This was the day that I had been looking forward to and dreading in equal measure. After five years of trips away with the camera alone, I was spending part of the day with two guys from my photography forum. We had arranged to meet at Talacre to photograph the Point of Ayr lighthouse at sunrise. They were driving down from Wigan and planned to arrive just before 7.30 a.m. I had a shorter journey from Llandudno and drove into the village around 6.45 a.m.
The first problem was that the planned parking area was closed until later that morning, although I eventually found a back entrance. Parking as close to the road as I could, I hoped my friends would spot my little Smart car and realise there was another way in. I paid for the parking and donning my trusty Wellington boots, I headed for the beach. I had already walked four miles the previous day along the beach at Newborough, although the sand there was wet, which made the going easy. Talacre beach couldn’t have been more different, as my feet sank in several inches at every step. The lighthouse didn’t appear to be too far away and yet I was making almost no headway.
Eventually I got close enough to take a couple of shots before the sun rose. I loved the eerie light and there was plenty of colour in the sky facing West.
Then I moved further along the beach to position myself for the rising sun. There was a band of cloud on the horizon, which delayed the actual sighting by a good ten minutes. Just as well because my friends were late and it was literally as the sun appeared over the top of the cloud, that I spotted them making their way up the beach. They made better progress than I had done and with the introductions over, they set about working the beach like the professionals they are. I had worried about feeling intimidated, but they gave me no cause for concern. I had been in their forum for long enough to feel accepted and they were excellent company.
I tried covering more of the beach, but at one point I very nearly got stuck in a patch of wet sand. By the time I had extricated myself, I decided to stay put and just concentrate on one image. The result can be seen here at the top and it’s quite possibly my favourite from the entire trip.
Once we were done on the beach, we packed up and drove to the little Welsh Mountain Zoo. By that time I was too exhausted to keep up with my friends, so I let them wander round for an hour while I rested on a bench. I did manage to grab one shot of a friendly penguin though.
We had a wonderful lunch at the Fortes restaurant in Rhos-on-Sea, chatting about cameras and other locations in North Wales. It’s a shame I only had three hours left of my trip because I could have done so much more with all the advice I was given. Sadly the time came to say goodbye as I headed off for Anglesey once more and another lighthouse at South Stack.