Clicking on any of the pictures will open them at full size in the browser window, which means you will have to use the 'back' button to return to the main pages, whereas clicking to the left or right of any picture will open them in a new window, if you fancy a closer look at any of the piccies we've posted! We've included a Google Earth satelite picture of our plots and this years planting plan at the bottom of the page, next to each other. If you choose the Earth view on the satelite image you can rotate the image until it is lined up with the planting plan, then use the arrows in the plan to scroll from Plot 2 to Plot 1.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Our Holiday - a few days camping in heaven on Earth!

So, a few days away camping at Shell Island, one of the most beautiful and relaxing places in the world, with a view said to rival that of the Bay of Naples!

Shell Island is actually a peninsular, joined to the land by some of the highest sand dunes in europe, and situated between Harlech and Barmouth on the coast in Cardigan Bay, just to the sea from the small village of Llanbedr.

It is reached by a road that skirts the disused RAF/RAE Llanbedr air station and then comes across the tidal bay, and at high tide 2 weeks of the month it is actually covered by the sea at high water, something wonderful to witness and great fun for kids (and big kids too!)

The views are spectacular, ranging 180 degrees, from Harlech Castle right the way through to the end of the Llyn peninsula, encapsulating Snowdonia and the northern Cardigan Bay.

The northern end of the 'island' has a rocky foreshore, with rockpools and a beach full of shells (hence the english name of Shell Island, although its proper Welsh name is Mochras), which stretches about 2 miles to the harbour and marina at the very northern end (the place the panorama was taken at). The picture above is a photomontage of 8 pictures, spanning 270 degrees of view, apologies if one or two of the joins are visible, its the best I could do with the software I've currently got!

The southern end is dominated by huge sand dunes, and sandy beaches that run 6 miles to Barmouth!

The island is run as a camp site by the Workman family, and is for tents only (no caravans, although campervans are aloowed as long as their owners have a tent for sleeping purposes!)

It is divided into fields which each have a tap in them, and there is a central complex with camp shop, cafe, bar, restaurant, small supermarket, shower block and toilets, with other portaloo toilets also dotted about the island. Basic but clean facilities that are all you need for a holiday camping!
We set our camp up in a central field, towards the sea side of the island, near the top of one of the highest points, which although exposed to the weather does give a fantastic view! If the weather is good, then it can be heaven on earth, but if the weather is bad, then camping here is a bit of a nightmare!

This year we set up on Sunday in glorious (if windy) weather, and BBQ'd that evening, seeing the pod of 14 dolphins that live hereabouts pass whilst we ate.

Monday, the following day, we had a trip out to Barmouth (for lunch at the harbour chippy, then sit at the harbour and eat fish n chips - wonderful), followed by a drive to Porthmadog (and some shopping at Tescos).

On returning to the campsite we encountered rain, which stayed with us, getting heavied and gusting winds until the small hours of the morning, so for tea we treated ourselves to Pizza from the brilliant Pizzeria in Maentwrog.

Tuesday morning dawmned calm and cloudy, but as the day wore on the clouds cleared, so we went for a drive to do some photography and called in at Harlech, a fabulous viewpoint and a castle amongst the best in the world! Tuesday night we BBQ'd again and spent a few hours watching and photographing the sunset!

So, this was the starting point for our sunset photography, at about 8pm, using a tripod and sunset filter.

Zoom in a bit to catch the mist defining the 2 mountain ranges in the distance and dispense with the filter for this shot.

Sun getting a bit lower, and heading for a cloud bank, hmm, not so good for shots with the sun in them!

Yup, just before the sun disappears into a cloudbank! This stopped any chances of decent pictures for a while, until the cloud bank slowly moved on!

The afterglow over the snowdon range a bit to the north of the actual sunset! The following pictures are all taken later on, using long exposures ranging from 2 seconds to 30 seconds in length! Slightly different exposure combinations and processing gives them each a different feel, I'm not sure I can actually pick a fave myself, but possibly the 2nd and 3rd are the ones I find most pleasing.

The waters edge becomes misty with long exposures, as you can see here and surrounding some of the rocks in the sea, especially if you click on the image to open it full sized!

I think this one is the most dramatic, what do you think?

Pretty, but possibly lacking in impact?

It was 1130pm by the time we finished playing with the cameras, and we'd had to resort to exposure times of up to 30 seconds to get some of the piccies, but I'm sure you'll agree, they were worth staying up to take!

Wednesday was time to pack up and come home, so we were on the road for 11am, and home for 2pm, followed by doing the bee inspections with Pat and Colin (and Sarah, their daughter)

All in all a good holiday, pretty good weather for most of the time and a relaxing time!

The last pano is a bit of a failure, I cant get the programme Im using to match the edges properly, as they were not overlapped enough, but it gives you an idea of the whole sunset vista on Shell Island!

Hope you get a holiday and that its enjoyable and relaxing!

More updates from the plot soon!


Shayla said...

It looks very pretty. I hope you have a wonderful time as I think you deserve a break after all the work you did last weekend. Hope you take a few pics to show us.

Mrs Dobby said...

hanks Shayla, it was wonderful, I've lots of piccies to post, so going to be posting them soon!

Anonymous said...

Great pics Mrs D, nice one.



Mrs Dobby said...

Thanks, tho I wish I'd got a better prog for sorting them, one or two niggles that I can see (can you tell I'm a perfectionist yet? lol), but overall I'm fairly happy with them! Glad you enjoyed them!