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Luxury Bootcamp on Llŷn 26/04/13 All the Gossip!

Postby Catrin Lliar » Sat Apr 27, 2013 8:36 pm

Well it's finally happening and we've just completed our first full day of Bootcamping here in Pen Llŷn!

Here's the story so far...

It was around 5pm yesterday evening by the time everyone had arrived in Pen Llŷn, by planes, trains and automobiles... oh and via several fields and a couple of country lanes! :wink:

This small peninsula was drenched in sunshine and in all its glory, by the time the Bootcamp house in Sarn started to fill with nervous learners. Although we were threatened with a sudden flurry of dark cloud and a flash shower of spring rain in the early evening, it stayed dry and fresh in to the night.

As Aran settled everyone in to the Luxury Bootcamp house, I stayed at home with the kids, putting last minute touches to lasagne #2, yes... #2... :roll:

You know me and cooking, I'm like a dog with a bone!

So I'd found this authentic Italian lasagne recipe (which I'm sure the whole world is sick of hearing about by now!) which I'd decided to make for our Bootcampers on their first evening and after sourcing all the right ingredients and prepping, I got busy in my Welsh dragon pinny. Then suddenly, at the crucial 'add a generous glugg of red wine' stage, I managed to smash a glass above the 5 litre stock pan, full of Welsh beef steak mince, veg and all the trimmings! :shock:

The next morning I was at the shops before 9am, sleepy toddler under my arm and bags under my eyes, for much purchasing of lasagne ingredients - round 2. Half an hour later I was home... but minus smoked pancetta, :roll: so had to do yet another run to the shops! But I'm glad to say, that by 8pm that evening, and after having at least 4 willing Bootcampers on their knees, battling with the state of the art twin ovens, in the kitchen of the fabulous house we'd rented, it was finally grub's up! And that was 'lasagne-gate'... :-?

We had a lovely meal finished off with lemon drizzle cake, and as the red wine started to flow, everyone begun to relax a little more. But I know from the expressions around the table that there was still much nervousness and anxiety floating around, but honestly, Aran and myself were so very impressed with the quality of everyone's spoken Welsh already, that we knew then that everyone was going to have a really good week and that this was going to be one of the best Bootcamps yet!

This morning we woke to a fresh day, but clear skies and bright sunshine. Aran, me and the kids scooted off to Pwllheli by 9 to drop Angharad at her ballet lesson and then to drop me with the out of hours GP as I'd woken with strep throat! After all Bootcamp isn't Bootcamp without at least one of the Jones family falling ill!

At 10.30 we met our group at Taro Deg, a fabulous, locally run Welsh coffee shop and restaurant. We almost filled the place and drew a lot of attention from the locals that frequent the caffe. They were fascinated by the fact that we had a group of 10 Welsh learners from far and wide, come to Pen Llŷn to have a week's Welsh Bootcamp, and a few interesting conversations sprouted up as a result! :D

My Mam came to join us and we all chatted for an hour over coffee and cake before Aran gave everyone their task for the morning. Then off the group went in pairs, to wander the streets of Pwllheli, with instruction to seek out locals and ask them where the best places were to go on rainy days, and to then ask directions to the Penlan Fawr pub by by lunchtime at 12.30!

It was in the Penlan Fawr (the oldest pub and one of the oldest and most historic buildings in Pwllheli) that we all met at 12.30 for lunch and a natter. From there we drove eastwards to the village of Llanaelhaearn to visit the St Aelhaearn church. This small and beautiful, ancient church is where Aran and I got married. It is said that there has been a religious building on the site since the 6th century and the church houses one or two Roman remains which date back to that period. It is one of the churches on the Ynys Enlli pilgrim route and has some stunning views north eastwards over the seaside fishing and old quarrying village of Trefor at the base of the Eifl granite mountain.

From there we drove north west, up hill around the base of the mountain of Tre'r Ceiri and through the village of Llithfaen, then on down through Pistyll and onwards through Nefyn and then in to Morfa Nefyn. It was there where we parked down by Porthdinllaen beach, before walking the length of the beach to the Ty Coch Inn.

The Ty Coch is a pub which sits down on the sand in Porthdinllaen and today the tide was far out in the bay making the walk easy. From the pub on the beach you have undisturbed views of the Eifl mountain range and of Nant Gwrtheyrn. We had a pint and a natter whilst taking in the views and had fun with the Ty Coch live web cam, where Geraint (Grunt) and Jen (AtomicNewt) contacted their loved ones instructing them to go on line to watch the live feed so they could wave at them! :cariad:

After walking back the length of the beach, we drove to the nearest Spar to stock up on supplies before driving back cross country, from the north of the Llŷn to the south of the Llŷn, stopping at one point to enjoy a breathtaking view, where you can actually see both coasts clearly at once, as well as the whole of the Eryri mountain range spread out in front of you along the horizon.

It was shortly after that, when Aran dropped me and two sleepy kids back at home, before he followed the group on to Sarn and the Bootcamp house for dinner, chat and a sing song. I'm sure he'll promptly fill you in on the evening's shenanigans! :wink:

PHOTOS HERE - https://plus.google.com/photos/11265501 ... 0YS5rZOWGw
Northern course female voice. Raised in Pen Llŷn, fled when 18. Spent my 20s discovering the wider world. A qualified teacher (English & art), worked in marketing with small local businesses - gave it all up to become a Mam! A creative soul who inherited my family's artistic gene, love drawing, being behind the lens of a camera and being creative with food. Movies, red wine, dark chocolate help me relax. Always here to help!
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Re: Luxury Bootcamp on Llŷn 26/04/13 All the Gossip!

Postby Carmen28 » Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:09 pm

Catrin, having read your account of the Lasagne # 1 disaster, and being a keen cook myself, my heart went out to you. :cry:
Happily, you persevered and all were fed successfully, da iawn ....even the pictures on FB prove that! :lol:
Your written account of the happenings in North Wales this coming week are not to be missed. Surely when all is said and done they might warrant a literary prize or become a best seller! :clap:
Enjoy a good night's sleep, and get better soon, from that fiendish strep throat. Being you though, You won't let it spoil your pleasure and fun with the Boot Campers. Pob lwc pawb. Mwynheuch! :dance:
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Re: Luxury Bootcamp on Llŷn 26/04/13 All the Gossip!

Postby vgh50 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:17 am

Wow Catrin, what a great blog! :star:

Really enjoyed reading that, can't believe it was only one day!! Everyones obviously having an amazing time, I look forward to hearing more. :D

Hope you feel better soon x
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Re: Luxury Bootcamp on Llŷn 26/04/13 All the Gossip!

Postby Catrin Lliar » Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:57 pm

Having been spoilt yesterday with a bright and sparkling day which ended in a glorious warm sunset, this morning we woke under a blanket of damp cloud and a pathetic drizzle!

The plan this morning was to do nothing at all. After a very busy day yesterday of coast to coast-ing, we thought that a quiet Sunday morning may be appreciated, so we made a date to meet in the Glyn y Weddw pub in Llanbedrog for a carvery lunch at midday. This meant that worn out Bootcampers could spend a couple of hours doing as they pleased with the several baths and showers available at the house, jump in the sauna, or just explore the surrounding country lanes and take in some more of those beautiful views.

Lunch was delicious and if the leg pulling, joke telling and magic trickery that was bouncing around the table was anything to go by, I'd say that everyone was feeling a lot more relaxed today than they did yesterday - I certainly enjoyed seeing Ian making ten pence pieces disappear and fly invisibly through the air and I certainly enjoyed pulling Geraint's leg about his healthy appetite... :wink:

After lunch we gathered for a briefing before wandering down through the village of Llanbedrog (nearly losing John within a half mile radius... oops :oops: ) to Oriel Plas Glyn y Weddw. The oriel is a Grade II* listed dower house, built in 1856/57 and bought in 1896 by the businessman Solomon Andrews who then turned it in to a public art gallery - Plas Glyn y Weddw is now Wales' oldest art gallery.

At Glyn y Weddw the group were instructed to chat to the staff and ask them one question about the house and gallery. Then they were asked to spend time browsing the gallery and wonderful works of art by local and Welsh artists with a view to choosing one piece which they found interesting, which they could then describe in some detail to a partner from the group.

We ended our browsing with coffee and delicious home made cake in the conservatory cafe to the side of the large house, and it was there where the group got the chance to chat about what they had discovered in the gallery during their browsing... oh and to educate each other on the finer points of banoffee pie and fall in to hysterical fits of uncontrollable giggles over something to do with ghosts. :roll: :lol:

Aran then brought me and the kids home. Unfortunately my tonsillitis had got the better of me for the day and Beuno was well and truly spent after having had a bad night's sleep last night.

So the group were left to browse the shop and the nearby Llanbedrog beach at their leisure and to have a chance to raid the local Londis before finding their way back to the house, where Aran went to join them for the evening about 5pm.

So a much gentler day today, but just as rewarding! Roll on Monday! :D
Northern course female voice. Raised in Pen Llŷn, fled when 18. Spent my 20s discovering the wider world. A qualified teacher (English & art), worked in marketing with small local businesses - gave it all up to become a Mam! A creative soul who inherited my family's artistic gene, love drawing, being behind the lens of a camera and being creative with food. Movies, red wine, dark chocolate help me relax. Always here to help!
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Re: Luxury Bootcamp on Llŷn 26/04/13 All the Gossip!

Postby Tahl » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:43 pm

Diolch, Catrin, I'm enjoying these blogisodes. :star:
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Re: Luxury Bootcamp on Llŷn 26/04/13 All the Gossip!

Postby SJ » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:59 pm

It is me, or would Catrin's blogs make a wonderful bi-lingual book for learners. I'm imagining a coffee table style book with lots of photos, the blog posts and inspiring quotes from the Bwtcampwyr... :D
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Re: Luxury Bootcamp on Llŷn 26/04/13 All the Gossip!

Postby Aran » Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:31 am

It's a windy but sunny morning here in Pen Llŷn - I've walked Angharad Lliar up to the ysgol and taken the dogs for their walk, and am now just checking on trivial details (like where exactly is Pant Du?!).

I'm meeting the Bootcampers in the lay-by just outside Angharad Lliar's ysgol - not sure yet if I'll be on foot and looking for a lift or in the car - depends on how Catrin's feeling - and then off up to Pant Du, where we might be meeting a mystery guest, and then seeing how everyone feels about what to do in the afternoon. Plenty of choices - looking towards Caernarfon, there's the castle, the pubs, the trên bach to Waunfawr, various shops, enough to keep us busy.

Oh, and we might fit a little challenge in there somewhere...:wink:
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Re: Luxury Bootcamp on Llŷn 26/04/13 All the Gossip!

Postby Catrin Lliar » Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:10 am

Aran's fled the nest with his backpack to hitch a lift to Dyffryn Nantlle with Bootcampers and kindly left me with the car. :smile: A quiet day at home with the kids for me today to give me time to recover a little from this bout of tonsilitis! As Aran has mentioned above, Angharad is in her ysgol this morning, so we won't be joining in with the day's Bootcamping adventures unfortunately, but I look forward to hearing all about it when they get back later on! :D
Northern course female voice. Raised in Pen Llŷn, fled when 18. Spent my 20s discovering the wider world. A qualified teacher (English & art), worked in marketing with small local businesses - gave it all up to become a Mam! A creative soul who inherited my family's artistic gene, love drawing, being behind the lens of a camera and being creative with food. Movies, red wine, dark chocolate help me relax. Always here to help!
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Re: Luxury Bootcamp on Llŷn 26/04/13 All the Gossip!

Postby vgh50 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:59 am

Catrin Lliar wrote:but I look forward to hearing all about it when they get back later on! :D


As do we :D
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Re: Luxury Bootcamp on Llŷn 26/04/13 All the Gossip!

Postby Mynwy » Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:46 am

If Caernarfon ends up on the itinerary between 1pm and 2pm, I'd love to pop out of the office in my lunch hour and say helo!
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