Not Spain & Portugal! Part 1

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We had booked to go touring Northern Spain and Portugal for a couple of weeks this September but, as with a lot of things at the moment, this has been postponed to, all fingers and toes crossed, next year.

So where to go instead?? After chatting at a bike night with a couple of people who had recently been to Wales, I had a look online and booked a cottage in Welshpool which is kind of mid Wales giving us a great location to explore mid, south and north Wales.

We set off up the A5 on the Saturday stopping at services on the way for fuel and a coffee and carrying on to Pontblyddon to a cafe I had seen online called the Old Stores which I thought would make an excellent stop for brunch.

Wow! What a cool place the cafe is!!! There is so much bike memorabilia all around the place and indeed even bikes to look at. 

It is such an interesting place to wander around and read/look at and the food is very good too 🙂

We sat outside in the sunshine and enjoyed our food. Afterwards we chatted to some other bikers and had a look at the bikes in the car park. Definitely a great place to re-visit.

We hopped back on the bikes and headed for Welshpool to find our accommodation for the week. We struck lucky with the cottage I had found, it was literally in the middle of nowhere so the bikes would be safe and yet about a twenty minute walk to the nearest pub – perfect!

The following morning the sun was shining so we set off for a ride through Elan Valley stopping at the visitor centre first for breakfast and, as it later turned out, one too many cups of coffee (there are no toilets en route through the valley)! 

The ride through Elan Valley was breathtaking, the scenery was 
amazing. We stopped at each of the dams to have a look around and a chat to some other bikers that had the same idea as us. 

One of the chaps we spoke to said if we were heading into Aberystwyth, we should get on the B4574 out of Devils Bridge and then onto the A4120 which takes you there as it was a good biking road.

We carried on through the valley and stopped at the old mining village to have a look around before carrying on making our way down to Devils Bridge Falls in Ceredigion. We had intended to stop here for a cuppa but it was soooo busy we decided to leave it for another day and carried on the recommended B road into Aberystwyth. 

What an amazing road that road was, I can thoroughly recommend it – thank you to the chap who told us about it.

Aberystwyth is a lovely seaside town and we parked in designated motorcycle parking on the promenade which was really handy. Coffee and cake was found in a little cafe – that surprised you didn’t it! What a perfect way to spend an afternoon.

Another sunny day beckoned the following morning and we headed to Aberdovey stopping in Machynlleth for breakfast. You guys are going to think all I do is eat and drink copious amounts of tea and coffee which, to be fair, is a pretty accurate assumption to make but hey, we’re on holiday and I shall be using that excuse all week!

Aberdovey is another seaside town and this time we sat on the beach, ate ice cream and watched the lifeboat launch (thankfully only an exercise and not because of an emergency). We headed back to the cottage to chill in the summerhouse with some beers before dinner.

Before we came away, everybody we spoke to about Wales said you have to do the horseshoe pass and stop at the Ponderosa cafe so the following morning we headed to Llangollen with the intention of so doing. As we headed out of Llangollen to pick up the horseshoe pass, there was a sign to say said road was closed!!!

Luckily you could still get to the cafe but you had to go via a lane which, to be fair, was a good ride and produced some amazing scenery. 

The cafe I have to say, did a cracking sausage bap and coffee and although it was pretty windy as it is very open there, it was lovely and we spent a while having a look around.

As we were heading to the cafe, my friend John, managed to get stung on his eyelid and his eye was beginning to swell. Luckily one of us had some antihistamines so John took one in the hope that it would ease the swelling.

By the following morning, John could barely open his eye and literally one side of his face had swollen. There was no way John would be riding today, nor indeed the rest of us. We walked along the canal into Welshpool to find a pharmacist to take a look at John’s eye. 

The pharmacist thought it was a horsefly bite and gave John some strong anti histamine to calm it down.

In the name of medicine you understand and in order to cheer John up, I found a quirky tea shop, The Bay Tree Vintage Tea Rooms, which did these amazing cakes and huge pots of tea. 

I definitely have to make a return visit here ……..

Stay tuned for Part 2 where we continue our holiday in Wales and then onto Cornwall.