- Great Orme GW/NW-070
Saturday 16th April 2011 was nice and sunny, and we went for a family day out to Llandudno. We reached the McDonalds in a service area on the A55, just over the border, around 11.30am and went in for an early lunch. On reaching Llandudno, Marianne directed me to her favourite parking spot, at the end of the road that the Empire Hotel is on and close to the cable car station. Free parking if you know where to find it!
We first dropped down to (almost) sea level and went onto the pier to play in the arcade. Jimmy thrust 50p in 10p coins into my hand saying it was payment of the bet I won last week. I decided to deposit these in the 10p machine. However, within five minutes, such actions had converted this 50p into £2.50 in 10p coins. I had to find a more effective way of getting rid of them, so I thrust them into Marianne’s hand, and she wasted no time in losing the lot.
The four of us climbed back up to the cable car station. Marianne tried, without success, to persuade Jimmy and I onto the cable cars. While it is true that I am pretty terrified of anything like that, my more burning wish was to walk up to the summit from the bottom, something which, to my shame, I had never done. All previous activations of GW/NW-070 had followed a person-powered final ascent of about 200m horizontal and 15m vertical from the car park in front of the summit complex!
As Marianne and Liam shot off above our heads in the cable car, Jimmy and I commenced the pleasant walk through a Victorian style park and then alongside the dry ski slope and cresta run - Alpine World at Happy Valley. The height was gained quickly and we were soon homing in on Halfway Station (tram). Marianne and Liam were met here; they were now descending on foot, and we agreed to meet them later.
Close to the trig point, Jimmy set up the SOTA Beam for 2m FM, while I erected the MM20 for 20m CW. We had an enjoyable activation, Jimmy making 10 contacts and me making 31, the highlights of which were USA, Canada and Kazakhstan. We had lots of visitors enquiring as to our activity, and Jimmy was just as busy as I was in fielding the questions and explaining about SOTA, and amateur radio generally. One chap - an electrical engineering undergraduate at Bradford University - even said that he was now going to Google ‘amateur radio’ and find out more about getting a licence. He said it was “Right up my street”.
At around 5.30pm, we packed away, and then decided to be daring. We descended the hill by cable car. Without doubt, the best bit for me was arriving at the bottom station. My dislike of heights was confirmed as still present!
A quick drive around Conwy did not reveal any suitable eateries, so we made for Colwyn Bay and the Bengal Palace. Except that it is now called the Madras Restaurant. A fine meal was enjoyed before the drive back to Macclesfield.