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The Filthy Lucre Tour
19th Apr 2006
Betws-y-Coed, and Welsh Pronounciation for Greeks

One of life's great pleasures must be sitting in the car listening to a Greek woman pronouncing Welsh place names. Once we'd established that "LL" was pronounced much like "Χλ" and "w" was "ooh", her pronounciation ended up being as good as mine, which is no doubt appaling. I don't know what the other letter sounds are. What's "FF"? And is Welsh a phonetic language, like Greek? Who knows. Without the Internet in any meaningful way, I've no way of finding this stuff out. I'm not actually missing the Internet as much as I thought I would, apart from those times when you end up idly wondering whether "sport mode" on the car is better for towing, or whether there was always a border between Ulster and the rest of Ireland.

This was by far the longest section of our journey - 500km, compared to around 150km for each of the other days. I'd found the other days much more tiring than I'd expected but this one worked out fine, mostly because the great majority of the journey was motorway. On the motorway you have about 50cm on each side of the whole entourage, there aren't any overhanging trees and there's precious little change of you having to reverse up the road to let another caravan and associated tailback through (which happened this morning coming out of the tiny roads around Plymouth). We accidentally timed it wonderfully to spend the latter part of the journey coming up the A5 through the Welsh valleys just as the sun was setting, which gave us a pretty spectacular view of the scenery. We arrived relaxed and buoyant at our campsite, and within about five minute had managed to bury both the car and the caravan in what looked to the untrained eye like a slightly damp patch of grass but was actually a cleverly concealed mud pit. Eventually we unhitched the caravan and managed to use the motor mover and some elbow grease to get it back onto the gravel track (making me think that this motor mover thing isn't perhaps the complete extravagance I formerly believed it to be), only to discover that the car couldn't actually move on its own either. As my father may be reading and shaking his head, I hasten to add that I hadn't spun the wheels until it dug itself into a rut, but had in fact given up as soon as the wheels spun for just a second or two. I've been playing with Landrovers and hiking plenty much in muddy fields and I've never before seen one that looked quite so innocuous but was quite so gloopy. Eventually (after revolving the caravan and re-hitching it to the car) we managed to find a slightly less soggy pitch and squelch the caravan in, again using the motor mover. I've driven the car up beside the caravan... god knows if we'll get it out again tomorrow. If it rains I'm not sure we'll ever see it again.

Miles travelled: 700
Average mpg: 18.4
Bottles of wine remaining: 14 or so

Next: Portmeirion Tat
Previous: Plymouth

Diary Photos
19th Apr 2006


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