The early bird catches the Train.
We woke up at 5:45 and started to get ready, because we had 50 odd miles and 2 very steep bits to do and a train we simply couldn’t afford to miss (our tickets had cost 9.50 each but on the door would cost about a hundred each. :) . Tea and porridge this time with jam, banana and raisins were consumed. We got packed up in a slight drizzle, and after a last minute check at the very detailed map at the reception and the weather map, we were ready to go at 7:15.
Since it was Bank Holiday Monday we hit the A roads to cut away some of the very steep bits and get some distance in us before traffic started to pick up. We made good time all the way to Llanidloes on the A470, with a 4 miles downhill from Llangurig. In Rhayader where we had a food stop and got some water, we meet 2 young lads who were clearly touring on their MTBs, complete with a Welsh flag. They tugged in behind us out of Rhayader only to disapear down a road marked for the national cycling route. But soon meet them again as we arrived in Llangurig (roundabout) a the same time and enjoyed the downhill together.
In Llanidloes we stocked up on some food at the local Spar: egg, bacon and sausage hot baps for woolly and a just-about-edible cheese and onion quiche for Peli. I really got a taste for these sizzlers :) I even managed to spot the only Danish car ever manufactured, a CityEl, I have never seen one outside Denmark and then to see one in Wales of all places :)
We ate quickly and didn’t rest for long which as a bit of shock to the system since we pretty much turned out of town to find the first sharp, sharp, sharp, hilly bit. As we climbed up and past Llyn Clywedog (12%) the sun started to come out and with a tail’ish wind we started to pick up speed. When climbing one of the final steep bits we were overtaken by three roadies in lycra. “You’re brave”, commented one to Peli. We saw them again retracing their steps up the 8 mile climb back up from Machynlleth who are the brave ones now?! The last 8 miles down to Machynlleth from Dylife were stunning and fast, with beautiful views, the green hills highlighted brightly against the grey hills behind. We stopped out side Machynlleth and had a picnic in the sun on a golf course, chatting to some old folk who were busy spoiling a good walk. One of them even spoke Danish – you can never tell who you’re going to meet on a golf course in mid-Wales!
We arrived in Machynlleth and had a cup of tea and a, erm 2, pints of Reverend James in yet another White Lion.
The only let down was, as you saw above, the trains. Otherwise, this mini tour was a brilliant starter/taster for touring, even though we got soaked to the bone. But we now know what we can handle and that our equipment will keep our stuff dry and our ride very comfortable. Roll on the miles, where next ?
More photos than you can shake a stick at over here Picasa Web Albums Here be Dragons.