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Archive for February, 2011

< Day 1

Monday 28th June 2010

As the midges had been so bad the previous night it meant that we went to bed early. I woke up early after having broken sleep thanks to the incessant noise of the sheep baaing all night. I felt quite disconnected from the world so I decided to sit in my tent listening to the Chris Moyles show on radio 1.

I then made breakfast, which was porridge and a bottle of protein shake. When Mark woke up he cooked some eggs, gammon and mushrooms. Which he offered some to Phil and I and we shared some of it. When Phil was cooking his breakfast he took a tub from out of his bag. The tub contained flour and an egg. He used this and the milk that we had bought the previous evening to make pancakes. He was quite impressed with his cooking skills until he had to eat it. He decided that it was not that nice after all.

We packed up and it took me an age to disassemble my tent and back everything into my panniers. I put this down to two things. My tent is a very cheap one, therefore it is not quick to put up or take down. Also I have small panniers where I need to put my sleeping bag etc at the bottom. This means that I have to take everything out of my panniers to unpack and repack my panniers. Mark had the right idea with lots of pockets in his panniers, which meant he only needed to take the things out that he needed.

We discussed our route and being aware that we didn’t have that many hills and about 15 miles to make up from the previous evening we decided to make this a long ride and try to make up the 15 miles. We set off just after 9am after packing the clothes that we had washed and hung up the previous evening.

We set off heading south, until we nearly got back to Merthyl Tidfil. we then went north up the cycle route heading towards Breacon. As we started to cross the Breacon Beacons and the cycle track turned from solid road to slightly rougher track. The views were wonderful of trees surrounding us while were were in the Brecon Beacons National Park. We stopped on a bridge to have a break and take some pictures.

We had a stunning view of Pontsticill Resovior and what initially looked like an old building. However the more we looked at this building the more like a prison it looked. Phil spotted a steam train quite close and a small detour would have taken us the to station for this train. Phil expressed an interest in going so that he could get some photo’s for this son. Phil explained that his son really liked trains. I was not bothered either way, but Mark seemed concerned with the time and the distance that we had to cover that day. So we headed off in the opposite direction, towards our destination for that day.

I tried to get as good a picture of the train as I could from that distance. unfortunately my camera only had a x3 optical zoom. As we continued the track got thinner and rougher. We stopped on top of a very thin but tall bridge, with very tall trees coming out of the stream below.

We continued and climbed over the Breacon Beacons where we met some more cyclists. This was our first view of the nice scenery of mountains, but this will not be the last. We continued over the Breacon Beacons and on to a lock on a canal, we decided to stop there for lunch. once again I got my cooking things out and made my rice dish. Once we finished our food we washed up packed up and continued.

As we hadn’t travelled as far as we were expecting the previous day and we knew there were big climbs ahead we decided to make up the distance. We knew that that day was the day to make up the distance as it was the flattest terrain of all the days that we were doing.

We pushed on and made up the distance on the relatively flat land. During the afternoon there was one big long hill that really tested us. Luckily with the distace that we covered this was the only big hill of the afternoon. We arrived at Builth Wells pretty exhausted. We stopped at the shops for supplies.

After stocking up on supplies we struggled on to the Campsite near Disserth.

Our camp site was opposite a pretty church. Phil expressed an interesting in drawing the church, so he sat his tent up to face the chuch and Mark and I arranged our tents around Phil’s tent.

After setting up our tents we cooked our food, discussed the day including the big hill that we encountered. We also disussed the Cambrian mountains, which would have to assend the following day.

A hot chocolate with Mark’s whiskey in and an early night was in order. The two reasons for this was our exhaustion from the day and the unrelentless midges. We tried talking with our tents closed but I fell asleep before I knew it.

Day 3 >

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