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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Trip report: First trip of the year - North Wales

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sabconsulting

High Wycombe, UK

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Posted: 04/02/12 02:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A lot has happened since we last used the truck camper last September. I rebuilt the roof, added solar, added some more insulation, replaced the truck tyres, built rear tie-downs, added airbags, enabled low ratio 4x2 - so this was the first chance to really test these things.

First, a few other little modifications I did over the winter.

Added bungee cord to the windows to hold the curtains in place when closed - this would help to prevent draughts too:

[image]

The fibreglass nose cone was looking pretty dirty:

[image]

So I spent some time scrubbing and polishing it with some car polish I found in the garage:

[image]

I did the same for the moon roof - now you can actually see out of it:

[image]

I owed Sally something for leaving her on her birthday to fly to Singapore, so I'd offered to pay for an introduction to rock climbing course. There were a range of locations, but Sally chose North Wales, so the sensible thing to do was make it into a long weekend and dust off the truck camper.

As you enter Wales you pass the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct which carries the Llangollen canal over the River Dee valley:

[image]

The aqueduct consists of a canal and a tow path suspended 126 feet above the river valley (notice there is no hand rail on the left hand side - so you would need to be pretty careful moving about the barge - not many places could an insurance claim read "he slipped off the canal barge and fell 126 ft"):

[image]

Canal boats at the other end of the aqueduct:

[image]

Then onto Bala, a small town on the edge of a lake - fantastic weather for March (especially in Wales which has a reputation for rain):

[image]

Then onto the campsite, which was very clean and tidy:

[image]

In the evening we went for a walk above the camp site. I nearly got mugged by the local sheep who mistook me for the farmer:

[image]

This shows some of the countryside around that area:

[image]

Saturday started out cold, but the small electric heater I had fitted to the camper really made a difference and Sally thought the extra insulation in the new roof was helping too. The climbing wasn't until the afternoon, so we went for a drive around the lake. On the south side is a narrow gauge tourist railway:

[image]

We also found a really nice, but basic campsite right next to the lake - maybe next time we will try this:

[image]

Chickens running loose in the local grave yard:

[image]

Come the afternoon and we are taken up into the hills for Sally's climbing. There were only two others on the course so it meant lots of one to one attention from the instructor:

[image]

[image]

[image]

Sally really enjoyed the course and is thinking about going back to do some further training.

From there we took a circular route back to the camp site:

[image]

Sunday the weather was beautiful again - here is a local dam and lake:

[image]

We chose a circular walk up Arenig Fawr. First a walk up a nice track with the cliffs in the distance:

[image]

The path leads to a dam below the cliffs:

[image]

I'm not sure if we were supposed to walk across this, but it saved a detour:

[image]

The UK is covered in 'rights of way', footpaths and the like. In the path we would have followed one of these on the map, but recently much of this open land has been re-classified to allow walkers access anywhere - so now you just walk where you want. So we headed around and up to the top of the cliffs:

[image]

After stopping for lunch we headed off again towards the actual summit:

[image]

Looking from the peak:

[image]

A memorial was at the top:

[image]

The inscription reads:

In memory of the crew of a flying fortress which crashed on the Arenig on 4th August 1943.
1st Lt James N Pratt, Boise Idaho
2nd Lt Allan M Boner, Tinley Park, Illinois
2nd Lt William A Bowling, Covington, Kentucky
T/Sgt Frederic J Royar, Queens Village, New York
S/Sgt Walter J Johnston, Fayette, Ohio
Sgt Walter B Robinson, Sacramento, California
Sgt Phillip Simonte, Highland Park, Michigan
Pfc Alfred B Van Dyke, Brookville, Pennsylvania

Notice below it are some faded crosses and paper poppies that people must have carried up on Rememberence Day in November. Also there people have left small pieces of the aluminum air frame they have found whilst on the mountain.

Pictures of the crew and details of the crash can be found on the Flickr page of Martin V Morris.

From here we didn't want to retrace our steps or follow the ridge around as we would be going a long way out of our way, so we went for the quickest descent we could:

[image]

Which also meant scrabbling down a nasty scree slope:

[image]

From there down it was just a long slope with some streams cutting through it:

[image]

At the bottom were some disused buildings - they appeared to be commercial in origin - notice the guard-sheep:

[image]

Nice view of where we had just come from:

[image]

Carrying on around back towards the camper Sally noticed water running down the edge of the path - I guess many of the rocks are rich in iron ore:

[image]

Plenty of sheep about of course:

[image]

Finally back along the road to the camper - notice the disused slate quarry cut into the hill:

[image]

A lovely few days and some unexpected weather, plus the camper performed perfectly. I initially found the air bags too firm (even at just 15 psi) so I dropped them down to 7.5 psi at which point they were better.

Back home now - just 2 days at work, then we are away again - up to the Lake District.

Steve.


'07 Ford Ranger XLT Supercab diesel + '91 Shadow Cruiser - Sky Cruiser 1
'98 Jeep TJ 4.0
'15 Ford Fiesta ST
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acudr

San Diego

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Posted: 04/02/12 02:14pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice! Looks like a very cool area to explore.


Bertram

weymard

NORMANDY

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Posted: 04/02/12 02:27pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks Steve, nice pictures and report. Very interesting area, I imagined more flat and green , with fields , cows etc.. something like Normandy !


FORD F250 LARIAT 4X4 DIESEL 2008
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France, Normandy

danoren

Where ever I Camp

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Posted: 04/02/12 02:28pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You should start a BLOG,it is easier to share and link to your posts.
Great shots.


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RobertRyan

Australia

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Posted: 04/02/12 03:05pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Steve,
Some of the narrowest roads in the UK. You hoped you did not have someone coming the other way when driving, especially on a hilly section. Quite a pretty place when the sun was out.

Buzzcut1

Norcal

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Posted: 04/02/12 06:44pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

excellent adventure


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MAV 8801

MONT CLARE PA

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Posted: 04/02/12 03:34pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That is some beautiful country. Not to sure about the cannel over the river valley thing,, thats just not right.. Great place to see...


2011 Palomino Maverick 8801, 2005 Chevy 2500HD Crew Duramax/Allison, Timbrens, Bilsteins, Michelin LTX M/S2, Hypertech programer & Honda Eu2000


fatmanobx

Russellville, Ar. Home Base

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Posted: 04/02/12 03:43pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great post, thanks for sharing...


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Tiger4x4RV

Inland Empire, Southern California

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Posted: 04/02/12 05:01pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very interesting. Countryside does not look like anywhere I have ever been. I especially liked the guard sheep. Thanks for sharing.


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Wheelholder

jacksonville, fl

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Posted: 04/02/12 05:30pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That was interesting. You did not say anything about your rock climbing experience, just Sally's.

Very pretty territory. It seems you have an abundance of different areas within a short distance of where you live. Much closer than here in the Southeastern states.

Enjoy your trip reports. Thanks.


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