Monday, 28 August 2017

The Horseshoe Pass, Llangollen. in Summer.

Another ride out to an old favourite.

Sunday saw us heading into the hills again, Our destination was the Ponderosa Cafe on the Horseshoe Pass, above Llangollen.

As it is Bank Holiday weekend as I write this, we decided to change our usual route down the A5 trunk road - the old historic coach route from London to Holyhead on Anglesey for the ferry to Ireland. Instead we turned the other way, heading northwards towards the town of Mold - Yr Wyddgrug in Welsh - on the River Alyn. 

Reaching Pontblyddyn we turned off the road to take the Corwen Road. This part of the journey is so beautiful as you travel through quiet villages and roads bordered by leafy trees. Rising higher the road opens out as you reach the Llandegla moors. Being a fine day, there were many motorbikers about, leaning themselves and their powerful machines to the bends in the road, zooming along as they enjoyed the freedom of being at one with the world. An experience enjoyed by bikers.

Reaching the top of the moors we soon came to the Ponderosa Cafe at the summit of the Horseshoe Pass. As expected the car park was thronged with bikers but we were astonished to also see a great number of cars - more than usual. Many opt to eat outside with the take-away food, even a full Sunday Lunch, but we opted for the comfort of an inside seat. As Allen paid for  our sandwich and cold drinks I found an empty table inside and we waited for our Gold Wing biker friend from way back. This meeting is usually a monthly arrangement.

I took the opportunity to browse in well-stocked Shop in the Clouds gift shop where i bought two tea-towels relating to Wales. After putting the world to rights we made our way through the packed car park that was buzzing with machines of all types and their riders who were enjoying the sunshine. To one side, the footpaths lead into the hills, where many wander off to see more. On the other side, the valley falls away in a rich pattern of lush green fields and sweeping folds in the mountains. We decided to turn left out of the car park and head towards Llangollen, taking a chance that we wouldn't be held up too much in what would undoubtedly be a packed Llangollen. I never fail to be uplifted by the view across the valley as we head towards and down the Horseshoe Pass. It is truly beautiful and one of the many unforgettable scenes in this beautiful world of ours.

Llangollen was festive with colourful bunting straddling the ancient, narrow bridge over the River Dee; it flowed down from its source at the Horseshoe Falls, twisting, turning,racing over and around the many rocks found in various parts as it babbled its way to Chester and eventual  release into the sea. The bridge was also decked with huge tubs of colourful flowers as were many of the surrounding buildings. Passing the bridge, I could see that Castle Street was thronged with visitors.

All in all, another satisfying foray into the hills.

The Horseshoe Pass has many faces. In the winter, it is just as beautiful and dramatic.Below is a view from the Ponderosa after the snows.


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