Sunday, 3 July 2011

Quiet roads?

An early start on Sunday morning meant quiet roads and a pleasant ride from Barmouth, across the railway bridge (pedestrians and cycles allowed) to Towyn and Aberdyfi. Looking back across the bay, the whole of the Llyn Peninsula could be seen, with Bardsey Island at the far end. Seems amazing I was there only yesterday!

The road to Towyn loops inland for a few miles to avoid a hill or two. It seems strange not to have the sea on my right; in fact it's rather lonely not to be able to see the coastline. I always get a sense of relief when the sea hoves back into view.

I'm learning a few words of Welsh, from roadside signs. 'Dim' means 'not', which I think is rather apt. 'Ar werth' means 'For sale', as in 'I wonder how much these houses ar werth'. The most common sign is 'Araf', meaning 'Slow'. I want to add ...'at' to 'Araf'. Of course, most road signs in Wales are twice the size of those in England, because everything has to be written in both English and Welsh. It gets a bit silly when arriving at a place such as Borth, for which the Welsh is... 'Borth'. So the same word is repeated, just to satisfy the Welsh speakers. Actually, I've heard Welsh spoken very frequently in North Wales; that will probably change as I head south.

Another lovely day weatherwise, which meant some decent photos. I particularly like this one taken looking upstream (into the sun) from Barmouth railway bridge. It looks as if it could be somewhere in Austria or Switzerland.

Unfortunately, once the world woke up, the roads became very busy. Most of the ride was on A roads, so concentration was the name of the game, especially on the hills. A surprising number of lorries too, for a Sunday.

I pulled in to a pub shortly before 14.00, needing a beer. The staff at the family-run Wildfowler Inn at Tre'r Dool were very interested in my ride and offered a free Sunday roast, but I declined as I'd already eaten some sandwiches. However I did have an excellent plum and apple tart, with two scoops of ice-cream!

Arriving at Aberystwyth by 16.00 I decided to press on for a few miles and eventually stopped after climbing a huge hill, at Llanrhystud. An excellent B&B for £25, which is cheaper than I was asked to pay at the campsite at Arnside (no breakfast and a noisy, crowded site).

Tomorrow I will be staying near Fishguard with Geograph's Ceridwen, in a holiday let next to her house.

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