WALES – CAM PEDWARN
Pant Glas 23rd June 2014
After a very tranquil rest stop in the woods for two nights, I follow the Sustrans route 8 towards Caernarfon and its famous Castle.
The route follows the Porthmadog railway line to Caernarfon.
I must say … I did find Caernarfon Castle quite a powerful statement as castles go. That would be one-tough-place to get into.
I slowly pass through Dinorwic Marina in Y-Felinheli still on route 8.
Now on route 5 and the impressive Menai Bridge on the Bangor side looms large.
Isle of Anglesey with an area of 276 square miles (715 km2), is by far the largest island of Wales and the fifth-largest island surrounding Great Britain (and the largest outside Scotland).
Every time I visit a supermarket I go crazy! Presently parked the bike at the back of the church, while I have lunch and sort out my shopping!
St Marys church.
The next port of call is a spot for the night. Took forever to find somewhere, along with hauling my customary extra water for miles upon miles!
I’ve only ever once been rumbled while wild camping, and that was in Tasmania by a lone guy. Here a farmers Springer Spaniel comes bounding into camp as the tractor passes by out of view down a narrow lane. Mr Farmer totally unaware … that’s stealth camping for you!
The next day I make a loop around half the island and head back towards Bangor. Seriously … I couldn’t be bothered to cycle all the way round it!
Customary rest stop at Llangefni church.
Something about Anglesey … I struggle once again to find a wild camping spot. Miles upon miles with my extra water for the night and after hauling the bike and panniers over a wall, I find somewhere.
All credit to the Welsh, this is certainly a very picturesque place to live. I like it here.
Back on the mainland … Bangor is classed as a city, thus making it one of the smallest cities in Britain.
Leaving Bangor I join route 82 towards Bethesda.
My goal for the day is to reach Idwal Cottage. Time for a proper (hot) shower!
The route out of Bangor had me slowly climbing all day as I head up the Ogwan Valley. Great cycling.
If one gets something in your eye and no mirror to hand … take a photo!
Without doubt, to be, the best days cycling for scenery, for me in the UK to date … stunning.
Fortunately, the YHA Idwal is very quite, but most importantly, no one else camping!
While here, not going for a hike would be a crime.
Llyn Idwal lak is named after Prince Idwal Foel. Legend states that the king’s unfortunate offspring was murdered by being drowned in the lake. In fact Idwal Foel died in battle against the Saxons in 942 and an alternate version claims that he was cremated beside the lake, as was the burial custom for Celtic nobility.
Stairway to heaven!
I’d imagine this place to be VERY popular in season … so go out of season to really enjoy the place and area.
After a couple of nights and the looming prospect of a group of outward-bound-children arriving … I scarper!
My route east takes me through the very commercialised Betws-Y-Coed. I’ve never seen so many outdoor shops in such a small place … crazy! It’s a case of head down and through ‘Dodge’ ASAP!
My next night spot was a fairly easy find in the woods near Pentrefoelas.
Now, this is a VERY rare sight indeed … a stand-pipe. Only the second one I’ve come across up through Wales. And, it has its tap still attached!
Another great idea for a redundant telephone box … an information center.
Church stop … St Marcella.
One more night stop in Wales. I knocked on some ones door asking to use their hose pipe, never a problem, but the look of incredulity from the incumbents … always amazes me!
A final look back at Wales from the Clwydan Range.
I head downhill to catch the train from Y-Flint to Harrogate to see the Le Tour de France arrive in Yorkshire 2014.
Y-Fflint 30th June 2014
The mountains of New Zealand were generally a slow days climb and very manageable, but these short Welsh hills of 20 plus percent are certainly tougher!
For me, the one thing I long for is awesome wild camping spots. As has happened many times before, I may break camp and only ten or so miles down the road/track I find a great spot to camp, I’ll generally crab it … even if its early afternoon!
The bicycle is just the means to find these spots. As the say in Swahili … “Pole Pole”!
Thank you Wales.
You can click on each photo in this post for an enhanced Flickr view or the above Flickr slideshow for further photos.