Wales 2019 report thread.

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DJ.
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Wales 2019 report thread.

Postby DJ. » Mon Sep 23, 2019 5:06 pm

We just returned form an EPIC four day tour to Wales. Graham asked me to do a write up, so I will, but I'm hoping others will post photos and video. I don't take video and didn't take many photos as I was too busy enjoying the driving and banter :)

Day 1 (Friday)

I was lucky, I stayed with my daugher in Hook, so I only had to get up at 4am. The others were meeting at Newlands corner at least 45 minutes away at 4. Graham said we had to leave that early to make it to brakfast at 8.15.

I waited in a layby on the A30 for 20 minutes in the dark! It was damned cold, so I kept the engine on to start, but soon turned it off. I then realised I was surrounded by woods and there was alot of activity going on. Owls hooting, foxes make a racket and loud cracking noises. It's lucky I'm not easily spooked :lol:

Anyway just before 5am, a large lorry came past followed by Graham, Steve, Roger, Matt and Neil. I'd heard something on the radio so I was quick to join them. The first few hours were rather a blur as I had a migraine, but I do remember Matt's throttle cable getting stuck at the first petrol stop. There was a loud rev and then silence as he cut the ignition. Within 10 minutes he had it replaced 8-)

We headed onto the M4 and headed to Wales. Not a great part of the route, but we needed to get it over so we could drive some better roads after breakfast. As we drove along, it became blindingly obvious that we had started an hour too early.........Graham was to get a fair bit of stick over this as you can imagine!

We arrived just after 7am at the Premier Inn near Newport, and went in to warm up. Linda and Ken had stayed the night (very sensible) and weren't expecting us so early. We did wait for them before starting our well earned breakfast.

After breakfast, we headed north via Merthyr Tydfil and Brecon. The EU has been funding some new roads, they aren't on my satnav, so I missed an exit along with almost everyone else. They don't seem to like building exits though, it was bl**dy miles to a roundabout and then a few miles back to get off the damned road :evil:

We headed on to the A 483, a scenic road with nice flowing corners and unfortunately a huge amount of traffic. It is almost completely bereft of cafes, or even roadside burger vans, so it was a long slow run until Steve found a nice wooden cafe in a layby. By this time is was very sunny and warm.

After we rejoined the traffic heading for the A5 and Llangollen, I was at the back and starting to lose the will to live. In the end I turned left and did that most dangerous thing, I set the satnav to choose shortest route to the fuel stop. I discovered some extremely narrow roads, one of which became a green lane with a hand written sign "No through road". Here's a photo taken only 1 mile from Llangollen:

07_wales_trip_19_05.jpg


I arrived at the pertol stop expecting to be miles behind, but then saw Steve and Graham. I thought they must have stopped but there had been a long tail back from Llangollen along the A5, so the long cut did turn out to be quicker after all.

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Re: Wales 2019 report thread.

Postby DJ. » Mon Sep 23, 2019 5:54 pm

Day 2

This started at the Bryn Howell Hotel Llangollen, and followed a route that Mark did for a road trip many years ago. Thanks Mark, it is aging well!

The morning dawned bright and sunny. Breakfast was chaos with terrible service from a young girl who couldn't stop yawning, and brought cups without saucers when we asked for them. The older lad, was incapable of bringing the correct breakfasts despite having carefully written down all the details! At least it tasted good once it appeared :)

Here is a view of the car park:

07_wales_trip_19_09.jpg


Sorry this is going to have to be a load of short posts as the forum is buggering me about!

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Re: Wales 2019 report thread.

Postby graham b » Mon Sep 23, 2019 5:57 pm

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Re: Wales 2019 report thread.

Postby DJ. » Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:04 pm

Having left the hotel, we headed to the A5 and on down to the road to Bala. We lost Neil half way down the A5 as he had his satnav on "scenic route", he had a nice dive through Oswestry :)

The road to Bala is brilliant (or Epic as some may say). I had a clear run for miles, and eventually caught Steve, Roger, Graham and an AMG C43 hot on their heals. The final run up the side of the valley and over the top was clear. Steve was stting a good pace and the Merc was trying everything to keep up. In the bends he dropped back, but he wouldn't let me past. He was cutting corners and I could here his engine over mine. I just looked the car up and he had 390 bhp to my 125, but it was a bit of a porker :lol:

We then drove alongside the lake and up Hellfire pass (now renamed something silly by the Welsh) and stopped at the top to regroup:

07_wales_trip_19_14.jpg


07_wales_trip_19_15.jpg


07_wales_trip_19_16.jpg


And Matt tried some off roading:

07_wales_trip_19_19.jpg

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Re: Wales 2019 report thread.

Postby DJ. » Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:09 pm

Coffee was at hotel with a friendly but rather odd owner that Graham calls Mr Benn. We sat outside and Graham treated us all to a very nice coffee (or tea) thanks Graham. Here is the view from the car park:
07_wales_trip_19_23.jpg


From there we headed to the Elan Valley. It is always beautiful, but Steve and Roger had got ahead, and Matt was following with me behind. We were making good progress until Matt spotted them up the road, and move up a gear. The loevely weather, scenery and having to really concentrate to keep up as Matt realed the two Elises in was one of my most memorable drives :mrgreen:

The lunch stop at two the Two Hoots cafe at Devil's Bridge was really nice and there was a large display of pre war MGs lined up for our delectation :)
Last edited by DJ. on Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Wales 2019 report thread.

Postby DJ. » Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:17 pm

The afternoons road were even more EPIC. Very little traffic too :)

Eventually we reached the Mountain Road across the Black Mountain. I had got to the front as I hadn't lost my way, so I stopped at the bottom to take some photos of the other runners. Coincidently, as I parked an immaculate Mazda 1000 parked up, and we got chatting. It turns out was a local called Richard Jones, and when he heard where I was from he asked, do you know a Craig from Eastbourne? I said yes, and it turns out that he had bought a Striker from Craig in the past. It's a small world!

Here are the photos:

07_wales_trip_19_24.jpg


07_wales_trip_19_26.jpg


07_wales_trip_19_27.jpg


07_wales_trip_19_28.jpg


07_wales_trip_19_29.jpg

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Re: Wales 2019 report thread.

Postby DJ. » Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:25 pm

The car park at the top was very busy with cars and bikers. There were also four Porsches that were unbelievably slow and held Matt and Neil up all the way to the top! I had a clear run up to the top trying to catch everyone up. The hairpin was great fun :)

From there we headed south to Brynaman and along the boring road east until we could head north up to Brecon (an empty fast road), and make our way to the (as ever) deserted military road. I only saw one vehicle and that was a Land Rover coming the other way with his hand stretched out giving us all the thumbs up. I enjoyed trying and failing to catch Roger in his Elise ntil he was held up and then followed him all the way to Llandrindrod Wells for our evening stop.

A brilliant route in perfect weather. We were tired but very relaxed over and excellent dinner :)

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Re: Wales 2019 report thread.

Postby DJ. » Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:42 pm

Day 3

The forecast for Sunday was awful, and it was raining when we left. I had my half hood on for the first time, but took it down when we stopped to regroup at the Elan valley reservoirs:

07_wales_trip_19_31.jpg


07_wales_trip_19_32.jpg


Soon after restarting the rain returned, and I started getting damp. It was too much fun to stop though so on we went. Matt was leading at a good pace as usual. It was very bumpy, and my satnav mount actually sheared off! Matt had a close encounter with a bullock that was walking up the road follwed by a car coming the other way. For a moment it looked like it was going to take him on, but then decided to climb the bank. It still gave me the evil eye as I drove by though. After the reservoirs we rejoined the great road to Devil's bridge that we had driven the day before. Strangely there was more traffic and the wet roads added to the challenge. Matt had a bit of a scare when he hit the accelerator and brake trying to stop for a van being driven in an agressive fashion. It looked like the other driver would have been happy to have an accident.

By devil's Bridge we wanted a rest so returned to the Two Hoots for coffee. No MGs and very few people in the rain but the gents was fill of hundreds of flies. I decided I didn't need to go!

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Re: Wales 2019 report thread.

Postby DJ. » Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:59 pm

We continued on twisting technical B and unclassified roads as a group. Good fun and the whole time the weather was improving. I was too hot with the hood, so I was glad when Steve spotted the Gwili steam railway for a spot of tea and carrot cake. It was a lovely spot with a friendly lady running it. A lucky find in a country with very few cafes!

Once restarted, we soon found ourselves on the Black Mountain Road again. This time the car park wasn't as busy, so we stopped for an ice cream:

07_wales_trip_19_35.jpg


07_wales_trip_19_36.jpg


And then onto petrol and our B&B near Merthyr Tydfil. We had a nice last dinner together having travelled to the restaurant in a taxi that definitely wouldn't have passed an MOT.

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Re: Wales 2019 report thread.

Postby DJ. » Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:12 pm

Day 4

Ken left for home as the route didn't suit his journey. Linda came part of the way, nearly to Gloucester before pealing off. Being a Monday the traffic wasn't great and we had to make progress on A roads, so it wasn't the best day. The weather was good though. I'd started without hood in light drizzle, but soon I decided I should have put my sunglasses on.

It was lucky we had said our goodbyes at the start because everyone became separated even before I headed to the A34 and A272 to return to Eastbourne. Annoyingly, I think I was caught by a mobile speed camera on the A40, so I'll probably be receiving some unwelcome post soon. I can't have been more than 10 mph over the limit, but I have done well to have made it so long after my last fine in 1995 :roll: . The heavens opened soon after I put my Seven in the garage so my luck wasn't all bad!

Anyway, it was a great tour and although the Sunday weather wasn't brilliant, I only had the hood up for about two hours driving during the whole four days.


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