It has been a long while since Sir and I had a long bike-trip together, so the pup was feeling very excited to finally be heading off for our long planned tour of Snowdonia and North Wales...!
The dog had worked hard to arrange some nice weather (I might, in fact, have slightly overdone it, as it turned out to be the hottest week of the year so far...!), so we packed light and started off early to give us a nice long, slow ride up through the country...
Sir took us up through Ledbury and Leominster first, then made a very welcome stop at the Westonbury Mill Water Gardens for tea and cake. It was then on to Rhayader and LLanidoes, were we joined the B4518 to run up through mid Wales - and a breathless stop beside the absolutely stunning Llyn Clwedog reservoir - although we sadly just missing closing time for the caffi, and had to make do with a mint from the pup's pocket instead...!
A short ride took us onto the A470 - and Sir's second favourite road in Wales, as it gently winds its way up into the Snowdonia National Park. It was a perfect road for biking: long sweeping roads that gently rise over moorlands and up into the mountains, with every corner opening up a whole new breathaking vista before us... It was a beautiful ride as we zoomed past the Llyn Trawsfynydd and on to Blaenau Ffestiniog - with Sir pointing out the mountain quarry were He had recently joined a few of the guys from the Gay Bikers for a day at the spectacular Zip World (which is not a YKK emporium, as you might think, but a breathtaking zip-wire experience...!).
Down from the mountains, it was then into the cooler, tree-lined roads through the Gwydir Forrest, and time for a much needed ice-cream stop amongst all the bikers in Betws-y-Coed to cool ourselves down.
From there, Sir took us onto the A4086, to fly past Glyder Fawr, up over the Pen-Y-Pass and into Snowdon's shadow - then slowly amble past Llanberis and the 'Electric mountain' at Gorsaf Gynhrchu Dinowig before finally making our way to Caernafon and our lovely hotel for the weekend.
We've stayed at The Celtic Royal before, on our way back from Dublin, so we knew that we were going to be treated well - and we were: with a nice big room at the back, overlooking the rock at Afon Cadnant. Feeling a little saddle sore after our long day we checked in, dropped our bags and changed into jeans, then strolled down into the town to stretch our legs. We were surprised to find lots of army vans and a huge Royal Engineers crane beside the castle walls, and two Naval cutters in the Marina together with numerous tents and rib-boats; we later discovered that there was both a special Army Services Day and the ThunderCat Racing festival that weekend.
Hungry by now, we decided to look for food - Sir's first choice was fully booked, but we found a nice table at the Stones Bistro, were Sir had a very nice Pan-fried Haddock, and the pup got adventurous with some absolutely gorgeous Canederli dumplings - and both of us stuffed ourselves cross-eyed with a scrumptious meringue roulade.
We ended what had been an absolutely perfect day by taking a long, cooling stroll around the Castle walls, watching a beautiful sunset. Then it was back to the hotel for shower and bed - although the pup and it's naughty-tongue still managed to keep Sir hot and bothered until way after midnight...