This week took Bug and I to Dolgellau in North Wales for my annual trip to the Mach Loop for some Jet photography.  Met up with the guys at the Torrent Walk Campsite on the Wednesday ready for an early start Thursday.

Bug woke me up at 5:30am for breakfast and a walk!  At least that meant I was awake and ready for the short drive to Cad West car park.  It’s a good thing I go to the gym often as I had to carry my gear and Bug’s gear up the steep hill, a few times I had to carry Bug over fences too!  The beach shelter went up, camera settings were dialled in, and all we needed was a jet to come through the loop.

There was a shout of ‘incoming!’ and in the distance we saw a Lockheed C-130 Hercules and then saw it turn away from us….A little time later and we were alerted that two BAE Systems Hawks were approaching the Loop, call signs Virus 1 & Virus 2 for you plane spotters 🙂

BAE Systems Hawk

BAE Systems Hawk call sign Virus 1

BAE Systems Hawk

BAE Systems Hawk – Virus 1 exiting the Loop

A few snacks later and many hours we were graced with a Tornado GR4 doing two laps of the Loop.  It was an amazing sight to see.  Everyone had big grins on their face after the second lap 🙂

Tornado GR4

Tornado GR4

Tornado GR4

Tornado GR4

Tornado GR4

Tornado GR4

We had another set of Hawks fly through the Loop before we called it a day and headed back to the camp site for a BBQ.

BAE Systems Hawk

BAE Systems Hawk

The next day had us up early, thankfully Bug didn’t wake me up as early as the day before though, so that we could get to the Bwlch car park before everybody else.  The weather was supposed to be sunny with cloudy patches; the sun was no where to be seen.  Ever hopeful, we marched up the Bwlch to the top shelf and set up our shelters; still couldn’t see the sun.  A few hours later the sun did make a brief appearance as did a Hawk, however, the fog and mist set in and we didn’t even hear another jet never mind see one!

BAE Systems Hawk

BAE Systems Hawk

As the jets only fly during the working week we had planned to do some landscape photography on the weekend, however the fog did not go away and even after an ice cream in Barmouth it didn’t get any better.  We cheered ourselves up with a pizza dinner and a beer or two.  On every one of these trips I tend to leave with a shopping list to get more stuff and a list of places to go photograph.  This trip was no exception and I may have been talked into getting a longer lens, Sigma 150-500, and more camping gear.  I’m going to need a bigger car!

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