It seems like ages since I updated the blog so here I am. The campsite has been busy, the weather has not been very good for this time of year. I think the trouble is we are comparing this May to last May when we were furloughed and basking in loverly sunny weather.

A couple of weeks ago I had a nice ride out in my bike up in the hills and lanes and was rewarded with spectacular views.

Lake Trawsfynydd in the background.

The ride was only about 18 miles but mostly off road which is what I prefer. Only saw one other human, an old farmer who was busy fixing some fencing. Saw lots of sheep but that’s normal in these parts.

With my birthday coming up and it just so happened to fall on our days off we decided to go away for a couple of days. I like to to take the camper out every month just to give it a run so the timing was just right. Shame the weather could not have tried harder to get it right.

We decided to go to Chirk only about 50 miles away but a nice run. We have been to the site before and liked it. There’s a canal nearby and a couple of nice aqueducts. The plan was to get there Saturday and leave on the Tuesday. Sunday was a chill out day. I went for a early walk down to the Aqueduct not far from the site. Amazing structure built all those years ago. This one is in two parts, the upper part is a railway line and the bottom part for the narrow boats. At one end you are in Wales and if you walk across it you are then in England.

Chirk Aqueduct

We planned to take the bikes and to get Nikki on hers. The canal path would be ideal for her being flat. She’s not been on her bike for a long time after falling off when we were in South Wales.

We worked out we could cycle along the canal path to the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct about 5 miles each way. There’s a nice cafe there converted from an old chapel. We would have to sit outside because there no way I would leave my bike outside and go inside for a cuppa. So off we set with a bit of rain forecast but that wasn’t going to stop us. The canal path was quiet so good for Nikki. Just as she was getting her confidence back we came across a tunnel. Nikki is not very good with bridges and tunnels. She would never walk over the aqueduct. So we stop at the tunnel entrance, it’s long and dark, there is a barrier to stop you falling in the canal. Nikki looks scared, there is no way round it. It’s either go through the tunnel or turn back. I would never make her do anything she did not want to do.

She decided to go for it so she put her lights on and walked through. I was behind with words of encouragement. I was so proud for her for doing it. I think it was the thought of a nice hot cup of coffee and a toasted tea cake that did it.

We got to the cafe and the tables outside had umbrellas luckily as it was raining by now. The waitress came out and said it’s horrible out here come inside. I explained I would not leave my bike outside. No problem she said bring them inside. So we took our bikes in the cafe and sat at a table beside them. They were happy there, I offered them some of my hot chocolate and a chip but they declined.

Bikes in the cafe

On the way back I saw a narrow boat going over the aqueduct so on with the brakes and camera out and got a picture of the Pontcysyllte aqueduct with a narrow boat going over it way above the ground. By now it had stopped raining and the tunnel loomed again and yet again Nikki went through it. Back at base I cleaned the bikes off and put them away while Nikki rested her legs. Time to shower and walk down the pub for a birthday meal and a pint.

Don’t look down.

The pub we went to, well it’s a hotel (The Hand Hotel) not like a big posh hotel our birthday budget wouldn’t run to that. It’s a four hundred year old hotel. We have been there before and it’s a bit like going back in time. It’s now had a refurb while closed in lockdown and is very nice. we had a good laugh with one of the bar staff and had a few drinks and a very nice meal. All at a reasonable price. Walk back to base and crash out. Another birthday done.

Yesterday we came back to site because friends had come from Cheltenham to see us in their motorhome. We haven’t seen them for about three years so you have to do what you have to do. That’s right go over the pub and have a catch up. Back to work today.

A bench to sit and think
Bike, boat, must be a plane somewhere up in the sky.