Earlier this year Mrs. FMF asked me if I fancied a week’s vacation on the Llŷn Peninsula in May. Sure I said and she arranged it all. There would be me, Mrs. FMF, Miss FMF and an old friend (Val) from The Wirral and her daft dog Dexter. I have an estate car (shooting brake) but I think it’s the smallest estate car sold in the UK. Well there’s lots of rear leg room and comfort but for any real storage you need to put the seats down. With 4 of us and a dog and our clothes etc. it would be a tight squeeze. Certainly no room for my usual SOTA box, rucksack and everything else. Just as well I had been developing a tiny SOTA expedition kit! The 2 radios, batteries, charger, SWR meter, headphones, paddle fits in a box 18x16x16cm. Boots and antenna are extra. Everything fitted in with some 3D tetris played with bags. There was more 3D Tetris when we added our guest’s bags at New Brighton. Total journey was 330miles with a stop for coffee on the way and lunch to collect Val taking just over 8.5hours. No point rushing, we’re on holiday.
SOTA aims had to fit in with our holiday plans but I had primary targets of GW/NW-058 (Carn Fadryn), GW/NW-064 (Mynydd Rhiw), GW/NW-066 (Garn Boduan), GW/NW-068 (Carneddol) and GW/NW-077 (Mynydd Anelog). Stretch targets included GW/NW-072 ( Mynydd Enlli / Bardsey Island), GW/NW-075 ( Yr Eifl), GW/NW-050 ( Gyrn Ddu ) plus anything else if there was excess SOTA time. As it was I activated all 5 primary targets.
Finally why a holiday here? Well Mrs. FMF always came here as a child, we’d had a family holiday here when we lived on The Wirral 25+ years back and it’s a really nice place. I’ll let the pictures (we had good weather) do the talking.
Average day by the coast
Average day on the beach
Walking back from one of the best beach pubs in the UK ( Ty Coch, Nefyn)
Interesting native wildlife outside your holiday home.
All activations used a Hamshop.cz 40/30/20 trapped EFHW with AA5TB match unit, 5m travel pole, QCX minis for 30m and 20m, home brew SWR meter, Wombled batteries from e-cigs, Palm Paddle. The antenna was always deployed as an inverted sloping L with about 4.5m vertical and the rest sloping to 1m AGL.
Park at SH304331 on the hard standing by the farm entrance, lots of space. Walk straight up to the top, about 15mins walk. 8 QSOs around teatime Saturday evening, 4x 20m, 4x 30m. I thought there was a problem with the antenna as the bands were dead. There had been an X class flare earlier Still TF3DC was ODX.
The view towards Pwllheli and Snowdonia
Looking North towards GW/NW-075 ( Yr Eifl)
This was before everyone else was properly awake (they were on holiday). Most mornings there was a marine layer of cloud that took a while to burn. The wind was really howling. Park at SH277345. There’s an obvious track to the summit, about 35-40mins. Wonderful walk that makes you glad to be outdoors. Radio was a bit slow, 7 QSOs, 4x 30m, 3x 20m, all local Europeans.
Approaching the summit
Carn Fadryn summit trig point
Happy activator, MW0FMF (MR0FMF)
View to Mynydd Anelog, left and Mynydd Rhiw, right.
By far the best walk of the week. It starts in a car park in Nefyn, wanders past small cottages, works up a hillside, then through forested areas then zap, out at the base of a rocky cliff with a very simple path to the fort at the top. WX was splendid too. 13 QSOs, 7x 20m 6x 30m
This view is why you do SOTA activations. GW/NW-075 ( Yr Eifl)
Closer view of gear, QCX mini for 20m and a 1.5Ahr Wombled battery, SWR meter with resistive bridge: the switch puts a 6db pad in circuit and tune for minimum deflection the flick switch, wristwatch, AA5TB matchbox, headphones, pencil.
The old fort ruins on the summit.
Looking back down to Ty Coch beach pub about 5km distant
View of the cliffs when you leave the woods. Easy path climbs to the summit.
I could climb this summit every day of the week year after year and never get bored.
I dropped the ladies and Dexter in Aberdaron and made for the parking place a few miles outside. Walk was delightful and trivial on tracks. Very windy again at the top. I operated with a view of Bardsey Island. Another 13 QSOs, 7x 30m, 6x20m, all Europeans.
View to Bardsey Island.
View along the headland showing the rough coast. I didn’t manage to get a good combined photo of both.
Shepard’s cottage near the summit. There was something “just right” about this place.
Last one of the trip. You can drive up as far as the Radar Station and there are plenty of places to park that do not obstruct anything. Almost flat walk from here to the trig. I operated near the trig to try to keep out of the wind. 8 QSOs, 5x 20m, 3x 30m, all Europeans.
Mynydd Rhiw trip point
Commercial mast, grassy bank to give me some wind shelter.
Porth Neigwl (Hell’s Mouth) beach, wonderful beach that is over 6km long
S-band RADAR station. I’m assuming this is a fill in for covering Cardigan Bay for RAF Valley which is nearby on Anglesey.
I was meeting the ladies for lunch so I changed out of walking clothes into something better. The wind was strong enough to pull my trousers out of my hands and I had to run off in just my boxer shorts chasing them as they blew them towards the Isle Of Man. Sorry I should have warned you because you can’t un-see me without trousers now
OK I didn’t get to Bardsey but that was a long shot with everyone else here. There are more summits if you work back towards Snowdonia and these aren’t enough. Still my tiny SOTA kit worked fine despite propagation being rubbish most of the time. If I’d have had more time to spend on the hills rather than squashing activations in with a holiday then I’d have worked many more.
But I cannot recommend enough that you come here and go SOTA activating. There’s loads of places to stay, loads of places to eat and drink and lots to do outside SOTAing. Not only did I manage 5 activations and a full family holiday but also read 2 novels. On top of that I was also able to continue indulging my belief I can be a real photographer creating works of art.