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

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Welsh Odyssey

Camping Date 21-23 May 2021

By Bogger

Restrictions are eased. TFFT. We’re off to Wales.  

Me and the lads that is, not me and Mrs Bogger, oh no no no. We set a date that suited most of us and a weekend away, stopping at Blobby's field, was on the cards again. I booked the Friday off only to be told that the boss’s son was off and I’d have to work. Great.  

We’d all been looking at the weather forecast for the up -coming weekend and it didn’t look good. As we know the weather for the past few weeks has been dreadful. The closer it got to the weekend the less inclined I felt about riding down to mid Wales. I decided on Thursday to throw the Cub in the back of the Berlingo. I really didn’t fancy riding down in torrential rain then setting up camp. I’ve done it when I’ve had to but still not received any medals for it. 

I’m glad I did. The rain when I left work was horrendous and the roads around Manchester were heaving with stationary traffic. It was the same when I made it onto the M56. In all it took me over three and a half hours to get down there, the longest it’s ever taken me. 

Blobby's field has very good drainage but in places there was a fair bit of standing water.  It was easy enough to pitch in a "dry" area. All but three of the other lads had also vanned it down. Surprisingly the Romanian contingent were also in evidence and had not turned up the previous week as they had before. 

The field leads down to the river which is full and muddy from the heavy rains
Bogger's dome tent with tarp stretched over the entrance. Also his shiny new Cub 125

It was good to sit around an open fire, chat rubbish, put the world to rights and drink some beer. Ah the simple things eh? We didn’t go to bed too late as we were all tired from the working week. 

Even though the weather was awful during the night we all stayed warm and dry. We woke to a dull, cold and overcast morning. I can see I’m selling this camping lark to you? 

A ride out was planned for the Saturday. We usually end up at Aberystwyth, on the sea front. Not today. Nige and Ironsides were leading as per usual. We headed out of Rhayader on the A470 towards Builth Wells. We soon made a right turn at LLanwrthwl and headed towards the village of Elan and the reservoirs beyond.  

2 chaps looking at a Honda Cub while another admires the glorious vast hills aand lakes in Wales
Bulbous hills and a winding river in the beautiful Welsh countryside
In a layby a collection of mostly Honda Cubs with riders take a moment in the countryside

With all the rain the water over the dam walls of the reservoirs was impressive. We had a quick stop, natter and Sid fuelled his Cub back up??? Really? We’d only done fifteen miles. 

We continued onwards, into the gathering gloom. At this stage, 11.00 am, it wasn’t raining but the roads were like rivers as the previous night's rain was running off the mountain sides. I think there were eleven of us on the ride out. A full house. No jibbers. 

The roads were almost single track and almost deserted. 

We climbed past the Claerwen reservoir and on towards the village of Ffair-Ross. Before we got there the heavens opened and everyone donned their wet weather gear. Apart from Black Country Pete, who had forgotten his over trousers. Like a fool I took pity on him and gave him mine. I should have known better as later on he accidently (so he says) peed all down the front of them and then forgot to give them back to me. So my over trousers now reside ninety miles from where I need them and probably stink.  

Although the weather was bad the roads and scenery were glorious. Out of Ffair-Ross on the B4343 to Pontrhydfendigaid and a few miles down the same B road we trundled into Tregaron. 

A large tree trunk carving
A chap rooting around in a top box in the town of Tregaron

Here we stopped for an hour and had a butty and a drink and had a natter. The rain was staying away! Good. 

Suitably refreshed and rested we set off again. But not towards Aberystwyth as normal. No, we headed in the opposite direction on unclassified roads in the general direction of Builth Wells. 

Our route took us past the very picturesque reservoir of Llyn Brianne on challenging, fantastic biking roads which were almost devoid of any traffic. The lead riders original route around Brianne was scuppered by a ‘Road ahead closed’ sign. No problem a quick three mile detour saw us come to an abrupt halt as the road we were on petered out to a cliff edge overlooking the water. 

Back again for another detour on roads with no sign posts and we find ourselves on another unclassified ribbon of tarmac and sheep droppings, following the River Towy. We pass through the tiny village of Rhandirmyn and after a few more miles end up in Llandovery and the Owls Nest Tea Room. 

We’re sure Ironsides has shares in this place as we always stop for a brew here. One of our clan, Fat Boy, yes he is fat, was sporting one of them airbag waistcoats. Dangerous Dave, a very fitting name, was very impressed with it. So I managed to acquire for him a much cheaper alternative. He was not impressed and refused to ride with his new safety device fitted to his Cub. Spoil sport. 

A big round Yoga ball wedged between the seat and handlebars of a C90

Time was getting on so we made tracks back to base in Rhayader. Our route back was initially along the A483 towards Builth Wells then onto the B4358 through  Llananfan-Fawr to New Bridge On Wye. The final leg on the A470 back to Rhayader turned into a see who’s  bike is the fastest. Can I just say no speed limits were broken. Not through the lack of trying, but through lack of power. Underpowered 125’s are a giggle. Fat old men really should know better and grow up?  Nah. 

Saturday night we’d booked a couple of tables at the village's one and only curry emporium. Much hilarity ensued when, first my meal didn’t arrive. Then when it did it wasn’t what I ordered. One of the other lads was tucking into my dinner. The waiter tried, unsuccessfully, to convince me that the two meals were very similar. I was doing a lot of moaning and grumbling with the odd threat thrown in for good measure. Woey did offer to give me back the half eaten meal he’d consumed. I deferred his offer. 

Black Country Pete tried to diffuse the situation with some words of Dudley wisdom. "Now look here Bogger,  if it makes you feel any better? Just think of the Lamb you’re eating as a Chicken with a wooly  jumper on". I have no idea how his mind works. It was funny though. 

Back to the campsite and bed. Well, after a couple of more drinks. 

It rained on and off through the night and Sunday morning was again cold and damp. We packed away, said our goodbyes and set off for home in all directions of the compass. As always, a very funny and relaxing weekend with like minded souls. Here’s to next time. 

Bogger 

... A few more images...

A large van with blue tarp stretched and pegged to make a large shelter
Big KTM 990 with a tent behind it
A montage of Honda Cubs of various sizes and ages


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Reader's Comments

Upt'North ¹ said :-
Bogger, glad you've been out.
But you Campin Bikers really do need to try harder to sell it to us other'uns.
Upt'North.
09/06/2021 12:22:44 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Upt' - how's about this...

I want you to imagine sitting outside on a peaceful patch of grass someplace beautiful. The sun is setting over the waters and there's a light gentle breeze. You're sipping a mug of hot tea and your belly is full of Risotto made just the way you like it. As the air cools you step inside your tent, slip into your PJs and settle into your sleeping bag. The distant lowing of cows soothes you into a deep restful sleep.

No?

Imagine you've just spent 35 minutes trying to put up your own accommodation in 40 mph winds and siling rain. Not a single item remains dry, not even your sleeping bag or your PJs. You then spend 15 minutes in a scabby loo trying to dry your hands and your lighter so you can get the stove going. You manage this then pour out a tin of cheap no-name beans for your evening meal as the tent shudders and creaks in the tempest. Your torch has packed up so now you're fumbling in the dark trying to find such things as dry socks at the bottom of your saddle bags, hoping they at least remained dry. They haven't. The wind turns icy and the thin nylon sheet between you and the cold offers no relief. The night is spent shivering with restless sleep interspersed with dead arms and legs and the need to pee every hour.

But at least you know your alive. If you were dead you wouldn't be so goddam miserable.
09/06/2021 19:13:41 UTC
nab301 said :-
Bogger , great write up and lovely photos, @ Ren , you'll have to post up a photo of these "Bikers PJs" I'm finding it hard to picture them ....
Nigel
09/06/2021 21:05:43 UTC
Bogger said :-
You've done it now Nab. We'll have selfies of Ed parading in his PJ's. OMG it brings back images of him being naked having chocolate licked off him, some where in Wales.

Bogger......another nights sleep is lost
09/06/2021 21:21:18 UTC
Borsuk said :-
Thank you Bogger for that mental image.

I shall add it to all the other mental images that I have acquired from this website and I am unable to purge from my brain.
Unfortunately your comment gives rise to another question with associated mental image.

Who or what is doing the licking.

09/06/2021 22:08:36 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I don't own any PJs. Oh, wait, Sharon bought me some knowing full well I'd refuse to wear them and they're still at her place. I have standards you know, and I am raising them for no-one. Instead of PJs you can imagine me sat here in my scruffy shell of a house wearing my skanky t-shirt and a pair of jeans that I've cut the legs off to make into shorts.
10/06/2021 08:28:03 UTC
Ian Soady¹ said :-
Ren - your second set of comments illustrates perfectly why I no longer camp.
10/06/2021 10:13:42 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Camping is like many other things in life Ian. Sometimes (occasionally) it can be truly wonderful, other times downright miserable. We make our choices, also we have to cut our cloth according to the fiscal situation we find ourselves in.
10/06/2021 15:15:42 UTC

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