A motorcycle parked in front of a tent on a pleasant green campsite

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Ride Date 29 Jun 2019

By Ren Withnell

Yesterday I'd spotted some waterfalls near Talybont Reservoir. They're about 7 miles away, too far to walk but Sharon is adamant she wants to see them. Not from the back of a bike, to walk around and see them properly. She's right. The only way to see something properly is to actually walk around it. Harumph.

She hops onto the back of my 500, looks like she's in site-seeing mode today not motorcycling mode. Fine. We meander the way we went yesterday and soon spot the waterfalls from the roadside. I pull into the car park at Blaen y Glyn Uchaf.

Sharon's got her kevlar jeans on, I'm wearing my kevlar combats so the pants department is comfortable enough to walk in. Bike boots aren't ideal but they'll do. Jackets and helmets, nope, too warm. I lock them to the bike with a long wire cable, it doesn't look like rain but we're screwed if it does. You know, I think we're sorted for a short walk at least. 

Sharon poses like a supermodel in her bike pants, vest, sunglasses and boots
Supermodel Ms Parker is ready for her stroll.

There is a beaten track but Sharon wants to get up close and personal so we're scrambling over rocks and grass and mud. In spite of my reservations I begrudgingly have to admit standing here in the cool moist air, deep in the cut made by the waterfall, surrounded by rocks and trees and water, I can feel at ease.

In the small ravine made by the small waterfall all is green and lush
Admittedly it is worth the effort to get here.

We scrabble down the watercourse a little more. Tufts of hardy grass, a patch of boggy mud, over the boulder and hang on to the moss covered tree as the ground is slippery here. Be thankful bike boots are (sort of) waterproof as I squelch into another bog. I feel like Laura Croft in the jungle. Admittedly I can still see the proper path up above us though.

A landslide or winter storm, maybe even a logging incident has felled a large clump of trees across the ravine. This happened recently enough that the trunks are still solid, long enough ago for moss to start growing. I dare Sharon to shimmy across, I can see she's tempted, I can see she's considering the challenge to her bravery. Luckily for both of us she's mature enough now to realise I'm just a horrible nasty man.

Fallen trees lie across the gorge formed by the waterfalls all covered in mosses
It's like a jungle out there I tell ya!

Curses. After the trees there's a hillside meadow covered in long grasses and flowers. As soon as I see it I know all hope is lost. Off she skips to take her pictures and run her hands through the grasses. She needs a long flowing cotton dress and a garland of daisies in her hair to complete the cliché. I just wander very very slowly in the opposite direction, back to the bike. She'll come running when she realises she might get lost.

an area between the trees is filled with deep lush vegatation and sharon is off exploring
That's it, I've lost her, might as well go home.

We follow the same route as yesterday, back to the outskirts of Merthyr Tydfil and back to the same Asda for supplies. After the Asda though we detour around Merthyr and head westbound this time, for a change and to see what is what.

The A465 west leads us to Glynneath where I turn off and take the A4109 to Caehopkin. I find the A4067 north. 

This is obviously one of those "biker" roads. How do you know? When 4 motorcyclists on loud sportsbikes overtake Sharon and I on questionable corners. We continue at our medium pace, being overtaken once more but in a much safer manner by a couple aboard a modern triumph.

I spot a parking area with a view so I pull in for a rest and a photo opportunity. It's been hot again today yet here on this hill with a little light cloud cover and a firm breeze it's quite pleasant. I'm lying on the grass chilling out while bikes and riders come and go. Work and bills seem other worldly as I almost drift off to sleep, this confuses Sharon I'm sure, I'm always on the go and ready to go.

A reservoir and valley in the rolling countryside of the brecon beacons
Cooler and hazy here overlooking Cray Reservoir

It ends up being Sharon "gee-ing" me along. We're back on the road and I can see why it's popular, it is a pleasure to ride. Nothing too gnarly, more like open corners with good views across the Brecon Beacons. 

This evening we're going to dine out. Back at the site we get changed into something a little more appropriate. Cor blimey! Sharon has a dress on, lovely. We walk down into the village and into the pub. It's busy, the meals aren't what we're looking for and neither are the prices. 

Not to worry, we go into the next pub. "There's at least an hour's wait, if you really want to stay?" Erm, nope. The next pub is a couple of miles away and it's likely that will be the same too. Ho well sweetie, looks like we'd best get to the shop before it closes. 

In actual fact ham slices and cheese slices on croissants washed down with sharp fresh orange juice while sat on a bench outside the shop hits the spot just right. To be honest I didn't want any more than this, I don't think Sharon did either. We talk a while as the sun loses its intensity and the air becomes fresh once more. It is a long walk back as we're happy just to dawdle and gaze.

One of the farm cats, a bit skinny yet otherwise healthy looking, is seeking our attention. A lot of attention. Way more than is natural for a cat. This gets worse once Sharon feeds it the last of the ham slices. When we retire to the caravan and close the door it remains outside, howling for a while. Sharon feels guilty, I have to have firm words otherwise we'll be sharing the bed with a mangy cat.

A cat lying relaxed on the grass by the caravan
Way way way way too friendly this cat.


Contact ren@bikesandtravels.co.uk if you want to know anything about this site.

Sunshine And Mould With scorching temperatures forecast in a change to the usual script Sharon and Ren are booked into a Gypsy Caravan. Can you guess how that's going to turn out?
Somewhere Between Heaven and Merthyr Tydfil What can the Brecon Beacons offer and is Merthyr Tydfil as bad as the media would have us believe? The Dynamic Muppets find out to save you the trouble.
More Brecon Beacons It's all waterfalls and nature today with a little motorcycling thrown in.
Going Home With Elan, Valley The Elan Valley. Over-hyped or actually worthy of it's accolades? Sharon and Ren check it out on their way home.

Reader's Comments

Upt'North said :-
Do cats howl?
My only surprise is she didn't put you out and the cat in.
Upt'North.
21/7/2019 2:24:25 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
She didn't with this cat but her own cat at her house does outrank me, by several ranks too.
21/7/2019 9:09:58 PM UTC

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