The morning after the wedding we went down to breakfast & Nick & Sharon brought a bottle of bubbley to the table. I was feeling a little on the rough-side, so after a small glass, we put the remainder into the flask.
We knew it was going to be a big day ahead - not massive mileage, but massive amounts of climbing. We said our goodbyes to our families (thanks for taking our clothes home) & hosts and were on our way & instantly climbing. Instant climbing when you're rough is not much fun! We stopped for a few breathers as we climbed up from Dolgellau.
And we climbed some more. And some more. Eventually we crossed the main road as the bus carrying Sarah passed us - I waved maniacally hoping she would see us. The quiet lane carried on climbing for what felt like forever, and finally we reached the top. The view was amazing, as was the feeling that we were going to have so many more climbs to follow as valley after valley stretched out as far as we could see.
A fun descent took us past fields of lambs, verges of daffodils and villages en route to Machynlleth which was delightful after the morning slog.
We stopped at a corner shop for butties, but they'd sold out, so we grabbed some bits & sat in the sunshine on a bench eating jam slices & having a swig of bubbley (which opened with the most satisfyingly massive pop after being churned around on the bicycle frame) before carrying on to find a proper lunch at the leisure centre in Machynlleth (very cheap & good food). The lunch both gave us a much needed boost for the next section of climbing through the desolate hills where there's just nothing other than amazing views, one or two farms & sheep galore. We opted for the off road option, which was stunning, but Stephen's pannier rack was suffering from the rough terrain (he needs to invest in a proper one that is fully supported), so he walked most of the climb, we reached an unrideable section and both had to push up the last mile, which is a slog when you have a loaded bike!
When we got back on the road, it still wasn't the top!
But we were rewarded by a blissfully traffic free, smooth as butter gradual descent. The last big climb of the day complete, we were enjoying taking it easy all the way to Staylittle....
A basic room & an unassuming place, but after a shower, we went down to the bar & ordered our tea. And that was good! We had left beautiful, Welsh speaking North Wales behind and now in mid-Wales hearing any Welsh was also behind us.