Weekend in Wales

An imposing Victorian house stands sentinel before the bend on the Bala road, announcing the end of the long journey to the Bikers Retreat. In twos & threes the 9 bikes found their way to Dolgellau, Snowdonia National Park. After some careful motorcycle Tetris all were squeezed into the covered bike shed, with one accompanying car left forlornly in the rain

Hosts Nigel and Tiv made us welcome for three nights, providing comfortable rooms, home-cooked evening meals and biker-friendly full Welsh breakfasts. Accomplished riders themselves, on Saturday Nigel and Tiv book-ended a challenging loop through Bala, the Llyn Brenig Reservoir (the Visitor Centre offering refreshments with beautiful views over the water), and the former Llechwedd Slate Caverns. The clouds gathered in the afternoon, and at altitude we were soon enveloped in drizzle. With rain settling in for the rest of the day, Nigel led us back using the direct route to Dolgellau via the A470

Evenings were spent in the cosy bar, where ale, Guinness, cider, wine and improbable tales were enjoyed. Precipitation was forecast, but its variety – mist, mizzle, drizzle, showers & occasional rain – caught some by surprise. However, the scenery is breathtaking (if you have time to glance at it) and the roads are extremely well maintained and afford great grip. True, there is the odd sheep wondering whether to cross the single track road under your wheels to nibble the greener grass on the other side, but this is terrific biking country

Thanks to Martin Pinion for suggesting this weekend and to Janet Pinion for organizing it

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