The outside of a motorbike engine seen up close near the exhaust

Home Travel StoriesCapel Curig Camping

Coming Home

Ride Date 7 Apr 2019

By Ren Withnell

Last night's sleep was a little warmer. For a while though, not quite as comfortable. 

There are 3 certainties in life. Death, taxes and anything that uses air pressure will get a puncture. This particular air bed hasn't done badly really. It's been around Spain and South Wales as well as several short trips in between. I've probably had my £6 worth out of it. As my hip and shoulder slowly reach the firm ground I realise its time has passed.

Luckily I have a spare lilo. Unluckily it is 0300 and I don't want to fumble around in the dark trying to connect the air pump to the bike and waking everyone up as I inflate it. Luckily I'm full of hot air so it doesn't take long to inflate it with lung pressure. Sharon barely stirs, I doubt she's even noticed my plight.

A standard cheap airbed in Ren's tent
Th'owd airbed has done me well but all things shall pass.

I expected to be ridiculously stiff this morning but surprisingly not. Sharon is worrying me though. She, well, she's awake and only slightly grumpy. I worry when things are going well because things can only go downhill. I pour tea into her which improves her mood even more. I'm really quite scared now.

It takes a while to get the tent down and packed. There's the usual goodbyes to the rest of our camping companions. As we bungee the final bags in place the skies are a dull and heavy grey with a fine light mist. We were hoping for a repeat of yesterday but it isn't to be.

The 2 motorbikes set against misty grey skies in the morning at the campsite
It's dry and not too cold, but rather grey this morning.

The interesting routes are east from here, but we came in that way. I think we'll take the A5 west and north up to the A55, then come off the A55 and find an interesting route eastbound. 

As we leave the campsite I turn left. I must, I really really MUST have been this way before but for some reason I haver never seen this sumptuous and imposing scenery, not like this. Bearing in mind the Ikea effect this is top class riding in a top class setting and only 3 hours from home. I've seen a lot of Britain and yet I've still seen nothing.

Just to put a cherry atop the scrumptious cake the sun comes out. 

The A55 is not really an anticlimax as I know what to expect, more of a coming back to reality. I try to find an interesting route through Abergwyngregyn (really?!) but all I find is dead end roads and a lot of cars parking up to go to Aber falls.

A gravel car park among leafless trees and green hills near Aber Falls
It's pretty but there's no route through. Best turn back.

I come off the A55 again at Llandudno then head into town as Sharon is starting to panic. She's only got 2 "bars" on her fuel gauge which means the bike is going to conk out any minute leaving her stranded at a junction or in the middle of a dual carriage way. The Z250SL has an 11 litre capacity, she puts in about 7 litres. Gosh, there must have been only what, another 80 miles left in the tank...

My thoughts are still with Sharon's simple observation and the Ikea effect. These roads between Llandudno and Denbigh are not as superlative filled as the A5 was this morning but still they are a pleasure. Lush green fields, sheep (of course), hilltops and curvy roads. We're not rushing or racing, we're making sound progress when the conditions allow.

We stop at Denbigh Morrisons for dinner (dinner, the midday meal, not lunch you heathens). The rest of the ride is uneventful which is a good thing. Uneventful means we arrive home safely and without incident or disaster. Uneventful might not make for exciting blog posts but it is something I have learnt to be thankful for. 

This weekend has been a good weekend. And my tent didn't collapse. Sorted.


If you have a travelogue to share contact ren@bikesandtravels.com

Getting To Gwern Ren is hoping this trip goes better than the last one. Sharon has been replaced by aliens. Just another ordinary weekend then.
The Ikea Effect, Breathlessly. Ren is getting Zen as well as realising he's not the man he still thinks he used to be. Is appreciation relative to effort?
Coming Home How did Ren never realise what a great road the A5 is? Anyway, he'd best get home.

Reader's Comments

Bob said :-
I discovered the secret to riding in Wales years ago - take the longest route you can possibly justify between where you are and where you want to be.
I have a regular spot in Penmachno, I can get there in just over 3 hours, but I prefer to get there in 6 hours!
There is something magical about the land of Wales, I don't get that feeling anywhere else.

20/4/2019 6:52:08 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
There is a certain "feeling" I have for Wales, a good feeling. For me it stems from a lifetime of memories starting as a child holidaying in Criccieth then as a teen-ager venturing into the wild unknown on a Honda H100. Through young man trips to rallies and weekends away with friends and girlfriends.

What surprises me is just how little I still know of this familiar place and how much I still enjoy discovering it. It's a lovely treat to have such an area within reach.
21/4/2019 6:23:04 AM UTC

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