Friday, 7 September 2012

A weekend in Wales

Just had a fab weekend in Wales Mountain biking....we travelled down on friday evening and came back Sunday afternoon......we are very keen mountain bikers in Fairislerona's household and we have not been out on our bikes this summer due to the rubbish weather.  So, with the prospect of a good spell of weather I packed about 10 bags: for all weather eventualities - even walking boots and waterproofs should it rain all the time- and we decamped to Betws-Y-Coed in Snowdonia.
On Day 1 we did route 17 from our trusty Welsh Mountain biking book.....

But we heard lots of whooping noises from the forest and realised that they had opened up the area for mountain biking and created the 'Marin Trail' through the forest and surrounding area.  I then looked at our book: we had done about 8 miles at this stage and realised the book was printed in 1995: Oh dear!   So, we hooked up this route with the Marin Trail and combined with our cycling from the B n B we managed to do a circuit of 20 miles, the biking was excellent and we survived the circuit.   As you can see there are lots of pictorial highlights and my other half was moaning about the number of photo stops - but the weather was so fab and the area was so gorgeous: hope you can appreciate this from my snaps.

Now for the technical stuff - we have 2 Bontrager mountain bikes which bikers like to call 'Retro' - old - hardtail bikes.  We have Pace front forks fitted and because our bikes are steel frames they are very lightweight, whenever we go to these purpose built bike routes they attract a lot of downhillers with all their fancy bikes and they 'preen' about with their bikes - for want of a better word - and everybody is weighing each other up or rather weighing each other's bikes up.  We have had our Bonty's a long time as they were some of the last frames to come into the country before the company was taken over and we love our 'retro' Bontys....

These are pics of the B&B we stayed in at Betws-y-Coed, it was called Bod Gwynedd it was just based just outside the town - only a short walking distance- and we had a fab stay here.  Our room was of a very high standard and we had a hearty breakfast in the morning to keep us going, Bev and Joe are 'outdoorsy' and walkers and cyclists are well catered for and they gave us loads of info about the area.  I landed in a bog on the saturday and they happily dried my gear out! 

With our new knowledge of mountain biking around Betws-y-Coed we then went to Penmachno to do the trail there and we thought it was better than the Marin Trail.  It was a bit dodgy at the start as it had rained that morning and it was very slippy but the days weather improved and the conditions became drier.
Afterwards we stopped at the Conwy Falls Cafe which was a cracking cafe....the breakfasts looked great and the place had a good 'feel' to it.  It was also a lovely building having been designed by the same architect who produced Portmeirion.

On our journey home we called in at Trefriw Mill, with my weaving background I was keen to call in.  They produce traditional Welsh tweeds which are technically 'double cloths', it is a working mill that you can go and visit and there is retail therapy and a cafe.  Their fabrics - I think - are very retro and pretty fab, I like some of the colourings but I felt they could be developed a lot more....  I particularly liked their exhibits which were from the 50's and 60's - they were really cool.  The gorgeous blue window house had the most amazing cottage garden that had a range of flowers and plants which were labelled and can be used for dyeing.


On the journey home and in our B&B I took my crochet with me and tried to start a ripple cushion....I had Nikki Trench's Cute and Easy crochet but I couldn't work it out!  Not like me to be unable to work some crochet out: so I made it up myself and hopefully will post that finished product at some point

.....hope you enjoyed seeing a bit of North Wales. 

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