We had a couple of days of so wanted to do something of our list of to do things while in Snowdonia. It’s a big list and we will not tick them all off.
Nikki has not been out on her bike much since falling of last year. A couple of weeks ago along the canal path was her first outing on the bike since her fall so a good little run to get her bike legs back. The weather was looking good fo our two days off. I went down the bike park on day one and let of steam down the slopes, round the berms, over the humps and bumps for 18 miles of pure fun.
Day two we decided to bike the Mawddach trail. The Mawddach trail is a walk/ cycle way which is a old railway line that runs from Dolgellau to Barmouth following the Mawddach estuary. It’s about nine miles each way and totally flat. I told Nikki it will be a gentle ride and plenty of stops for photos etc.
Bikes loaded up in the morning and only a 25 minute drive to get to Dolgellau and park up in the carpark at the start of the trail. There is a hotel/ pub along the way at Penmaenpool with a loverly old toll bridge which we have seen before while out for a drive. We thought it would be nice to sit by the estuary and have lunch there.
Because we were early getting on the trail we decided to have a light snack to eat when we got to Barmouth and then maybe lunch at the pub on the way back.
So of we set. Now I really enjoy biking along these trails with fantastic views but it’s a bit slow for me compared to Nikki’s average speed. But this was her day so most of the time I stayed with her only now and then did I have a little speed moment and then wait for her. I looked behind at one stage and there she was biking along hair flowing in the wind nice and upright and more importantly still on the bike, another reason for me not to go off to far in case I have to come back and pick her up off the floor. But she was doing good, she looked like Mary poppins.
We had plenty of stops to have a drink, not pub stops just water from our bottles and to take in the scenery.
The last part of the trail into Barmouth goes across a bridge which also has a railway line going across. The whole thing is going to be refurbed at a cost of 25 million pounds starting soon. The views from it are fantastic. On one side you have the harbour of Barmouth and the other side you have the estuary going towards the mountains. And then sometimes you get a train coming towards you.
We arrived at Barmouth needing a drink and a bite to eat. And Nikki needing a sit down to rest her legs even though she had been sat down all the way. We found a little cafe with tables outside so i sat down and guarded the bikes while Nikki went in and ordered a coffee and toasted tea cake for herself and a hot chocolate and a sausage sarni for me. Looking over the harbour and watching the world go by and at the same time keeping an eye on the bikes life was good. And the thought of the food was in my mind. Nikki came back out with the drinks. Where’s the food ? Stopped doing food at 11am. Drinks drunk and off around Barmouth to find a chip shop.
Barmouth is the sort of place you love or hate. We don’t really like it, it’s to much like an English version of Benidorm with all the kiss me quick hats and amusement arcades. Peaple with jogging bottoms and football shirts on and they even have donkeys on the beach. We were only here because it’s the end of the trail and we were hungry. We soon found a chip shop and again I guarded the bikes and this time Nikki came out with a portion of chips, and very nice they were too.
Now it was time to head back to Dolgellau with a stop at the George 111 hotel / pub at Penmaenpool for another snack. Going back was easier because we had a light breeze behind us but there was more peaple by this time but not enough to be getting in the way. We got to the hotel/ pub got a loverly bench outside overlooking the estuary. Again I guarded the bikes while Nikki went in to get us a nice big glass of cool drink and some menus. Again I was looking at the scenery and peaple watching and she came out with two pints of Diet Coke ( other brands are available )with ice. And no menus, they had run out of food and this was only 1pm. That explains why we could get a seat out side. Still the drink was nice and luckily we had a couple of serial bar snacks in our back packs.
Drinks drunk and back on the bikes for the last leg of the ride. Only a couple of miles to go I shouted to Nikki as she climbed on to her bike with a few groans. But I had promised to take her to the pub back at base for a nice glass of wine and we knew they would have food. So that’s what we did. Got back to base showered, a nice cup of tea and then over the local pub for a drink or two and a nice meal.
Well done to Nikki for biking the twenty mile round trip. And after the pub in the early evening we slept very well.