Looking across to the snow capped alpine mountains seen from the back seat of a motorcycle

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A Borsuk In Barmouth

Ride Date 28-29 May 2022

By Ren Withnell

A certain BAT reader and contributor using the handle Borsuk (to protect the guilty) contacts me. Normally he's on a ship near South America or luxuriating by the Mediterranean coast of Spain. However nothing is perfect and now he's found himself in his motorhome by the beach in Barmouth, Welsh Wales. The reasons are complicated, life is at times.

Madam Parker and I are invited for a visit. Ooooh! There's some marvellous roads complete with mountainous scenery between here and there and there's that big wet wavy thing I like as well, wassit called... the sea. It takes but a moment to decide I'm going. After consultation with her chaotic diary Sharon agrees to accompany me. We're offered a patch of grass next to Borsuk's van for the tent. I decline, as much as the price appeals I don't want to intrude and I have been known to outstay my welcome. No, there's a perfectly good campsite a handful of miles north. I make our booking and look forward to a weekend away.

A mountain range in the distance under light skies from the Llyn Peninsula
Aaaaahhh Wales. It's quite nice you know.

You'll be sorry to hear our ride down is lovely. What with the wonderful Welsh countryside, light fluffy clouds with sunshine between, not too much traffic and some curvy roads these 80 miles pass all too easily. Throw in a brew and a snack at our favourite cafe "Yum Yums" or "Route 66" (I still can't make my mind up) and this causes the whole experience to bring a smile to my face. Sorry.

The campsite is fine, the biggest problem at Parc Isaf Farm Camping is the incline of the camper's field. We find the flattest remaining patch away from other campers and throw up the tent in the sunshine. Sure enough, as always and inevitably, 2 families complete with whinging kids, footballs and frisbees pitch up right next to us. Of course they're seeking out a level pitch but still... THAT close? If I had a pound for every time this happens. 

Sharon, her bike and our tent in a seemingly empty field at Parc Isaf
Look at all that space! Say hello Sharon.

I can't make my mind up about Barmouth. On the one hand it has the sea, an impressive proper sandy beach and the town centre is old and pleasant. On the other hand it is touristy and there's some very unimpressive architecture to be found around the town centre. Not to worry, we're not here to appraise 1970s' brutal use of concrete, we're here to catch up with Borsuk.

And here we are! There's a strong Glaswegian accent, 1 motorhome, 2 dogs, 1 lovely wife and 1 Enfield motorcycle. Most importantly there's a table and chairs outside in the sunshine which promises tea and biscuits. Sharon politely sips her brew and nibbles a biscuit, I on the other hand glug my brew and guzzle melting chocolate HobNobs at an alarming rate. Borsuk politely invites me to help myself, big mistake. 

The warm sunshine is neutralised by the stiff cool onshore breeze as we chat. Of course we talk of bikes but also of work and family and the where and whys of all our current predicaments. As we sit and chat in the sunshine various family and friends seem to be coming and going. After a couple of hours I have single handedly demolished the supply of tea and biscuits, this being a clear sign it's time to depart.

We bid Borsuk, his wife and the 2 dogs goodbye and head back to the tent. I'm rather stuffed with biscuits and tea so Sharon's suggestion of a late evening walk is accepted as it might aid digestion. I was thinking maybe a half hour stroll but no, we finally return almost 2 hours later and out of breath after walking down then back up this steep hillside. Admittedly it has aided my digestion but I'm still fat.

The sun is low in the sky across the broad bay and the Llyn peninsula in the distance
It was worth the walk for the views.

A dirty white bull with incredible strong muscles in a field
Blimey! Wouldn't want to upset this beast.

I would like to tell you of our pleasant night's sleep under canvas. Unfortunately it seems our all-too-close neighbours have a snorer in their midst. It must be bad as half deaf Sharon is disturbed and I've rammed my earplugs in. Such is the camping life eh.

Our return is equally lovely as our outbound journey. More mountains, more countryside, more brew stops and more sunshine. It seems a terrible shame that it's all over and we're both back at the grind tomorrow.

I've been thinking (oh dear). Yes, of course it would be "better" if we could take a full week or a month, even a year out for a truly wild and adventurous trip to far flung lands. However I'm a (fat) lazy git and while Sharon can be lovely at times, she has rather failed me in the being stinkingly rich department. And yet this simple, easily achievable one night away reminds me there's fun to be had not too far from home. 

My thanks from both Sharon and myself to Borsuk and his Missus. Borsuk - you can now add yourself to the "I survived a visit from Ren" club.  

Share your tales be they long or short - click here.

Reader's Comments

Upt'North ¹ said :-
I note with some concern that the young Borsuk hasn't posted recently. Poor traumatised lad.
29/07/2022 23:09:59 UTC
Borsuk said :-

I was so overcome by the fact that you came to visit that I forgot there was more biscuits in one of the drawers, well about 3 drawers full to be exact and you were in no danger of depleting our tea supply. Compared to Mrs B you are but a trainee tea drinker and we always have at least a thousand teabags in reserve.

It was good to see you both and the weather was splendid which made it a Good Day, as they used to say in the Hovis adverts.

So when are you coming to Spain. I need to know the exact date so that I can lay in a large enough supply of happy pills.

30/07/2022 00:47:29 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I can't see us getting to Espana this year Borsuk, however it'd be nice to get there next year. I'm not going to tell you when because I want to enjoy that look of horror on your face when I turn up demanding more tea 'n biscuits.
01/08/2022 14:16:37 UTC
Upt'North ¹ said :-
I'd start stocking up with them pills now Borsuk. You can't be too careful.
01/08/2022 16:07:53 UTC
Bogger said :-
We had a visit recently from the Renster. Mrs Bogger was so shocked she started to verbally harangue me in front of our esteemed guests Ed and Sharon.

Apparently I've failed as a husband. She said it with a smile on her face, so she was obviously joking. Right?

Ah well, I'm over it now.LOL.

Bogger.......the abject failure

ps Mucho biscuits and tea were consumed..again
01/08/2022 17:16:49 UTC
Borsuk said :-
In what way had you failed Bogger.
Was it
A) Because she didn't have enough warning so she could get out of dodge before hand, abandoning you to your fate.
B) Didn’t have time to hide the good silverware and china cups to prevent them becoming ingrained with detergent proof grease.
C) Was unable to get a new street sign made and installed to prevent Ren from finding your address or
D) All of the above.

01/08/2022 20:42:16 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I know what Bogger's failing was Borsuk. Much as Sharon has failed me Mrs Bogger has been failed by Mr Bogger's lack of incredible wealth. It seems this is in fact a common failing for many people. I'm sure Mrs Bogger "was only joking" but there's many a true word spoken in jest.

There was also the issue of which lifestyle they'd choose if only Bogger had not failed. While she envisages herself luxuriating in the posh parts of the UK Bogger would like to surround himself with countless motorcycles in an old farmhouse in French France. As such I'd say it's a good thing Bogger failed.
02/08/2022 08:31:49 UTC
Ross said :-
"I survived a visit from Ren" club.

There's a club?...do we get a special badge?...is there a support group?...

NB. If you've been affected by any of the issues in this thread call 0800 00HELP
02/08/2022 11:38:05 UTC
Ian Soady¹ said :-
I'm in the club as well. When my wife saw him appear in the front door she miraculously remembered a meeting she had to rush out to. Mind you she does that if any of my "friends" - of whom I have few - turns up.
02/08/2022 12:07:46 UTC
Bogger said :-
In what way had I failed? Well pick a subject really. Mr Ed was mostly correct, in the fact, that in the fiscal department I have not lived up to expectations.
There are, of course, many other areas where the required standards have not been met. Married life apparently reads a bit like my old school reports. 'Bogger needs to try harder'.

Onwards and upwards. Or, indeed, maybe not.

02/08/2022 17:09:10 UTC

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