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Offline Lord Knormoer

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First time in Wales
« on: November 05, 2018, 03:10:21 pm »
They say Africa is not for sissies...after this weekend I would take African dirt/sand with a smile!

We decided to join Nick Plumb and his team from Touratech UK for one last weekend ride before winter really hits Wales. Nothing serious, just a leisurely cruise through magnificent mountains with breathtaking scenery. For the most part, Wales delivered on that promise.

We were to meet at TT HQ at 9:00 on Saturday and decided to leave Bicester at 14:00 on Friday afternoon. According to Google maps, Waze and Garmin, the 140 mile route through the Cotswolds should take about 3 hours. 6 hours later we arrive at the Castle Hotel in Neath. Bad weather, Weekend traffic and accidents blocking the road clearly plays havoc on route planning. The newly renovated hotel was a welcome surprise at £55 for a luxury suite, safe parking and breakfast included.



A quick change and we sat down for beers and pizza across the road before settling in for the night. Iím still curious about the local population given the two bulky bouncers at the door of the pizzeria.



After breakfast on Saturday we rode the 20 minutes to TT HQ, met the team and fellow riders, dropped our gear at the overnight accommodation and headed out. Before leaving I was warned about the friction defying quality of dead leaves, moss and pine needles that accumulate along the country lanes in autumn.



The pace was leisurely and the scenery absolutely breathtaking. The country lanes are mostly tarred but barely wide enough for one vehicle. Every few minutes Iíd round a bend and meet a green Land Rover with wide eyed occupants coming the opposite direction. Slowing down is difficult, stopping, near impossible but we settled into a comfortable rhythm and enjoyed the ride.



About an hour into the ride we turned left into a side road with a covering of the dreaded Welsch mulch across the entrance. I momentarily lost the front wheel, recovered by bring the bike upright only to hit a worse patch with the rear and before I knew what happened I was on my back watching the bike sliding along the tar with Lerezeís laugh over the intercom. I do love my wife!! Not many pillions will find this funny and considering a week ago she could barely walk and still struggles to get on the bike, I think sheís one tough girl.



Apart from a severely bent ego and a few bruises we were OK and after refitting the side stand spring we were off again. The rest of the day delivered even more spectacular scenery but I couldnít relax. Iíd lost confidence in my ability, the bike and the tyres and spent the rest of the morning focussed on not falling over again.



We had lunch at the Owls Nest Tea Room and Diner, a favourite stop for motorcycles. They are famous for their burgers and items like the bacon mountain, a bread roll loaded with 8 slices of thick Welsh bacon.



It started raining over lunch and within minutes of leaving we were in the middle of a storm navigating a narrow mountain pass with visibility limited to the bike in frontís rear light. The wind kept threatening to push the bikes off the road but we managed without further incident and arrived safely to beers and chilly after a hot shower.



It was raining for most of the return trip on Sunday. I spent all day trying to ignore the throbbing pain in my knee and making sure we get home safe. The weekend left me with some food for thought. We will however return in summer to see more of this beautiful region.

« Last Edit: November 05, 2018, 04:35:03 pm by Lord Knormoer »
 
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Offline DavidMorrisXp

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Re: First time in Wales
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2018, 04:28:17 pm »
Sounds like you had an adventure, glad you are not badly hurt

It is a beautiful part of the UK, but that grass is green for a reason, it rains plenty.


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Online Welsh

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Re: First time in Wales
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2018, 05:28:26 pm »
My home territory, but a bit further south, the Pizzeria bouncers, yes at closing time on a friday/saturday the locals can get over exhuberant.  ::)

Go further North into the Rhayder Valleys, or up into my area around Bala and Lake Vyrnwy.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2018, 05:32:15 pm by Welsh »
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Offline Lord Knormoer

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Re: First time in Wales
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2018, 05:33:50 pm »
My home territory, but a bit further south, the Pizzeria bouncers, yes at closing time on a friday/saturday the locals can get over exhuberant.  ::)

Go further North into the Rhayder Valleys, or up into my area around Bala and Lake Vyrnwy.

Iíll definitely explore further in summer!
 

Online Welsh

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Re: First time in Wales
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2018, 05:40:07 pm »
My home territory, but a bit further south, the Pizzeria bouncers, yes at closing time on a friday/saturday the locals can get over exhuberant.  ::)

Go further North into the Rhayder Valleys, or up into my area around Bala and Lake Vyrnwy.

Iíll definitely explore further in summer!

Go up to Welshpool, Powys Castle, and the Narrow Guage Railway, guaranteed not to disappoint, Snowdonia and the slate caverns not far away.
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Offline Lord Knormoer

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Re: First time in Wales
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2018, 05:57:22 pm »
My home territory, but a bit further south, the Pizzeria bouncers, yes at closing time on a friday/saturday the locals can get over exhuberant.  ::)

Go further North into the Rhayder Valleys, or up into my area around Bala and Lake Vyrnwy.

Iíll definitely explore further in summer!

Go up to Welshpool, Powys Castle, and the Narrow Guage Railway, guaranteed not to disappoint, Snowdonia and the slate caverns not far away.

Thx, I added those to my list
 

Offline bomskok

Re: First time in Wales
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2018, 11:04:27 am »
A group of us (Saffers from Herts & Essex area) did the Taffy Dakar back in May over the bank holiday weekend. Could not have asked for better weather. Was my first time doing this type of motorcycle orienteering and loved it. Was told the previous year some tents had ice hanging down them, but we had temp in the deep 20s.

Absolutely stunning part of the world.  :thumleft:

Keep an eye out on their website if you want to do that. Tickets go online at midnight Jan 1st each year.

Much, MUCH more civilized than a Buffalo rally  :imaposer:
 

Offline bomskok

Re: First time in Wales
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2018, 11:08:52 am »
Forgot to mention it is held in the south, around Brecon Beacons. Some nice videos on youtoobe.

Skies, voel amper of ek jou thread hijack. Just nice to see some reports from a part of the world where I guess quite a few of us have move to.  :thumleft:
 

Offline Lord Knormoer

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Re: First time in Wales
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2018, 11:19:13 am »
Forgot to mention it is held in the south, around Brecon Beacons. Some nice videos on youtoobe.

Skies, voel amper of ek jou thread hijack. Just nice to see some reports from a part of the world where I guess quite a few of us have move to.  :thumleft:

Interesting, we met the organizer of the Taffy Dakar at our first coffee stop on Saturday.

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Offline dustlover

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Re: First time in Wales
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2019, 02:33:49 pm »
My home territory, but a bit further south, the Pizzeria bouncers, yes at closing time on a friday/saturday the locals can get over exhuberant.  ::)

Go further North into the Rhayder Valleys, or up into my area around Bala and Lake Vyrnwy.
Hey Welsh,
I've been to Lake Vyrnwy. Very beautiful. I stayed at a hotel towards the wall and had a great time. Made the mistake of ordering pigeon for supper. Errr.. Couldn't eat it. Tasted like, well, pigeon but lesson learned. I cycled round the area on a mountain bike. Lucky it was Summer and good weather.
Go for it - the world is your lobster.