Beach Buggy Bash- Black Rock Sands- Words and Photos by Hazel Buller
Since 2014 was the 50th anniversary of the Beach Buggy, it seemed only appropriate to take a trip to Black Rock Sands, Porthmadog, at the end of the season as a last hurrah of the year. We had clearly been watching far too many road trip films, but it is the sort of thing that Bruce Myers intended it to be when he started out after all. With the prospect of being allowed to drive on a beach (black rock is still considered a highway) and the campsite we were staying at was literally a hop skip and a jump over the dunes from the beach, we were excited to say the least. It was also set to be Dan Peyto -that 70’s kid’s ‘final fling’ since his care free days of being spontaneous were to be pretty much over, what with Gemma blessing him with a screaming baby #fatherlyresponsibilities #babysickandcrying. The plan was to zoom down to the beach in the bugs, throw a tent up, chuck some burgers on a BBQ and cook them to a crisp, then watch the sun go down on the sands while staring thoughtfully into the distance.
One Saturday morning I joined 2 brave Midlands buggy folk, Dan Peyto and David Wainmann – I say brave, because for me getting anywhere in my buggy is half the challenge! My Dad considerately gave it the once over the night before to make sure nothing could go wrong. All was well until reaching Shrewsbury, when my buggy started coughing and sputtering because he’d forgotten to pop the oil cap back on after giving it a top up. Nothing a donated scrap of Dan’s airbed, tape and cable ties couldn’t fix. We topped up on fuel and continued on with vigilant eagerness, enjoying the landscape when A-roads became B-roads, as we crossed the border and soldiered into Wales and up into the hills. We were running later than planned, but it would have been rude not take a breather at the scenery that was Bala Lake, the largest natural body of water in Wales. I think it was here that Dan began his staring thoughtfully into the distance and pondering life… Once we arrived at Black Rock Touring Park there were already 6 buggies and tents set up, we had tried their patience for long enough and only had a moment to set up camp before zooming down to the beach.
The beasts were unleashed, buggies everywhere along the beach. Some were more cautious than others due to their ‘chromosexual’ tendencies, while others whizzed around and around. This was the chance to set our buggies free in their natural habitat and one went off with a bang! It was a reflective evening but some of us couldn’t help but pop back to the sand while the sun was setting, and then again in the morning before leaving. It was all too much for one particular bugger, upon returning in the darkness, slipping and sliding like a mad man… Little did we know the Police had popped down to warn a group on quad bikes that this is a public highway and there are rules to abide by including a speed limit – Dan offered out his hand and took a slap on the wrist from the local bobby despite said mad man now kicking up sand in a spin behind him. We came as clusters and left together as one for as long as we could, through the country roads.
Together, another stop was made at Bala Lake to try and warm up and say a few goodbyes, the end of the season was being kind not to give us rain, but there was no denying it was bleak. To us buggy folk this is what it’s all about though, friends having fun on the beach in cars built for the job. Although this was the first annual Beach Buggy Bash, it could easily become a rite of passage for buggers to get their buggy where it was destined to be, to become a beach babe and get the sand between the tread of your tyres and the contours of your buggy. Bear in mind that if you are to take the pilgrimage to Black Rock, it is one of the very few beaches we are still allowed to drive on, so be careful not to condemn us all by getting kicked off.
Remember to check out www.beachbuggyclub.com and www.beachbuggybrummies.co.uk to keep up to date on future events, cruises and gatherings. Head on over to www.beachbuggybrummies.co.uk/beach-buggy-bash/bash-2014-gallery/ for more photos! All photos credited and belong to Hazel Buller.