Tuesday, 29 September 2015

In the Mountains, Moors and Valleys of North East Wales

Exploring in the late summer/autumn sunshine. 

Abandoning all plans last Saturday, I retreated to the garden with a good book and the weekend newspaper to bask in the late summer/early autumn sunshine.

On Sunday we had plans to meet with a Gold Wing biker friend at the Ponderosa Cafe on the Horseshoe Pass at Llantysilio above Llangollen. For a change we forsook the glories of the Dee Valley and headed north towards Mold. before reaching Mold we turned onto the A5104 Chester - Corwen road which would take us over the Llandegla Moors from whence we would arrive at the Ponderosa Cafe from the other side.
The Ponderosa Cafe, I must explain, is not only a meeting place for bikers of all kinds including cyclists, it also serves the most delicious food at a most reasonable price. To give you a picture of how high up it is, the gift shop is named 'Shop in the Clouds'.

Travelling along the winding country road through Pontybodkin towards Llandegla, we revelled in the changing scene of the autumn colours in the trees. The sunshine glinted through the leaves as we climbed higher and higher. The moors were covered with purple heather. Rounding a bend, we saw the land drop sharply to our left into the green valley below. The changing  seasons provide a different view as the land reveals a different face to the world. 

Eventually, reaching a succession of roundabouts and crossroads at Llandegla, we headed towards Llangollen. At the last roundabout there is a farm which makes cider. It is called 'Rosie's Cider'. Along the narrow A542 we climbed, admiring the yellow gorse which now covered the mountainsides, eventually reaching our destination.
   'Wow, look at all the bikes! And the cars!' The sides of the road was littered with cars where people had parked up as a base for their walk over the moors. Turning into the Ponderosa Cafe, we could see that there was hardly any space left to park up. In addition to the many bikers, cyclists were more in evidence that ever as they tackled the mountain roads. There is a two-hour restriction on parking and believe me it is needed, such is the constant flow of bikers looking for a break. They also come for biking talk and to stand in admiration at the many models.

We came home our usual way, travelling over the Pass, through Llangollen to home.
Monday dawned as sunny as ever. After making a poor effort at work, I pleaded for a day out in the sunshine. My hubby did not need persuading simply asking if it was too late to go to Betws-y-Coed in the heart of Snowdonia.

Taking the same route as the previous day, we again enjoyed and marvelled at the beauty of the countryside. Reaching Llandegla, we carried on to Corwen where we turned onto the A5 road to Betws-y-Coed. One of my favourite spots is just outside the village near the Conwy Falls. The vista across to the left is so beautiful I could sit and drink it in forever.Enjoying a late lunch in the Bridge Bar Lounge at the Waterloo Hotel and Spa we decided to forgo a dessert and have an icecream from our local shop. It is a while since we have eaten here but the food was as delicious as ever.

I can't say much about the ride home as I fell asleep! But what a wonderful treat at the end of summer. And, we did enjoy our ice cream.

Rosalie xx