Up into those Hills
Week 6Since starting my biking experience I having been quietly applauding myself how well I was doing for someone who barely cycled 5 or 6 miles with the children a few months ago to doing 40+ miles at one go. But really the routes I have been taking have been relatively flat, in Welsh terms. If you know Wales you will understand what I mean if not Wales is famous for it's mountains and hills. In fact there is hardly a corner of Wales where you do not come across a hill or a mountain that needs to be climbed if you want to get anywhere.
So this week I have bitten the bullet and set myself a target of climbing the infamous Horse Shoe Pass that needs to be crossed if travelling from Ruthin to Llangollen. From my house coming back through Corwen, a 48 mile route with an ascent of over 3,564ft (that is as nearly as high as Snowdon)
|Three Pigeons Pub Graigfechen|
The route started off gently enough through Llanbedr to Graigfechan past the Three Pigeon Pub (famous for it's Real Ale) but at the end of the village I took a left and from here on in the road climbed and climbed and climbed.
In fact I was pleasantly surprised that I coped reasonably well on these uphill climbs. My new bike helped with it's thin road tires and 14 gears but all that training was actually paying dividends. If truth be know I was quite enjoying myself in the exhilaration of the climb. Before I new it I was at the Dafarn Dywyrch Farm (which sells Rosie's cider) http://www.rosiescider.co.uk/ which is more or less the last building before the final push up to the Pass.
|Cider for Sale|
|Horse Shoe Pass in the distance|
|View down to Llangollen|
|Way down to Llangollen|
|View of road leading down to Llangollen|
|Valle Crucis Abbey|
|Llangollen Eisteddfod Entrance|
|Llangollen Stream Railway Station|
|Llangollen Railway following the Dee River|
|View towards Corwen|
|Rhug Estate Cafe and Shop http://www.rhug.co.uk/|
Cold, Dawn, Hare
During the previous few days leading up to my Horse Shoe Pass challenge I completed a couple of smaller 12 to 14 miles bike rides. But as I have described some of those previously I won't bore you will the details here.
And then in the field in front of me a Hare broke cover racing away at a breathtaking speed. I waited a few moment more and much to my delight two more hares appeared before darting away into a long patch of grass. These now rare animals are truly a wonder to see and a sight I have not observed for at least 20 years.
|Hare - not the one I saw but one kindly supplied by Wikipedia|