Saturday, 27 April 2013

Deepest, remote Wales

Nine miles from its nearest town, down the single track, twisty, steep mountain roads through the woods, we eventually found Dolgoch Hostel.  We took some wrong turns when the GPS gave up on any signal & no mobile reception meant we couldnt phone anyone to check - we asked for directions & were sent off down the wrong road, so we got more directions to finally get on the correct road - the Abergwesyn Mountain Road with the infamous Devil's Staircase along its route.  It was pitch black when we got there. We went to the common room, into a semi-darkness; our fellow Rough Stuff Fellowship riders sporting various headlamps and torches as they made their way to the electricity free bunk rooms.

The morning sun was bright & after ten minutes of peddling, we could see the lone hostel where we had cycled from.

The first day's ride (gpx file) was 30 miles round forest tracks & quiet lanes as we made a big loop around Llyn Brianne, the curiously spidery shaped reservoir that covered over a number of houses when it was originally made.

It was a fairly undulating ride with just over 5k feet of ascent in all.

We climbed the Tywi forest tracks and then descended to the Towy River where we soaked up the sunshine as we ate outside the Towy Bridge Inn & sampled some locally brewed beer.
beer and bicycles

.After warming into the latter half of the ride, I got a spurt of energy and powered the last fiveish miles back to the hostel, whizzing past my fellow riders & relishing the sun on my back & the warm breeze in my hair.
I was chef for the evening... I'd expected to cook for at most eight, but it ended up being spaghetti for 18! Thankfully there was just enough to go around & I think it was enjoyed. Steve made a lovely fruit salad followed by a local history lesson about the hostel and the area.

Day two (gpx file) started damp & it just got wetter. Most riders peddled over the Devil's Staircase, but since S & I would be driving home after the ride - we parked up over the other side (after 4 days of solid cycling, I think Stephen was glad of the small reprive).
A shorter, slightly less hilly ride today; through Trallwm Forest to Beulah via some off road bridleways.

It was lovely to meet different members of the Rough Stuff Fellowship who reside far south from where I'm based. Nice to hear different stories, see different bikes and ride at a different pace. Since this area is so devoid of cars, there was a bit more riding on lanes than we tend to do in the industrialised areas up north (& no cobbles!).

No comments:

Post a Comment