One of Those Days

Trip Start May 22, 2009
Trip End Feb 16, 2010

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Flag of United Kingdom  , Wales,
Saturday, June 27, 2009

Today started out to be ‘one of those days’.  Rain was tolerable in the pub while chatting with friends, but after all night and no sign of clearing in the morning it was getting old.  I hate packing up camp in the rain.  Everything is smelly and gross and carrying water-logged gear is much heavier!

But once we got rolling it wasn’t too terrible.  Big plusses to cycling in the rain:
1. No sunburn
2.  If you’re thirsty, just open your mouth!

Cycling along the coast again with the tide out it was just sandy beach as far as you could see  Fogged in from the rain, the sea and sky became one.  We were touring just north of Snowdonia National Park and every now and then we could see glimpses of immense peaks playing peek-a-boo through the clouds.  Having seen pictures of the interior of this area make me want to stay and hike and explore, but it wouldn’t have been possible with bikes as there are almost no roads, and the ones there are are called PAIN. 

We had been very anxious about today’s cycling route as it took us along a ‘Dual Carriageway’ as they like to call it (double lane divided highway).  Which is not very bike-friendly.  But we were so impressed to find that there was a cycle path along the side of the road which sometimes meandered to more scenic areas, and even taking us up on special bridges over the road. 

But then we lost the path and had to negotiate on our own for awhile again.  We found another labeled cycle path, but it took us quite far away from the more direct road, and consequently up more hills!  It was waaaay past lunch, and poor Sharilyn was hungry and grumpy from the rain and in no mood for hills!  Thankfully they were down tiny windy country roads with lots of sheep to keep tempers at bay.

Eventually we got to BONGOR of which we had heard negative things.  starved, I decided to bite the bullet and pay 6 pounds for a wrap and potato chips (around $12!).  Of course, upon traveling another few blocks we found a grocer where items were much more affordable.  We are going to concentrate on these and planning our lunches better in the future. 

Spirits sunk, I had little effort left in my legs and took forever to get up the slightest of inclines.  Seeing a sign for a caravan park lifted hopes, but it didn’t show tents on the sign.  We decided to chance it - surely there would be space for one little tent on a large country property!

Upon arrival we were told that they were fully booked.  Strange, since we couldn’t see even one caravan or tent.  But the owner did give us directions to another unlisted site only 1 mile down the road (1 miles still ringing in my head from the last site…).  “Take a left then a right, then a left, and a right…You can’t miss it!”  With every turn, the road got narrower and the grass down the center got thicker.  No room for a car and a bike to bass let alone 2 cars!

Slowly the sun started to poke it’s way through the clouds and we found it.  Rest at last and a place to dry out our gear.  This nice quiet spot out of the way is wonderful and cost only 8 pounds for the night.  Makes up for last night’s gouge. 

Made an amazing dinner of steak and grilled vegetables.  So good that as I glanced over at Brian cutting into his first bite of steak I saw a big trickle of drool dripping off his chin in anticipation J

We’re finally far enough into Wales that Welsh is more commonly spoken than English.  All signs are in both Welsh and English and the names of towns are amazing.  To date, my favourite that we passed through was:  LLANFAIRPWLLGWYNGYLL.  Still to come on the way to the ferry are:  GAARWEN, CAERGEILIOG, and TRAERDDUR. 

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