One very big downside to parking at the yacht club....so very windy that all we could hear was the boat's rigging beating against the mainmast and with intermittent howling and whistling, sleep was nie on impossible. MB continually rocked and shuddered, and a distinct knocking came from the satellite dish. All in all too very weary eyed people surfaced very early this morning, if we had 4 hours sleep we were lucky.
As I've mentioned before, the early bird gets the parking spot and with it being a weekend, we knew the RSPB at South Stack would probably be chocker block. Such was the case because by 10 am nearly every spot had been taken. We wanted to go up the lighthouse, a notice on the kiosk window said closed. Blast....but then a very nice lady popped out and said she had forgotten to take down the sign. Mind you, I did wonder if the high winds would be an issue. Forecasted for gusts over 50mph, wouldn't it become dangerous? Well, we were told the gusts at the moment were under 40mph, so that was okay. Two tickets purchased as OAP's for £12.
OMG. The walk down to the lighthouse was impossible, not because of the 400 steps leading down, but because of that wind. I could hardly stand at times and if it wasn't for a wall surrounding the steps...well I might be history now. Half we down, we stopped to look for the Puffins. We were assured they were on a grassy bit on a rocky outcrop. Well, could we find any... Not one hide nor hair of them could be found! My disappointment was great! Plenty of razor bills, guillemots and Kittiwakes but no bl**dy Puffins!!! Continuing down and it's a good job this isn't smelly vision! The smell of thousands of seabirds guano was nearly overpowering. The wind in our direction didn't help either.
Onwards to the lighthouse, down some very steep metal steps, over an aluminium bridge and then up to be met by a guide.
From there we ascended a steep spiral staircase which ended up as an almost vertical ladder to the top. The only way was to hang onto the handrail and make very sure to return down them backwards. Goodness knows how many steps in total, I didn't count, but another 100 at least. The guide was brilliant, told why the lighthouse came to be, how it worked and how this particular place was also haunted. I took this excerpt from the whole world or nothing
In 1859 there was a particularly violent storm which is now believed would have been classed as a hurricane. It wrecked devastation, claiming 800 lives in 200 shipwrecks. Including that of the Royal Charter which had 500 on board.
Unfortunately one of the keepers, John Jack Jones, was also killed by falling rock as he was heading on to duty.
The story goes that he dragged himself part way along the path, but his cries were drowned out by the battering wind and rain and he wasn’t found until the next morning. And that it is his ghost who now haunts South Stack lighthouse.It was visited by the team from Most Haunted, a British reality TV series that investigates paranormal activity in different locations and they certainly thought so.
That journey back to the top of the cliff, my muscles felt every one of the 400 steps. Ian seemed to suffer more because of his hamstring, we stopped often! Why do we do it? I ask that to myself often! Anyway, the push the wind gave us helped, but it took a lot longer going up than it did down.
Back to the visitor centre for a bite to eat. I fancied a sausage roll and was shocked with the price of £5. But when it arrived, it was huge, also homemade with coleslaw and salad on the side, so I suppose the price wasn't as bad as first thought.
We almost tossed a coin, leave for the Dingles, Llangefni and those Red Squirrels or go for a cliff path walk. Judging by the amount of cars in the car park, we believed the Dingles car park would probably be the same, parking MB would be impossible, so we plumped for the walk.
Bad move! The first part had steps, but from then on it was clambering over boulders and climbing up steep paths. It was the sheer strength of that wind that made me suggest turning back. I felt most unsteady with those gusts. Ian was more than pleased, confided that he was unsure how much further he could have gone with the pain in his leg. So back we went and as we passed the entrance to the lighthouse, noticed the closed sign was up. Yep, those gusts had reached 50 mph and the cliff walk down or up would have been too dangerous. Good job we did it first thing then!
I left Ian at MB. In the distance, I had spied what I thought to be those Choughs. Another walk down in the direction of those birds, crikey, a long way down again!
|That's MB, the white blob, middle right.|
I did see those Choughs, not on the ground but flying. To see a decent photo (not one of mine) of the bird click HERE
A Heather wonderland.
Ever the glutton for punishment, we headed back to that park 4 night at the yacht club again. It was much to late to find somewhere else to stop, and we knew if we left it too late, nothing would be found. The only saving grace was the wind seemed to have changed direction slightly, and the fact we have moved to a different place helped. Ian had also secured a towel over the Houdini, which seems to have deadened the noise somewhat. Only time will tell if we get a better night sleep tonight.!
And wildlife today