Friday, August 13, 2010

Ynys Môn 2: out of Amlwch

The harbour of Amlwch that reminds me of Charlestown near St Austell: an incised valley, a natural harbour, ships, ancient industrial buildings allowed to decay.

It is hard to believe now but Amlych was once the most important port in Wales. It produced 90% of the UK's copper, and even today the water that drains from here is a major polluter of the Irish Sea. Recently, disaster was averted when an underground lake, full of toxic minerals was found to be close to breaking its banks. It would have spread toxins all over the town, but was drained just in time.

We went up to where they used to make sails in a large workhouse with a sloping floor, and after meandering around an interesting exhibition on the mining of Parys Mountain (where the copper was extracted above the harbour) we went on a two hour cruise in an open boat.

We passed mine shafts which happened to end in cliffs

seals recumbent on an island

and in water

birds on watch against the sky

and then a porpoise briefly amused us with his tricks: a single fin and a curving back looping the surf.


Blogger Paul said...

Seems like a lovely, fascinating place! Northern Wales has such beautiful, varied scenery.

Sat Aug 14, 12:15:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

It is, Paul - before I went to university I went there on a field trip and thought then that it must be one of the most beautiful places on earth - and I've never yet seen anywhere better.

Sat Aug 14, 07:55:00 pm  

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