It’s only four point five hours until we catch the train to Holyhead. Exciting stuff. Will definitely be vlogging through the entire journey, with all the triumphs and tears – with the latter most likely from me.
I think I have everything. I’m using a duvet cover as a sleeping bag, I guess it might be colder, but much lighter which I may or may not live to regret. Two pairs of underwear, totally enough for five days, and the odd bag of Haribo (just for the train up).
Still haven’t sorted out a place to stay on the last night, seems that bunkhouses just don’t answer their phones on a Sunday… I’m realising that a serious amount of prep has not occurred.
Okay, lots to do. Tweets will be available throughout the trip along with some interesting notes on the variety of towns, villages and hamlets we go through.
Otherwise, see you on the other side.
So the basic itinerary is complete:
Day 1: Holyhead – Caernarfon (41miles)
Day 2: Caernarfon – Machynlleth (79miles)
Day 3: Machynlleth – Swyddffynnon (37miles)
Day 4: Swyddffynnon – Brecon (78miles)
Day 5: Brecon – Cardiff (55miles)
This should be interesting but there’s lots of time so we can take it slow and enjoy ourselves too. I’ve organised the first night’s stay, but am still to sort out Tuesday and Thursday. Should be quite easy though.
Right, time to get out of the sluggard sofa and do something productive.
Just organised our first day which ends in Caernarfon, staying at Totters. Being the vile student that I am, I phoned to ask for a discount and was instantly shot down, so not much point in trying again. But £16 for the night is pretty good and you get a lot for it too including a secure place for the bikes. Now I’ve seen some pictures online, I realise that my father and I stayed here the last time and I remember it having a friendly atmosphere with people coming and going.
Take a look at the fourteenth century dining area:
Well, it’s that time of my life again: to do Holyhead to Cardiff!
I attempted and succeeded just over four years ago, and decided to give it another shot. I am so excited, but I’ve literally got three weeks to organise everything that my father did for me last time.
So, I’m thinking of giving five days, Monday – Friday, for leisure’s sake. The only problem with this is that it’s gonna be a tad expensive with all those over-night stays, but thankfully I have grandparents living in mid-Wales who hopefully (I’m yet to ask) will give me and my mate free board and lodging. Yep, still not out of the nest quite yet.
Routes to Ride gives a recommended itinerary for the ride, splitting it into eight stages:
Stage 1: Holyhead to Caernarfon (41 miles).
Stage 2: Caernarfon to Porthmadog (29 miles).
Stage 3: Porthmadog to Dolgellau via Barmouth (35 miles).
Stage 3A: Porthmadog to Dolgellau via Trawsfynydd (29 miles).
Stage 4 : Dolgellau to Machynlleth via Corris (15 miles).
Stage 4A: Dolgellau to Machynlleth via Mawddach Trail and Tywyn (36 miles).
Stage 5: Machynlleth to Llanidloes via Dylife (24 miles).
Stage 6: Llanidloes to Builth Wells via Rhayader (32 miles).
To finish at Chepstow:
Stage 7: Builth Wells to Abergavenny via Glasbury and Gospel Pass (40 miles)
Stage 8: Abergavenny to Chepstow (27 miles)
To finish at Cardiff:
Stage 7: Builth Wells to Brecon via Talgarth (32 miles)
Stage 8: Brecon to Cardiff via the Taff Trail (55 miles)
I’m going to train it up to Holyhead from Cardiff at 5:10am – yep, that’s pretty insane, but there’s no changes and only £17. I’ve just booked the ticket with National Rail Enquiries, and they have a handy page explaining all the details of taking a bike on the train. According to the Train Companies page, Arriva Trains Wales allow cycles on for free:
Cycles are carried free of charge on all services subject to space being available. Cycle spaces may also be reserved on trains shown in timetables as seat reservations possible. This service is also free of charge. Cycles are not carried on Cardiff suburban services arriving in Cardiff between 07.30-09.00 or departing Cardiff between 16.00-18.00 Monday to Friday. Folding cycles are carried on all services if fully folded.
The only issue now is looking for good places to stay in or around Caernarfon, for dirt cheap.