Jimmy M3EYP completed his 100th SOTA activation yesterday - and his 99th!
Family day out was decreed, with Marianne initially wanting to walk up Great Orme GW/NW-070 from Llandudno, taking a route up on the Marine Drive side with good sea views. This was acceptable, but I reasoned with her that Holyhead Mountain GW/NW-069 was a much more spectacular and rewarding walk, and that “it’s only another half-an-hour’s drive after Llandudno” (cue slight lengthening of nose).
Agreement was forthcoming, and with not having prepared anything the night before, or even bothered to get up early, we made a lateish start out from Macclesfield. Breakfast was at the Lymm Truck Stop, a first time for Marianne here. She really enjoyed it!
We made good time on the roads, reaching Holyhead in only about 2.25 hours driving time. Following the signs for the country park, we reached the parking spot and commenced the ascent. The weather was clear and sunny, but with a brisk cold wind. Marianne, as I hoped and expected, was taken with the wonderful views, especially on the second half of this ascent. Holyhead Mountain might only be small, but it is a mountain and looks like one. We looked down on the ferries and catamarans sailing out of Holyhead across the Irish Sea.
Being a family day out and all that, we did not prioritise the radio side, and performed a quick and easy 2m FM handheld activation. Nonetheless, an activation that included two summit-to-summit contacts (Eleri MW3NYR on Yr Aran NW-019 and Mick 2E0HJD on Great Gable LD-005), three DXCCs and two IOTAs!
On the descent, we were met by a lovely old golden labrador who enjoyed our company for a few minutes before trotting off on its own around the mountain. It seemed to know what it was doing.
In Holyhead, we had a quick pint before driving across to Mynydd Bodafon GW/NW-071. This is only a 5 minute stroll up from the parking area below, and with time marching on, Jimmy and I went for another cheeky 2m FM handheld operation. However, one contact and several minutes later, we realised the error of our ways and set up the FT-817 and SOTA Beam. Now the contacts came rolling in, and it was good to be called by a series of veteran SOTA chasers.
We drove back eastwards, pulling in at Colwyn Bay to take dinner at the Bengal Palace restaurant that Jimmy, Liam and myself had used last Autumn. Marianne was suitably impressed with our recommendation with a splendid meal just as good as we had recalled.
A super day, and two more uniques crossed off for Jimmy from the list he had walked up with me before he was licensed. Back in Macc at 10.30pm. Today we went to Waterworld in Stoke-on-Trent, and probably did a greater total ascent just on the stairways and ladders to the many flumes and slides!
73, Tom M1EYP & Jimmy M3EYP