the way down the line: inside the pullman carriage

going along the Aberglaslyn pass

taking on water again: the gradient on this line is truly impressive!

we were in the last carriage...which shows you how tight some of the bends were!

towards the end of the journey, the mountains are left far behind as you approach the coastal plains.....these are the tiny mountains by the way; the railway skirts the highest mountain in England and Wales!

It's a tough landscape with many an abandoned farm house

Then we went camping in the Forest of Dean in South Wales....during the storms.......and it rained...and rained.....and rained......and the wind blew gale force with weather warnings....and the tent withstood it all. To cap it all we even saw deer and wild pigs in the forest and put in to practice our tracking skills learned from Ray Mears!

saw this cheeky little chap but so far have failed to get a positive identification of what bird it is

Ha...couldn't see the woods for the to speak!

found some wonderful reflections

an amazing old log covered in mosses and lichens

a reminder that it is a working forest

it was in here we ran into the wild pig and the deer...too fast to get photos though - sorry!

Time with my son is time well spent. He's quite the knowledgeable outdoors man although I drew the line at eating beech leaves!

Nothing to do with boats.....but there was a neat little harbour at Caernarvon in front of the castle!

Narrow gauge railways, scenery, wonderful people, male voice choirs, quarrying, farming, fishing and coal mining, Celtic history, home to king Arthur, home to Torchwood and generally centre of the known universe.....Wales.............and castles of abundance.....built to keep us welsh in by the terrified English!  Funny how times change, now we welsh are doing 'missionary work' in English schools educating them!!!!!!



robert.ditterich said...

wonderful post thanks Steve.
Particularly enjoying your photography!

steve said...

thanks rob.....really been enjoying your posts on guitars too......amazing learning curve and admiration for your skills have both been vertical. take care and enjoy the summer as it progresses your way!