Following Lon Las Cymru Sustrans Route 8 (mostly), a route which follows tram ways, quiet lanes (and huge hills)

Brief report, as full details at November meeting, with film show, if you are lucky.

Monday 6th Sept, Drive to Cardiff, (Clive left Kath with us, and went on a weeks holiday around Ross on Wye ).Future Inn, for overnight stop, Good hotel, chocolate on pillow, spacious rooms and allowed to store bikes in bedrooms, and park the car there for the whole week. We sampled the Welsh beer and the Welsh Italian food, my pizza was excellent.

Panniers loaded onto bikes, and we were off.
Photo taken at Wales Millenium Centre, then meander around Mermaid Quay and along paths and parks, we checked with a local lass, that we were on the right route, as signage vague, she was going that way, so offered to guide us, she sped off, (no panniers weighing her down) and we followed, we tried to persuade her to come with us, but she declined. Now we were heading out of built up area, passing the many sport clubs in Cardiff, its not just rugby in Wales.
It was a very sunny day and our lunch stop was as Abercynon, at Fives cafe, a greasy spoon establishment. After lunch the route passed right by the Aberfan Cemetary, where the victims of the disaster in 1966 were buried, It was a sad sight to see so many children lost, but the graves are well
kept .
On to Merthyr Tydfyl MacDonalds where John had his second Mcflurry of the trip, and we had ice cold cokes. We arrived at Brecon The Wellington Hotel, excellent bike storage shed, and rooms , sadly no food on offer as staff shortage?Covid?, we headed to the local Wetherspoons, and as it was so good (cheap) went there for breakfast as well.
BEST thing of the day WORST thing of the day
Kath – Arriving in Brecon Getting lost and being alone for a while
John – Ham,Egg and Chips in Cafe Five Losing everyone – for a while
Vic – Cafe Five Gravel path, over the top!
Caroline – Girl guide out of Cardiff Toilet in Cafe Five

We were keen to get away early, But the boys had other ideas, John was still looking for the hairdryer! Eventually we were away, but with in a few miles the Welsh P Fairy found Victor, then Kath, after passing a lane where the hedges had recently been cut, thorns everywhere.
The route goes to Glasbury then follows the River Wye along pleasant lanes to Erwood, a converted Station, now a craft/ Gallery /cafe, where we had cold drinks and snacks sitting in the sun, a couple from Bude on holiday with their campervan saw our Wheelers kit and had a chat about our route, I think they were impressed!, The route ended up through a leafy wood, and this is where the Welsh P Fairy found me, Quick tube change by the boys, and we arrived at Rhayader, The Elan Inn, run by Irishman Mike and his wife, again great bike storage in the huge shed, a good selection of beers and its just across the road from a bike repair shop..Food was great,
BEST thing of the day WORST thing of the day
Kath – Erwood station cafe Puncture – more training needed
John – Chat to shepherd re destiny of his flock! Recycling Vintage shop in Builth Wells
Vic – Taking photos at top of hill Punctures
Caroline – Arriving at Elan Inn Lane throught the woods

After breakfast, Vic and Kath headed over to the Bike shop to stock up on inner tubes ‘just in case’
We had a damp start to the day, and followed the cycle route out along the Millenium Bridge and through the road works, improvements to the narrow road bridge. The long narrow path , took us through several slate works and up over hills, our coffee stop was at Llangurig at a road side cafe, then a very long climb up to Llanidoes, we took some photos of the old Market Hall, then continued up past the reservoir, the sun was blazing and the views at the top were stunning, Kath and John had already started to descend, Vic waited for me, and we followed down the hill, to where Kath and John were enjoying the sunshine on a bench on the grassy verge, a small shop just around the corner at Staylittle, provided us with great cold drinks and Fig Rolls. Off again up another hill, the dark clouds building, and then the heavens opened, we then had eight miles downhill, in wet slippery conditions, we made it to Machynlleth to the White Lion, again good storage for the bikes, the rooms were dated but the beer and food were great. Kath decided she had brought too much kit with her, so shipped two small parcels home.
BEST thing about today WORST thingabout today
Kath, sitting on bench in the sun + PO visit Missed the ‘prominent’ signpost at top of hill
John – Dinner, best steak pie in 20 years!! Kath bought wrong Coke at shop 0% sugar
Vic – Top of hill photos Top of the hill Rain
Caroline – First 10 miles lovely roads RAIN

Another damp start, but on we went, a pretty uneventful morning, no coffee stops, as none available, we arrived at Dolgellau very hungry, and found a great takeaway sandwich bar, food excellent and well priced , we sheltered under the butcher shop canopy, the heavy rain had started, we then followed a muddy cycle trail to Fairbourne, where we crossed on the Bridge to Barmouth, this was Friday, lucky for us, the bridge was closing on Sunday for 18months for essential repairs, it would have been a long way around!, At Barmouth we saw the sign Kellys of Cornwall Icecream Sold Here’, we didnt stop to buy one. John realised he had left hisflask on the wall just after the bridge, so returned to look for it ! After Barmouth we had planned to go to Harlech Castle, but as we were running late, we decided to head straight to Ffestiniog and the Gwesty Seren Hotel, which was at the top of a long hill. The views would have been great , but it was very misty. The hotel, the best we had stayed in was warm, lovely rooms, great bike storage and the staff were really helpful, dinner was so good. We wanted to stay longer!
BEST thing about today WORST thing about today
Kath – Lunch stop sandwich bar Muddy trail to Barmouth
John – Arriving at top class Hotel Leaving flask on wall at Barmouth
Vic – Views from the top of hills The steep hills
Caroline – Quiet Roads First and Last Hills
A good breakfast, then we raced back down the long hill we had climbed the day before, As we got to the bottom, the rain also returned, Vic got a puncture, so John and he set about changing tube, Kath and I continued to Portmeirion, where we were going to have a look, as we were in the area, I think the rain spoilt it for us, and the lack of cycle facilities was disappointing, Then while we were having a hot coffee, Vics comment ‘its just like Trago but you pay to go in’ really killed it.. anyway we spent a couple of hours there with all the other wet tourists and then got back on our bikes to go to Caernarfon, we hadn’t found accommodation in town, so had booked a chalet in a holiday park,
The sun was now shining so we had a cuppa sitting out front , then headed into town for dinner, about 20 mins walking, to the local Wetherspoons, which was busy, the food arrived quickly and we enjoyed it, we took a taxi back and just in time to watch the Ladies Tennis final,
BEST thing about today WORST thing about today
Vic – seeing the Ffestiniog Steamtrain thought film of train deleted, (but it wasnt)
Kath – Portmeirion Rain on busy road
John – Train, and Spoons Steak and Chips Portmeirion
Caroline – Spoons fish and chips Cycle facilities at Portmeirion

DAY SIX the Final Day
We had planned to go back to Spoons for breakfast, but they had ‘plumbing issues’ so not doing food, lucky for us, we went to The Black Boy inn and had the best breakfast of Scrambled Eggs and Smoked salmon on toast, with loads of coffee, and some tea eventually.. We should have spent longer looking around Caernarfon, as the castle was impressive.. but we had the final day to ride. It was quite straight forward and then we arrived at the Menai Bridge, to cross over to Anglesey, took photos, we knew the route wouldnt have many cafes etc, so dived into Waitrose to stock up on essentials. We did have one coffee stop at a small shop, and met a couple of chaps doing same route, they headed off, we met other cyclists, one said he had been to Falmouth for the Birthday Rides, a few yeas ago, The route was flattish and we arrived at Holyhead ! No route 8 marker in sight, so we took selfie photo of us at the train station with loads of scaffolding, crossed over the Celtic bridge and had a very quick look around Holyhead ! Then found the Boathouse Hotel, we checked in, and then went into town for dinner, a big disappointment as not much open, only Indian Restaurant, so in we went and had a really tasty meal, and a beer..
BEST thing about today WORST thing about today
Kath – Menai Bridge crossing Getting out of put u up bed
John – Breakfast at the Black Boy Inn Boathouse Hotel
Vic – Breakfast at the Black Boy Inn Holyhead Town, scruffy
Caroline – Whole ride today – no hills No Roast at the Hotel

Monday – Train, back to Cardiff for the boys. Kath and I , due to train issues, got off at Hereford where Clive met us , to return back to Busy Cornwall.



2 Replies to “WALES ON WHEELS – Sept 2021

  1. Well done the Wales adventurers. There are quite a lot of happy memories for us along this route includig the White Lion in Machynlleth and the helpful bike shop in in Rhayader. What luck with the bridge to Barmouth. Looks like route 8 has that special Sustrans quality – hills.

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