Camchain and tensioner seen up close in a cutaway bike engine

Home Travel StoriesA Winter Weekend In Wales

Not A Lot To Say In The Best Possible Way

Not Much Riding Dates 11 and 12 February 2024

By Ren Withnell

We're not riding this morning we're going for a walk, gosh darn it. I hesitate to admit this in public, alas I fear I must. Motorcycling is an excellent way to explore an area but to really see a place properly, painful though it is, walking has it's advantages. You can poke your nose into more places and there's time to see, when riding things whizz by and a good portion of your attention needs to be on the road and traffic. I know I'm gunna regret putting that in writing.

Montage of Sharon photographing Ren and Ren photographing Sharon at Cynwyd
I'm watching you...

It's cool and dry outside although the ground is damp from frost and possibly some overnight rain. From the apartment we head uphill on a narrow lane with moss and mud in the middle. Sharon is gleefully obsessing and photographing moss on the drystone walls, each and every plant that's trying to flower at this time of year, and any other natural phenomenon. She's a hippy I tell ya. 

Montage of mosses, snowdrops, ferns and floiage from the walk
She takes a good nature picture. Hippy.

I'm more interested in the construction of the random ramshackle buildings we spot away in woods and fields. What was it for, was it ever used, how many other buildings have been built then disintegrated back into the dirt and rocks and mud? It's too easy to become maudlin at the comings and going of buildings then relate them to the comings and goings of people's lives. It's also liberating to think all this too shall pass and in the greater scheme of the universe - none of this matters at all so don't take it so seriously.

We roam across fields, climb over stiles and follow tracks I'm not sure we ought to be following. Eventually we find we've run out of path. I'm tempted to nip through a garden as I can see a road just across the way but Sharon rightfully points out that is someone's garden, their property, their personal space. For fear of getting lost and making a huge detour we sensibly return the way we came.

There are some splendidly curious properties in Cynwyd. A house by the bridge where water washes around the foundations. A rather smart bungalow with a cool garage causes envy. Old terraced cottages cut into the hillside. There is a selection of very ordinary properties too, it's not all curios and quirkies. At the bottom of the village is a large river with an large old stone bridge. 

A river runs right by and between houses, a stone bridge
Random properties fascinate me.
A 4 span stone arch bridge over a broad river, the River Dee
The River Dee.

While writing this I've just learned this is the River Dee. This runs all the way from Llyn Tegid at Bala, forms part of the Welsh-English border in places, and runs through Llangollen, Chester and into the sea at Deeside. Well I never knew that. More pictures are taken and by the time we return to the accommodation I'm tuckered out. It was worth the effort.

The afternoon is spent with a short trip to Corwen and a bite to eat in a cafe there, Yum Yums. After that with Sharon on the back of my bike we take a detour back to the digs via Ruthin and the B5105 to Cerrigydrudion. The evening passes much the same as last night with a few snacks, some TV, and rather excitingly Sharon gave me another glimpse of her ankle. She says if we're ever to marry she might let me touch it. Might, not definitely.

Normally one post on the blog covers one day. However with not a great deal to report for the Sunday and the Monday I'll wrap things up here. 

Monday consists of packing up, ensuring the apartment is in reasonable order before returning the keys to the pub, and riding home via Llangollen, then to Cheshire, a brew at a cafe and back home and back to reality. Please note this does not mean it was dull and disappointing, we had a good ride and a safe journey. It was without incident or note which is always a good thing, just not a lot to write about.

So how would I sum up this short trip? Lovely, comfortable, and lucky, with a tinge of sadness regarding Peggy.

We were incredibly fortunate to dodge the snow. If the snow had arrived a day later we'd have been in the car or possibly not going at all. We've had the odd shower but mostly sunshine, it's been cold but not achingly so, for February we've been blessed. The apartment was a pleasant surprise too being ideal for our minimal needs.  

This part of Wales is quite beautiful, but we know that. The problem with this part of Wales is it's beautiful which attracts tourists and holidaymakers... like us. To see it in summer is fine save for all the other people there to see it in summer. 

Welsh moorland and hills seen on a bright February day
It's a wonderful place to ride, especially if the weather is on your side.

This is the problem with nice places (and things). We all want to go to the nice places so the nice places become filled with people, of which I am part of the problem by being there myself. Because the nice places are busy it puts visitors off going, making it less busy - so I suppose there's an equilibrium at some point? Maybe, right, yeah, get this... maybe we should go to horrible places. Yeah, there'll be no tourists there. 

Looks like my next holiday will be in Bolton?

Concrete shops and drab town Square in Bolton
Come to Bolton they said. It'll be lovely they said.

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Dodging Weather To Wales Ren sets the scene, faces impending disaster, has some luck and then gets lost. All in a day's muppetry for the dynamic halfwit.
Sunshine And Sadness Striking lucky with the weather the dynamic muppets are having a look around North Wales' properties. It's not all glorious though with a bit of bad news.
Not A Lot To Say In The Best Possible Way Walking and some motorcycling with not a lot to report, which is a good thing. Ren is pondering the disadvantages of going to nice places.

Reader's Comments

nab301 said :-
Batof... Bikes and travels on foot doesn't have quite the same ring to it! Good to see you're getting greener, and there's nothing like a bit of moss on a dry stone wall . I have much of the above in my own garden apart from the dry stone wall and even have Lichen growing on my 23 year old car so maybe I should stay at home and save the planet!
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28/03/2024 16:12:24 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Now I know this is the pot calling the kettle but... have you considered washing your 23 year old car nab301?
29/03/2024 14:59:31 UTC
nab301 said :-
I wash it regularly with harvested rainwater which is obviously why nature is thriving on it.... my thinking is it might earn me a derogation from the inevitable Ulez charges (not yet implemented in my part of the world) due to being an environmentally friendly fossil fuel burner!
29/03/2024 16:20:00 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
So the thinking is "it covered in moss therefore it's natural and environmentally friendly"?

Therein lies the debate. Is it "better" for the world to keep running an old car, maximizing its use rather than the disposable vehicles of today? Are batteries really the way to go? Oh lordy I'm opening a whole can of worms right there.
02/04/2024 07:43:56 UTC
nab301 said :-
Environmentally friendly or not, older cars in general are being forced off the road by inflated insurance premiums.
last year I actually sent that photo to a nature column in a local newspaper with the tongue in cheek comment about being environmentally friendly and it was published with the following reply ;

"You have indeed got lichen, as well as a line of green moss above the lichen. While mosses need some soil or humus particles in the groove to hold moisture for their rhizoid-type rootlets, lichen have no roots at all and get all their nourishment from the air and the rain. So, your car must be being kept where the air is clean and the rain pure. All very environmentally friendly as long as you don’t actually drive it."
02/04/2024 13:27:49 UTC
Upt'North ¹ said :-
They have a point.
02/04/2024 16:21:24 UTC
Lesrev said :-
Hmm, lots of cans of fishing bait here..

We found the lichen in the picture on a favourite route away from (most of) the rest of the human race - within easy reach of Chester, Ren, and a lovely trip on a bike - my Serow is ideal. (Hint: Go through Bala and explore a right turn before the next village).

Just because you burn dinosaur-created fuel doesn’t mean you’re not “green” in other ways. Yes, my car looks a bit like that, Nigel!
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29/05/2024 19:44:24 UTC
nab301 said :-
Excellent les , a lovely photo.

30/05/2024 12:41:31 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Very artistic Lesrev, Sharon may have some competition. I think I've been along the road of which you speak, but I don't know the area well.
03/06/2024 07:12:33 UTC

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