Thursday, 19 July 2012


The cycle path beside the River Dyfi leading into Machynlleth was completely covered in cow pats.  There were so many that it was impossible to navigate around them.  It is at times like this that you realise nature has the upper hand.

I left Llandudno, a mixture of Victorian grandeur and pre-war suburbs and cycled back into Snowdonia.  I passed under the ramparts of Conwy Castle and at Betws-y-Coed found many visitors on real and imagined adventures on their ways into the hills.  At Blaenau Ffestiniog the hills had been carved into quarries where some of the finest slate in the World still comes from.

Further on at Trawsfynedd, a redundant nuclear power station stands sentinal overlooking a lake of the same name.  However by looking south, the lake is incredibly beautiful.  The cycle path winds alongside it and cars on the nearby highway completely miss this spectacular scenery.

My overwhelming impression was that I was cycling through Snowdonia's finest scenery as I headed for Dolgellau and Cader Idris.  It was 150 years ago that gold was dug from the River Mawddach but it is not possible to see this anymore as the river had reclaimed its rightful place.  The cycle path wound its way up again into the hills.

Machynlleth was 70 miles from Llandudno.  It believes that it is the true centre of Wales.  It sits nestled in the hills and feels like a proper community.  I stayed at The White Lion Coaching Inn for the second time having cycled through here twice before.  The imposing Victorian clock tower in the centre of town was funded by local people and is a fine monument.

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