THE REAL MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
The Gill is a British surfing institution. He's been on a jolly from the South Wales homeland to the hard to score North.
Eilir Davies-hughes and Urgent Davies-hughes. Brothers in arms enjoying some quality family tube time.
This is a place where the rich go, or anyone who hasn't been baptised. Holidays, holidays of the Range Rover kind, Real housewives of Cheshire, footballers wives and husbands of someone else's wives. Powerboats, speedboats, sailboats. Jet ski shops, stylish shops, latte shops, surf shops and the odd surf spot. First came Butlins, Bez Newton with his beach bum boys, boards and beach barbecues. Now it's Wakestock, WAGS, wannabes and the wealthy who stay at 'the Warren'. Paradoxically the most upmarket caravan site this side of Essex. If your pockets are deep enough, why not join in on their Friday night club house quiz: 'Who doesn't want to be a Millionaire'.
You'd never expect such improbable mix of English incomers transported like a clot right into into the heart of the most Welsh place on Earth, (barring Patagonia) to work. The funny thing is, that it does. Once upon a time in the north of Wales they used to burn the English holiday homes down. Nowadays the Welsh build them up again, nurturing and pandering to their every need. Indeed it's not unusual to see mixed marriages being performed at the local chapels in Wenglais (a cross between Welsh and English dialects).
Since the passing of Owain Glyndwr these
Eilir wishing his parents had brought him up properly as a goofyfoot.
previously polarised peoples have integrated seamlessly, forming a thriving symbiotic relationship in a town called Abersoch.
Jon Jones (no relation to Florence or Tom) the ex-head of Gwynedd Council, farmer / landowner of one of the loveliest swathes of the North Wales coast has travelled the world and returned to his native home, now welcoming tourists to visit his camp site on Cilan-head, and experience the beauty of what he'd been sitting on all his life.
He said, "What I haven't seen in these fields over the years, you could fit on postage stamp." Usually propping up the bar at his local pub, The Rising Sun, Jon holds court, reminiscing and recalling an endless string of funny tales, softly spoken in Welsh or English on any day but a Thursday. That's when he cooks for his wife, 'gourmet', so he tells me. "She does the other six nights." Old habits die hard here, where the mountains of the Llyn Peninsular tumble idyllically down onto to the sands around the edges of the clean, green Irish Sea.
If only Ireland wasn't in the way, surfers say in South Wales. Well give a thought for these poor sods who have one of the world's smallest swell windows, barring the miniature Manx marine stained glass window centre. There are no waves in the Isle of Man.
Miraculously some swells do get through, and as they say up there, "every 'Gog' has is day" (a colloquial term of which North Waleians like to be called). By the way, you, don't want to go upsetting them with any bad pronunciation of their towns e.g. Pwllheli. They're all trained up in the ancient Welsh fighting art of 'Llap Goch',
'OLD HABITS DIE HARD HERE, WHERE THE MOUNTAINS OF THE LLÝN PENINSULAR TUMBLE IDYLLICALLY DOWN ONTO TO THE SANDS AROUND THE EDGES OF THE CLEAN, GREEN IRISH SEA.'
practiced by rival surf shop owners. Spout, from Westcoast, the grand master; Phil Woods at Abersoch Watersports is only a seventh dan while Johnny at Offaxis referees.
Local surfing levels are also pretty high, you tend to wonder how they got so good? I heard that their secret is that they all get free night practice on those perfect machine like waves up in the mountains at Surf Snowdonia. Andy Ainscough SS'S MD turned up on 'the day' with his less buoyant board, to try out some novelty salt water surfing. He saw the cameras then promptly disappeared backhand into the barrel and would not come out; saying he was on a long 'business' lunch and not to put any shots of him on social media, he didn't mention Carve, ha!
Hell's Mouth, the regional classic has become the main hub of surfing north of Aberystwyth. It has quality as you can see and does get crowded on weekends with surfers coming from all over North Wales and the great urban sprawls of England's old industrial northwest. It's just an
'FOR MOST IT ON, WE IT'S STILL US DOWN HAVE TO SOUTH LEAVE CATCHING IT GOOD UP A GAMBLE TO CATCH CLASSIC WAVES ON OUR DOORSTEPS IN HOPE OF NORTH, AND AT THAT.'
Urgent-davies-hughes pig hunting below sea level.
hour and a half from the border, along the newly upgraded A55 road artery. However getting there from anywhere south of the Snowdonia mountain barrier is very time consuming and arduous due to the complete lack of dual carriageway or motorway between North and South Wales. 150 Miles can take a minimum of five hours, it is a gloriously scenic drive, unless your stuck behind an endless string of tractors between every village!
For most us down south to catch it on, we have to leave classic waves on our doorsteps in hope of catching it good up North, and it's still a gamble at that. If you want a guaranteed bang for your petrol buck, then the wave pool is a much better bet. Fortunately this time luck was on our side as you can tell by the pics. If you aren't to bothered about catching classic Porth Neigwl, then take a trip anyway with family or friends and just enjoy all that North Wales has on offer. You won't be disappointed.
Urien seeing what it feels like to surf forehand.
The Dragon spits.
Lloyd wishing he could speak Welsh to break the ice.
Barrel chested Guts putting one of his mini mals through its paces.
You wait all day to get stuck behind one tractor, then two come along at once.
Phil Woods, Llap Goch kick to the lip.
The green dragon hunting for a victim.
Lloyd Cole with his happy face on.
Lloyd getting into this Llap Goch kicking lark. TOP LEFT
Llywellyn 'Sponge' Williams, slotted backhand in a green Irish Sea wrap.
Eilir will develop a back problem if he keeps this up much longer.
Guts gets into the screaming corner sauna.