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Archive for June 28th, 2012

There Be Griffins

Posted by TravellingStrom on June 28, 2012

Mayan Prophecy Countdown

An early start for a change, packed and ready to go just after 8am 🙂 Thanks for everything Paul and Jane(and Jack and Molly), it has been a real pleasure staying here, but I could get too comfortable, so time to move on 🙂 It was only an hour or so to London, but once there it took a bit of time to actually get to the embassy because of the traffic, and I had missed rush hour!! There was a lot of changes about to happen here with the upcoming Olympics, and I have heard a lot of people are heading out of town during that time, don’t blame them 🙂 When I arrived I then had a job finding a park, but managed to squeeze in up a small cul-de-sac, not quite legal, but close enough 😉

Then it was waiting time again, grab a number and wait until that was called to pay for the visa. Then after paying 56GBP, wait again until the number is called again, but it only took 3/4hour and I was back in the street with the final visa in the sequence to get to Asia. It has been nearly a month since I started this process and I have covered some miles, with still a whole lot more to do, before this one gets used!

I was just gearing up when Neil turned up, he was picking up a few of the passports for others, see you on the road or in Kyrgyzstan, just before the crossing 🙂 Now it was time to get out of Dodge so to speak, but this took ages, lunch time peak hour traffic with some road works thrown in and wonders of wonders the sun was out and it was getting hot 🙂 But, an hour later I had managed to get 5km closer to where I needed to go, which in this case was out of the city to the west, it was time to go visit Wales 🙂 I had made contact with Louise’s daughter, apparently they are over in France until Sunday, so I will blow on past and hope to catch up with them later on. I did eventually get out onto a highway west and was soon putting some k’s under the wheels.

I did not really have a plan for this part of the country, but decided to head to Cardiff, then from there head north. I had spoken to a few people and they showed me a few places to ride, and I figured I could ride south to north and cherry pick the two main attractions, the Breton Beacons and Snowdonia National Parks. So, around mid afternoon, I crossed a big bridge and entered Wales, so I decided to fuel up and picked what looks like to me a French servo?? But, it gave me a chance to stop, look at my map and set a destination, I picked a place in the middle of nowhere, just to force my GPS to take me there 🙂

As soon a s I changed the preferences to ignore interstates and major highways on the GPS, I was riding blind, well, not literally, but with the sun and shadows and the narrow lanes, it felt like I was blind, check out what I was in for!

Now, here is a small movie showing what it was like, especially when a car comes around the corner!!!

After this I figured it could be a bit exciting, so I let the following car through and decided to use it as a safety buffer until I worked out how the driving was in this part of the world. They still drive a bit fast, but I guess they live here, so it is normal for them. Another little movie, I nearly had to engage reverse gear here!

It was lucky the signs had both English and Welsh, or I would have no chance understanding them!

But, the sun was out, a real nice day to be riding and although the roads were narrow and I was slow, I was enjoying it 🙂

Not long after this and I entered the Breton Beacons NP, the trees were gone and all that was left was grass, sheep and twisty roads, with a side gale of wind thrown in for good measure!

I was only a few kms away for where I had picked to stay, which was a camping place, when the weather started to change, so I happened to pass a nice pub B&B and stopped to check for rooms. They were full, but the house across the road had rooms, and after talking down the price I ended up staying 🙂 It was a nice little spot, next to a small river and canal system, with a pub next door, what more do you need 🙂

In here I happened to try a couple of the local produce, the first is a bit blurry and is called Ramblers Ruin, both were OK, but after a 1/2 of each I went onto lager 🙂

I saw on the wall an award, I did not even know there was a competition, or I could have put a few names forward, maybe even my own 😉

After a few more beers and a feed, it was footy time again and a few people turned up. A group of canoeists who were canoing down the muddy canal system, it seems they do this on a regular basis, and a group of three German bikers who were obviously going to support their team, but they had no joy, Spain beat them and outplayed them the whole night, but at least it was not a penalty shoot out. The only downer for the night happened when I came to pay the tab, they had agreed for me to pay by credit card, but as it happens in this country, my PIN is never asked for on my credit cards. They would not take a signed receipt and the barman had to get the owners down, this was around midnight! They then started to get antsy with me about it, but I soon told them, it is their bank systems fault not mine, as every other country I had visited asked for a PIN and it was only the UK where my card security has been removed. They gave me some old cock and bull story about it costing them $10GPB every time they present a signed credit card statement, sounds like bull to me because every servo and other shop I have been to have asked ONLY for a signature, but anyway they did manage to force the sale through. So, a bit of a downer to finish the night and maybe that Arsehole award was on the correct wall after all, but there you go, blame the bankers! Tomorrow, I head north to the port city of Holyhead, ready for the trip to Ireland.

Cheers from Talybont-on-Usk, Wales

Posted in Around The World, Eurasia | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

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