Tag: wales

Being in nature instead of being in fear.

I recently rewatched this incredible video on swimming naked in the lakes of Wales. This is an amazing video for many reasons. The cinematography is fantastic. The story is really interesting. Everyone involved has done a great job. But most of all the idea of not only swimming in nature, cos like what else is there with you (fish, monsters, fish monsters, monster fish, captain birdseyes rotting corpse) but doing it naked too. Trout todger is a serious condition that affects many men.

I imagine you get in and its cold. Colder than the pool I’m used to. It forces you to work up a sweat to stay warm. It forces you to get the job done and then after relax a bit in the calm surroundings. It forces you to toughen up. There’s a part of me that likes that idea. Oh I know it sounds banana pants crazy town. You’re plum naked swimming in an ice cold lake. But take that in for a moment. You’re plum naked and you’re swimming in a lake in the middle of Wales with an incredible view. How many others can say they do that? You’re doing that. Take it in. It’s just you vs what you can’t do.

What else can you do? If you put your mind to it you can accomplish anything. A phrase I grew up hearing a lot as a kid, because I watched Back to the Future time after time. A phrase I never really really took to heart. I got it, sure, but did I ever really do it? Well this level of underachieving isn’t going to achieve itself now is it?

I doubt, seriously doubt I’ll be doing this any time soon. I’m 40 next year and as I get older I do think about the things I’m not doing a lot more because I’ll be 80 one day and what will I have done? I’ve met some amazing 80 year olds who have told me some amazing stories. I’d like to be 80 and have done things other than wait outside John Lewis for the iPhone X. My parents both climbed Snowdon before they were 30. I “climbed” Moel Famu recently, which is where the photos accompanying this article came from. I loved it. It was refreshing to go somewhere that wasn’t actively being Instagrammed. The highlights of our Iceland trip were those moments. My wife and I having an adventure that was incredibly anxiety driven but had moments where I felt like I could wrestle the arms of a gundark.

So in summary. I think there’s a part of me that would love to have the mental strength of this women to not only swim in a lake in Wales, which would be scary enough, but also to do it naked. How many things are you comfortable doing naked? I doubt that list has swim in cold lakes in Wales while YouTubers get b-roll footage. Massive respect to her.

A day at sea on the Waverley

Bought for £1 and fully restored to service the PS Waverley is the last sea going paddle steamer. She’s a beautiful ship and she sails from Liverpool on a day trip to Llandudno and Anglesey. I wholeheartedly recommend it. I’ve flown over Liverpool a couple of times but theres something about seeing the city on the horizon. It’s magical. I can only imagine what it must have been like sailing to New York and seeing that skyline. The ticket cost around £40 for the full trip. There’s great bacon butties till 11am and after that is fish and chips, or just chips if you’re me. They have a fully stocked whisky bar too.

The PS Waverley

The full day trip takes you out the Mersey, down past Wirral, and Rhyl to Llandudno. People get off. People get on. The trip continues around Anglesey via Puffin Island. Unfortunately our trip was cut short due to technical issues and a late start so we didn’t get that far around Anglesey. I was looking forward to seeing the suspension bridges from the water. It’s a visual treat though. All those things on the horizon you get to see close up. The wind farms, the oil platforms, and we even saw Blackpool. That was crazy but you could see Blackpool Tower and the rollercoaster. It was those little details that made our trip worthwhile.

The highlight was seeing Liverpool on the horizon. Luckily there was some sunlight on Liverpool but not Wirral so it really stood out. The really crazy part was that we could see it through the middle of Wirral. I would have thought that Wirral would get in the way but at this angle it didn’t. It was an incredible sight. I really enjoyed the trip.

Anglesey
Anglesey

Llandudno

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Dolphins race on the pistons
Dolphins race on the pistons
The Great Orme.
The Great Orme.

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The Great Orme
The Great Orme
Wind Farm
Wind Farm

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The Liverpool skyline seen from off the coast of Rhyl.
The Liverpool skyline seen from off the coast of Rhyl.
Close up of the Liverpool skyline
Close up of the Liverpool skyline

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Blackpool
Blackpool
Ship wreck
Ship wreck
Seaforth Docks
Seaforth Docks

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New Brighton RNLI
New Brighton RNLI

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Mysterious figure watches us pass by the old landing stage.
Mysterious figure watches us pass by the old landing stage.

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Cemaes Bay Peace Camp

At 8 points around the UK coastline there are peace camps. Produced by Artichoke, the people who brought La Machine to Liverpool, and in collaboration with Fiona Shaw the peace camps are glowing signals to embrace peace. They operate from dusk to dawn and are something quite special. Cemaes Bay is a little bay on the north west point of Anglesey. It’s a beautiful place. They ask a lot of the anyone wishing to visit a camp. You have to book an hour time slot between 9:30pm and 5:30am. You’re in for a treat though. There’s no humming generators, or portacabins or anything like that. There’s the sound of the waves, the wind and poetry emanating from the tents. It’s astonishing. The tents act as one speaker collective. It’s just lovely to sit and soak it all in. Having been commissioned to photograph it I felt quite lucky that I could spend all night there. I saw the sun set, the colour change through the night and the sun rise. I loved it. There’s some videos and photos from around the UK on Artichoke’s Facebook page.

A trip to Wales

 (Pete Carr)

My girlfriend and I visited North Wales for 2 days to relax in a 3G-less area with locomotives, rivers, winding roads, stunning views and cake. Wales has lots to offer, even extendable sheep. Just one hour’s drive takes us to the Horseshoe Pass where we can watch the sheep graze, eat a bag of chips and look out over this spectacular view.

 (Pete Carr)

There’s definitely something about a locomotive. Smoke pours out from it’s engine. The whistle blows to signal the start of a journey. Maybe it’s because we spend so much time on public trains with their crazy drunk clubbers and discarded McDonalds bags. Give me a locomotive through the Welsh hills any day.

 (Pete Carr)

We spent the night at a lovely little place called Glan y Gro, right on the side of Bala Lake.

 (Pete Carr)

Llanuwchllyn station for the Bala Lake Railway. Lovely.

 (Pete Carr)
 (Pete Carr)
 (Pete Carr)
 (Pete Carr)

Sam relaxing on the train to Bala.

 (Pete Carr)
 (Pete Carr)

An old man in Bala enjoys tea and a ginger beer at a caffi.

 (Pete Carr)
 (Pete Carr)
 (Pete Carr)
 (Pete Carr)
 (Pete Carr)