Friday 14th September 2012 – Day 33

Pistyll (Lleyn Peninsula) – Tywyn

59.15 miles

2,195 feet climbed

2,624 calories burnt

2,167.07 miles cumulatively cycled

We left the beautiful scenery of Penisarlon campsite, it was basically a luscious green field that looked as though it dropped dramatically in to the sea!

The weather seemed to be pretty chilly in the morning and it looked as though it was going to rain, so I suited and booted myself. I think I may have gone a bit wild; waterproof jacket, ear covers, long leggings, waterproof overshoes the works – needless to say as I got cycling I was a boil-in-the-bag. It didn’t get any better, it just got hotter and hotter – but I wasn’t complaining as the rain held off!

Dad and I set off from Pistyll on the B4477 – we had already cycled through the village and on to Morfa Nefyn, a couple of miles down the road, but as we had stumbled on Jacky’s son in the national trust car park we back-tracked about 3 miles to get to the campsite.

On reaching Nefyn, we cycled on the A497 that headed to Pwllheli and took us to the south coast of the Lleyn Peninsula. As we had set off relatively late, around 9:00am, there wasn’t that much traffic on the road so it was quite a nice ride. Although the sides of the road were lined with hedgerows, I didn’t feel penned in – and for once the drivers weren’t aggressive, it’s after 5:30pm they get hostile.

When we reached Pwllheli we headed east and had a beautiful view out to sea. We kept cycling on the A497 until we hit Porthmadog (I still don’t know how to pronounce it!). This is where we picked up route 8 a lovely cycle way that kept us off a high walled road. One of my followers on twitter let me know about the NCN Sustrans iPhone app which I’ve downloaded, so when we stumble on a sign for a marked route, I check it out to see whether we can follow it, already it’s proved incredibly useful!

Just before lunch, we dropped off Route 8 into Penrhyndeudraeth to cross the toll bridge. The bridge was a ramshackle affair, we were however greeted by an enthusiastic money collector who had her hands up gesticulating a peddling motion and shouting ‘Good on ya – keep going!’ As we were cycling, we didn’t have to pay anything. It was a very narrow bridge, controlled with old school traffic lights meaning only one direction of traffic could cross the bridge at anyone time. On our right we had the train line – not sure if it was still in service but if it was, I wouldn’t have liked to have been cycling along there at the same time. It was only a couple of miles and then we spotted the Motorhome.

We had lunch in a lay-by on the A496 about four miles shy of Harlech. The sandwiches were bacon with the fresh eggs that had been laid yesterday at the campsite – such a treat. It wasn’t the most interesting lay-by; although Mum and I were treated to watching a trucker eat his lunch of a banana and yoghurt would you believe!

Before snaffling the food, I stripped out of my boil-in-a-bag clothes and got back in to my bib-shorts. I’m finding that my waterproof jacket, is not only non breathable, but also NOT waterproof – it’s turning into a mobile sauna. As Gavin is visiting this weekend, he has helped me source a new jacket, which hopefully will at least be waterproof, but we will see.

After lunch we continued on the A496, we had the Snowdonia National Park on our left with its dramatic mountains and the coast on our right, it was stunning. We got right down to Barmouth, where we saw the miniature steam train and also where we connected back with route 8 to cross Barmouth Bridge over Afon Mawddach. This cut off about 7 miles of my original route as I hadn’t realised that this railway bridge was an option. It was a strange bridge, the planks were wood and to our right again there was a raised railway, it didn’t look to me as though the bridge could withstand the weight of a train, but what do I know!

By the time we were the other side, we had worked out we were only 6 miles from our finish point for the evening, so we rang the Motorhome to let them know. We rejoined the A493 and kept heading south although at a slower pace than usual so we didn’t beat Mum and Harry. Just to make sure we didn’t get too far ahead, we stopped in a town called Llwyngwril to find a café. We searched high and low bu couldn’t spot one, so I asked an elderly lady (my first person with a proper Welsh accent since hitting Wales!) she said they had all closed down, which was incredibly sad to hear in such a beautiful wee town. We then found a pub that was open and opted for a swift half instead.

We communicated with the Motorhome and they popped in to the pub but decided to push on and find a stopping point for the evening. Originally we had agreed no further than Tywyn but as there was nothing there, they kept going and found a lay-by that was a couple of miles further.

When we arrived the dinner was on, mash potato, veg and lamb with sausage meat (bought from an award winning Welsh sausage maker apparently). We quickly ate that and then Mum and I took Jasper for a walk, down across a railway line (a train was coming as we crossed), then a golf course to stand on a wee promenade – looking out at the sun setting on the sea.

Tomorrow is a relatively short day as we’re positioning ourselves to be in Aberystwyth just before 2:00pm so we can have a look round before getting to the cottage that we will be having our rest day in.

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