A bright green glade close to the road not far from Deri Fawr on the way to the village Benllech exudes the vibrant beauty we have found in many special spots on Anglesey.
The next lasting blue patchwork morning that makes itself available Pam makes plans to visit the Stone Age burial chamber, Bryn Celli Ddu. Should the weather hold we will also do another coastal walk near the village Aberffraw.
Each time we drive to the shop in Benllech or onwards to Bangor I wish to stop and attempt to capture the beauty of the nearby glade digitally. Today is my first planned chance.
Unfortunately the sun’s direction by the time we pass in the morning makes the contrast completely unsuitable to capture the green hues from the road. We elect to cross and take photos of the Celtic Cross that tops the hill on the other side.
Meadows full of ewes and suckling lambs basking under the sun. We access the field containing the cross and surrounding circular stone wall via a high stile.
Circling the stone wall to find an entry point brings us almost full circle before we sight the flat stones embedded in the wall that act as a perfect stile to climb and cross.
Bushes within the confines of the circular wall are mostly covered in thorns, this is no place for barefoot romanticism.
Beautiful views of the valley below and the glade across the road along with the craggy hill top beyond offer themselves to our gaze.
I vow to return with the dawn to try and catch this area with the sun in the most Eastern quarter possible to attempt once more to capture what the eye can see and the lens cannot.
We have a couple of areas in mind to try and visit whilst the weather holds. Already clouds are gathering in the West.
Enroute to Bryn Celli Ddu we pass through a village. I really have no idea where we are however the length of the name above a car dealership on our right brings me to a stop in the street.
We back up so that I can take photos from the car window.
Later we find that the full name of this village Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is astonishingly not the longest area name in the world however it is the longest in Europe. This impossible to pronounce (for Pam and I) name translates as St Mary’s Church in the hollow of white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the church of Saint Tysillio near the red cave
We drive on and soon are pulling up in a roadside gravel car park which is a ten minute walk from the Stone Age burial mound Bryn Celli Ddu.
Well maintained gravel paths lead alongside a fast running little stream which we cross via a wooden bridge before climbing a slight rise between thorny hedges.
The burial mound is an archeological site preserved in a green fenced square surrounded by working farms.
Large standing stones guard the entrance to the mound itself. The burial chamber within is about 2.4m across capped with two very large stones and covered with the mound of soil.
Time stands still and looks on. Tranquil blue skies provide a vivid contrast with the emerald countryside.
We push between the sentry stones, enter the burial mound and walk the length of the narrow chamber within.
I have to remain stooped and even Pam bumps her head on the stone ceilings.
Back out in the bright day once more there is little else to do than return to our vehicle and press on.
Pam’s next plan for the day is to do another shorter coastal walk near the small village Aberffraw. We park in the village and have a late lunch at Llys Llewlyn Tea rooms.
Our walk commences beside a low stone bridge crossing a stream that flows into the nearby sea.
Grey threatening skies ahead combined with another extremely muddy path ahead dissuade us from doing the loop we had planned.
Instead we return to the car and drive along a very narrow muddy verged lane that leads through the village, over a hill and down to the sea.
Pam sits freezing on a sculpted wooden seat as I make my way to the rocky beach in search of photos.
Rain squalls coming in from the sea drive us back to the warm confines of the car.
The Jemimas as usual are happy to see me.
Return to South Stack
Finally a fine morning lasts beyond duck feeding time again. We seize our opportunity. I have wanted to return to South Stack in fine weather since our last day trip there and spectacular days like the one we have risen to have been very rare since our arrival in Anglesey.
Our route gives me the opportunity to pull up beside the road and photograph another of the seemingly unremarkable areas that radiate Anglesey’s emerald and azure essence.
Look to the bottom right, windswept branches flowing out beyond the center line of the tree trunk are common on Anglesey.
A still day is a rare day on this island hence the profusion of wind turbines in the area.
Arriving at the South Stack park cafe just after midday we decide to have another quick lunch. The great weather is holding and the day is a complete contrast with last time we were here.
Outside the air is chilly and a stiff breeze flows in from the Irish Sea. We make our way down to the cliff face.
Pam is wearing all the cold weather gear she has with my jacket over the top.
She looks exceedingly cute posing against the stone wall built above the cliff corner.
In the radiant sunshine I am not feeling the cold at all which is lucky for there is no way I would be getting my coat back.
Taking advantage of the stiller conditions today we walk along the path tracing the cliff edge.
Wind coming in from the sea lifts a small waterfall falling down the cliff face and sprays it back into the stream from whence it came.
Nature’s perpetual waterfall.
We turn back and make our way up over the rocky crest above.
Incessant rainfall of the last few days has left the road leading to the path and stairs down to the lighthouse flooded. I circumnavigate the slippery edge with care, despite my inner warmth on this glorious day I feel no urge for swimming.
As we descend two brave souls are rock climbing down the cliffs to our left. We are not alone in taking advantage of the rare blue day.
Four hundred plus stairs later we are facing locked gates that block us from crossing the metal bridge across to the tiny rocky island on which the lighthouse stands.
The only way is up …….
Regular readers of this blog would be familiar with my constant whining about knee pain. For at least 12 months prior to leaving Australia my right knee was giving me constant pain with my left knee occasionally chiming in. I had seen a doctor just prior to leaving Australia and after looking at X-rays the conclusion was that I had reasonably severe osteo-arthritis in both knees and was running out of cartilage.
During the Camino my right knee started coming good probably as a result of increased strength due to highly increased exercise levels. My left knee however was injured standing from a low seated position with my backpack on in Logrono, Spain.
A few days later the pain in my left knee was so bad that I thought my Camino journey was at an end.
Months later my right knee still felt strong however the stabbing pain in my left knee was still there.
Sufferers from this type of pain would understand my frustration.
Pain generated with each footfall makes one seem timid and cautious when in fact inside you are bold and exploratory.
I should be striding the Earth ready for what may come. Not taking the tiny vacillatory indecisive fearful steps that I have been reduced to.
Seeking a remedy other than the inevitable knee replacement most allopaths seem to recommend (that the retired doctor Amar we met during the Camino advised I avoid if at all possible) I had come across nutritional supplementation that has proven efficacious for some.
I had already been taking Glucosamine and MSM at home which kind of took the edge off my right knee pain and was also helping a little with the more severe pain of my left knee however I had never previously heard of Cetyl Mysristoleate.
According to Wikipedia Cetyl Mysristoleate is a chemical compound which is a type of fatty acid ester or, more specifically, a cetylated fatty acid (CFA). It is the cetyl ester of myristoleic acid.
Cetyl myristoleate was discovered and isolated by one person, working alone, on a quest to find a cure for arthritis.
Harry W. Diehl, while employed by the National Institute of Arthritis, Metabolism, and Digestive Diseases, specialized in sugar chemistry. He used his chemical knowledge and research instincts to great advantage, identifying and characterizing over 500 compounds, several of which were patented by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). His most significant discovery before cetyl myristoleate was a method of synthesizing 2-deoxydextroribose, a sugar used in the preparation of oral polio vaccine by Dr. Jonas Salk.
Prior to Paul and Mavis’s departure the capsules I had ordered from EHP products (containing Cetyl Mysristoleate under the commercial name Myristin along with Glucosamine and MSM under the commercial name Myrist-Aid and the topical Mryistin cream) had arrived.
By now I consider this as being the best $200 dollars (two months supply) I have spent on myself in years.
For the last few weeks I have been following the protocols for using these products and my knee pain has dramatically reduced.
I am familiar with scientific process and the meaning of double blind testing and realise that anecdotal evidence is often regarded as being only two steps away from vodoo by the scientific and medical community.
A sample of one from a population of one has no statistical validity and I am not offering medical advice however ………
Today for the first time in months I feel confident enough in my knees to have set out without my precious pacerpoles.
Gazing back up the 400 stairs we now have to climb back up I wonder if I have been too hasty in my decision.
My knees are still fine when we have regained the top.
A daylight half moon smiles good favour on us over a rocky crest as we return to the car.
With a couple of hours in hand before I have to attend to the needs of the feathery quackers we elect to drive the winding beautiful coastal road back to Deri Fawr.
Pausing in a cliffside car park we look back at South Stack from afar.
Blue skies and the half moon are still waiting in the car park of a supermarket of one of the towns enroute.
Pam and Mick