BIG 4-0 Birthday Weekend

Well, I’m now 40 years old and have just got back from a great weekend away in North Wales to celebrate the fact that I’ve made it to this milestone (relatively) unscathed.

We drove up on Friday afternoon with Dave and Sarah following behind us, stopped off at Treetop Adventure in betws y Coed to collect the key to our accommodation and then went to check out the bunkhouse in Llanwrst. It was dark, icy and cold when we arrived and no one had used the house for a while so it was a little chilly in there but all looked good. Plenty of room, plenty of beds and a nice big lounge, dining room and kitchen with everything we needed for a good weekend away. There weren’t any logs for the fire though but a quick phone call was made and supplies were on their way.

Next stop was Llanwrst itself and the ‘award winning’ Indian restaurant Ty Asha. We were very pelasantly surprised to find this little gem in Llanwrst. A nice atmosphere, welcoming staff, perfect service and delicious Indian food. Much better than we were expecting from a little town in North Wales and definitely deserving of its many awards. It was fairly reasonable as far as price goes too so comes highly recommended.

Grey Mares Tail Waterfall

Grey Mares Tail Waterfall

Back at the bunkhouse and the logs, kindling and fire-lighters were waiting on the doorstep fo us so we soon had a nice fire going and the place was beginning to feel pretty cosy. Of course, as proud outdoorsy, rustic types we didn’t need the firelighters – that would be cheating!

The beds were comfy and we had a good nights sleep, although I was up at 5am as usual so got the fire ging again so that it was toasty when everyone else got up.

Saturday was dry and chilly. We had planned a possible bike-ride around the Marin Trail, but it was still pretty icy and as it was only me and Dave (who was going to drive up from Aber) up for it we decided not to bother and instead went for a little walk in a secluded dell to the Grey Mares Tail waterfall and did a geocache.

Morgan below the waterfall!

Morgan below the waterfall!

We then headed into Betws y Coed for a quick look in an outdoor shop and then off to the Treetop Adventure centre for a Hot Chocolate and flapjack and to meet everyone else who had come up for my borthday. As well as Me, Anna and Morgan, there was Dave and Sarah, Steve, Dan, Andy and Jules, Emma and Tim, my mum and Dad along with my niece and nephew Kia and Shaun – My sister was ill so hadn’t made it. Jay with his lot (Megan, Harry, Charlie and Jack, Brad and Eloise.

I opened my present, a GoPro HD video camera and frantically tried to set it up so that I could take it on the ropes course with me.

We got kitted up and headed off to the ropes course, Dave, Anna, Morgan, Harry Charlie and Jack did the smaller course and everyone else (except my Mum and Dad) did the full course – Although, as we got started I think there were a few people who wished they had opted for the smaller one! The first bit was fairly low, but still a challenge. Emma wasn’t too sure about it so she went around that bit again which gave her a little more confidence to brave the main course. In the end it was high enough and with enough variety in the different elements to have something that everyone found a little challenging in one way or another. The final part of the course was a leap of faith which everyone enjoyed.

Unfortunately in my haste to read the camera instructions, set it up, check the battery and SD card and get it fitted to my head I must have pressed a button and switched the camera to photo mode. So, despite carrying it around on my head all day and aiming it people doing various things now and then, all I actually did was take a single photo when I first started. Still, the photo was nice and clear and shows Jay heading off across a rope!

GoPro Photo

GoPro Photo

Anna took plenty of photos from the ground though so some of those are below. My Dad, so no doubt we’ll see those soon. Andy had a GoPro as well and has a video on Facebook – I’m not so sure about the singing in it though! Eloise has some photos on Facebook too.

The day was finished off with a nice meal at the Treetop Adventure centre and some beers around the fire in the bunkhouse.

Sunday was another cold and crispy day and Brad, Steve and I headed off to ride around the Penmachno Trail while the others either explored Betws y Coed or headed off home after a good weekend.

Thanks to everyone for coming and being there to celebrate with me and I hope you all enjoyed yourselves.

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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