Once we picked up the new froth mobile Linda the Landy all we could think about was the first trip to go in her. Our friends Brad and Emma were about to head to Wales for a long weekend and asked us to tag along. This was the perfect little road trip to see how the defender was running.
Bloody Land Rovers. The thing decided to mess up before Jess and I even left town. It was the first time filling her right to the brim and this meant the extra fuel tank was going to be full as well. Just as we were buying the fuel canister for cooking we got out the car and diesel was pouring all over the road. The hose used to connect the main and extra tank was a pretty poor excuse and had decided to put a 2 inch split in itself.
Whilst trying to hold the hose pinched to stop losing anymore fuel and doing repairs it was obvious we were going to lose fuel. 25 litres of the stuff hit the deck. I suppose luck went with the annoyance as we had this problem right outside a shop where we could buy armoured hose. with a little bit of road side engineering we managed to get ourselves back on the road with the smell of diesel on just about everything.
Brad and Emma had made their way to Wales earlier with family so we met them at surf snowdonia for our first camp in the old girl. We had recently been working on a few modifications to the previous owners with how the rear of the defender was set up. With time not on our sides we managed to put a bed together with storage that we were happy with.
Having both not ridden a wave pool before we were excited to see how different this was compared to the sea. We camped in the surf snowdonia grounds and this cost us £20 a night which is nice and cheap considering you have very good facilities on your doorstep.
Around 7:30 in the morning is when the guys who work there get a quick half an hour in before it opens to the public booked in. It was awesome to see how to wave worked and to see the local talent tearing it up.
The only slot we could get booked was an intermediate slot. On a single wave there is 3 different take off spots, beginner, intermediate and advanced. A word of advice if you can surf fairly well don't waste your time going unless you can get an advanced slot. Brad, Jess and I walked out with our normal shortboards and were heavily advised to bring out a foamy. Not one of us stayed on our normal board for more then 2 waves and struggled on a foamy from there. The intermediate wave is more bulky white water for beginners.
Feeling a little bit let down from surf at the pool we took a trip to Anglesey to try and get a salty wave.
The second camp was on the beach at Porthmadog, located just behind the sand bank you can hear the waves crashing from the back of the defender. Jess has never driven manual in a car before so she enjoyed getting to drive up and down the beach getting to grips with the gears.
Off the top of my head i think a spot was £25 a night. The toilet/shower blocks were very clean and sitting on the top of the sand bank drinking coffee with a view in the morning is worth every penny in my book.
We packed up camp early and drove in convoy to a place called Harlech. We were trying to chase the last day of swell before we left but the weather was not on our side. The fog was so bad on the coast that we couldn't see the sea what so ever. Harlech has a castle and entry happened to be free so we thought why not!
The history of the castle was awesome to read about and climbing to the top of one of the watch towers gave you a great view of the beach, after an hour or so of walking around the castle we checked the waves one last time and could just about see a wave breaking through the fog, we took a chance and went for it.
Due to the real world and jobs and boring stuff like that Jess and I only got 3 days in Wales. This is definitely a place Jess and I want to spend more time. There was a lot to compare to New Zealand, empty single track roads, lakes and mountains. Getting back into Grimsby we had the blues for New Zealand hard.
Surf snowdonia is really worth checking out, just make sure you get that advanced spot if you can surf pretty well! Because of time limits we only really got to check out the north of Wales but the coastal road down from Anglesey was one full of views not to disappoint. Waves weren't bad either! We frothed for wales and hope to make it back soon!