A Long Paddle and a Long Ride
That was a nice weekend. Nice that is if you ignore the invasion of the tourists! It’s been lovely here during lockdown; everything has been peaceful and quiet, the wildlife has been loving it, the beach has been clean and tidy and the roads have been quiet.
Now that lockdown has been mainly lifted here in Wales and we’ve had a nice sunny weekend that has all changed. I went for a run on Saturday morning and there was already quite a few cars and motorhomes parked up on the sands. I even had to alter my run route as there were just too many people about so I tried to avoid any narrow trails and pinch points. It was much nicer when there was no one else around and could roam wherever I wanted.
A Long Paddle
I therefore decided to head out for a surf ski paddle to get away from it all. Walking to and from the beach was a little difficult as there were plenty of other people walking along the path but once on the water I had the place to myself. At least, I thought I did but before long there were jet ski’s and speed boats about. Fortunately they all stayed well away as I headed north.
I paddled over the sandbanks at the mouth of the estuary and past the shipping marker buoys. Continuing north I stayed a fair way offshore from the sands as I headed towards Tywyn. I stayed offshore a little here as there were plenty of people on the beach. I passed the shipping buoy off Tywyn and continued north, heading for the point at Tonfannau. Once there I could see lots of epople fishing off the beach but couldn’t really see the entry into the Broad Water. I don’t think it’s necessarily a navigable channel more a spilling of the Dysynni river over the sands and into the sea.
Things were getting a little choppy around the point. I’d been paddling for a while now as well so it was time to turn back. After a little while I hauled up on the pebbles just south of the point. My picnic consisted of banana and an energy bar and chilled in the sunshine for a while. I was lovely here soaking in the peace and solitude. I didn’t stop for long though and soon jumped back on my ski to South. On the way back I stayed a little closer to shore and played on the waves here and there. I also headed into the estuary to skirt around the inside of the sandbanks before playing in the waves once again along Ynyslas.
Back on dry land there were even more people around and even some locals having a ‘bake sale’ on the side of the road. I guess some people are glad to see the tourists back. I definitely prefer it when it’s just us!
A Long(ish) ride
On Sunday I had a long ride planned. It wasn’t that long really at only 60 miles. However, as I hadn’t ridden properly the real world yet this year and hadn’t cycled for more that an hour it seemed as though it might feel like a long way before the end of it. I was meeting Colin in Goginan so I drove there rather than rode and then we set off.
It was just the two of us and we stayed distanced the whole time. Colin was behind me all the way but rather than sit on my wheel he left a 5m gap. I’m sure he still benefitted from some drafting though! We were taking things easy in what was a glorious day. Looking around there didn’t seem to be much wind but whenever we were riding there was a headwind! The sun was shining, the temperature was touching 20ºC and the hills beckoned.
The roads were already quite busy though and there were motorcyclists everywhere. Most were sensible, giving us plenty of space but not all of them. We headed out to Llangurig along the A44 and then into the wind to Rhayader along the A470. By now we were looking forward to getting off the main roads and into the hills where hopefully the roads would be quieter.
We headed around the Elan Valley in glorious sunshine, but the roads here weren’t much quieter really. We couldn’t complain about the scenery though.
We took things easy, stopping here and there for photos or to ‘regroup’ at the tops of hills. I put in a bit of an effort on the climb to The Arch. By now we had ridden 50 miles so I thought it was time to stretch my legs. I felt fine all things considered.
We were soon back at the car with 60 miles done and an afternoon to spare. I headed home only to find Borth chock-a-block and horrible. The car parks were packed, there were cars everywhere and even turning into our drive was difficult due to all the cars parked along the road. It was safer to stay at home and tend to the bees rather than go to the beach.
Back to work now though and a busy week of work ahead of us. Roll on next weekend.