Departing the Isle of Man at some unseemly hour we lurched down the east coast in an uncomfortable Irish Sea. Rounding Calf Island against foul tide we barely crawled past the lighthouse, which looked like a Stevenson original to me. To our left, grey-green cliffs are dotted with lonely monuments to forgotten times, while Ireland is faintly visible far on the western horizon. And finally a warming sun but little wind. Wales is 40 miles to the south.
Arriving in Holyhead at sunset we have tucked into the harbour to sit out 3 tedious days of rain and strong southerlies.
With a cosy hire car we explored wet forested back roads and walled mountain pastures in Snowdonia. Snug B&Bs, the Porto Meirion folly, a Welsh male voice choir in Betys-y-Coed, craggy peaks and waterfalls. We struggled with Welsh history at Harlech and Caernarfon and debated 19th century shale export issues.