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The friday night work outlook wasn`t looking good. I knew I was condemed to at least 2 days working over the bank holiday. We did however have a trip up our sleaves. The plan was to head to Lous parents (Newark) on sun night, then to the NDC the next day before travelling to north Wales, staying in the Cwellyn Arms, Rhyd - Ddu (about 15 mins from Dotty) that evening. We would then do Dorothea and head back tues evening.

Left Newark at 0900 on monday morning and arrived at NDC about 1230, not a bad run for a bank holiday. Of course, being from Yorkshire I had to moan at the £4.50 to get over the Severn Bridge.

NDC is a huge place. At the moment there are just a few makeshift buildings, they assure us these will be updated as soon as the planners allow them to. It was very suprisingly quiet for a bank holiday monday, so we had our kit picked up from the car by the landrover and trailer, for the dusty trip down the hill to the water front - I wouldn`t want to think about walking up or down the hill!

The landrover drops you and your kit off at a kitting up area. My thoughts about this area are that it will become very busy once the place becomes popular. There is limited kitting up space where you are dropped off, you can take a trolley (like a sack barrow) to where ever you like. The area will also become very hot in the summer as there is very little breeze down there - as it is about 50m below the level of the carpark.

We jumped off the end of the pontoons and dropped into 25m, followed a bearing to the drop off (and what a drop off it is). Headed down to 45m and then slowly up again, ending the dive on the 15-25m ledge area. There isn`t a lot to see in there, no fish, the odd bit of rubbish, but not a lot else. Worth doing to say we`ve done it though

Got the trailer back up again and decided not to go for a second dive as we had a 200 mile journey up to N Wales ahead of us. The 1st division play off in Cardiff was about to end also - later causing havoc on the roads.  We therefore filled our cylinders (very nice computer link up from filling station to the shop!!) packed up and left.

All in all a good set up, £12 is quite expensive for what it is, I wouldn`t however want to pay less and loose the lift to the water. The quarry itself is massive. The majority of the area is 80m, with the area directly off the pontoon mostly at 25 - with the drop off level with the end of the pontoons. The bacon butties are top notch though!

So it was off up to Dotty. Managed a good run and were sittting with a pint by 1930. The Cwellyn arms (Snowdon inn)in Rhyd-ddu is a C.A.M.R.A pub, so we just had to sample a couple of different ones. Our room was very nice, power shower and TV/video. Very highly recommended as a stop over to dive any of North Wales (i.e. Viv, Anglesey etc).

After a fantastic fry up (not that I ever judge a B and B by its fry ups!!) we headed to he Co-Op in Penygroes and then in to Dotty via the Talysarn entrance. This wasn`t as rough as I remember it, the car only grounded a couple of times!!

On arriving there were two gents from the Wirral there. They were just off in and offered to be our shore cover for our dive if we kept any eye on them and their car - apparently, car crime is a growing problem here. This we did which was nice actually as we could get our gear down the slope (about 30m drop) at a leisurely pace. Our turn came to dive, we hopped in and dropped down to 25m, had a mooch about and headed up to the higher ledges. It was a bit colder than NDC, 7C at 25m, pretty warm (14C on the surface though!!).

Again decided to just do one dive so we could get back to Leeds before the Manchester or Leeds/Bradford traffic kicked in. Quick stop in Bangor for some lunch, 2 hours later we were on the Leeds Ring road - another good run!

All in all a really good couple of days. Even though we travelled 650 miles and did 1 dive at each site, we felt there was no rush to get 2 in, may as well spend time in the pub or at home than diving for the sake of a 2nd dive.

Anyone considering Dotty I would say make sure you go in a group, that way you can keep an eye on each other in the water and make sure no theiving swine gets into your car.

Paul
 
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