Snowdonia – To go or not to go (day 1)

I know very well, where the most scenic routes in UK are hidden. A4086 in the heart of Snowdonia is the winner of all the big charts. But from London, it is a bit too far for a small scooter riding on the backroads. Almost 300 miles. Can I really make it that far? I wasn’t sure about that. But I decided to give it a try. I planned my journey carefully to avoid busy roads and set off early in the morning. I thought it could be my first little epic ride, but somewhere deep inside I had doubts… didn’t I overestimated my limits now?

…adventurously it surely started. Those who know me, might be aware that I suffer from ford-o-phobia (fear of not passing through a ford). It wasn’t easy – 10 cm of water, but I made it!…

IMG_9934

…then I missed my turn. I stopped in front of this gate to turn around, stretch my legs and to drink, which I often forget while riding…

IMG_9936

…slow slow slow I went, when suddenly couple of guys with guns jumped off an army jeep and ordered me to STOP! “Well, now I am in trouble” thinking as they started sending the details of my “vehicle” to their headquarters through huge transmitters, asking me what pictures I’ve been taking and investigating my intentions…

IMG_9938

…well, it turned out that I stopped by the front gate of Prime Minister’s weekend residence and my large Canon 50D made the security nervous. I was glad I wasn’t jailed for conspiracy or terrorism when they checked me through and let me jump on my Vespa and ride off. Even they seemed to be amused by the whole situation – armed guys in a jeep chasing red Vespa. This journey was starting to be unusually eventful.

…then I decided with my fuel light on, that the distance of 18 miles to the next fuel station is just about fine…

IMG_9945

…it was… sort of… my fuel tank is 10 litres large on paper… ehm… this was a close one then :P…

IMG_9949

…so far it wasn’t a relaxing ride, so I stopped by the Oxford Cannal to have a little break…

IMG_9969

…then, after a short walk in a small village in Cotswolds, I realised that I was already tired, hungry and my progress was too slow…

IMG_9940

…and decided to turn back and ride back home to London…

IMG_9987

…but I didn’t. I knew it would be a long journey, but I had to make it to Snowdonia, I wasn’t quite sure why, I just knew…

IMG_0023

…the beauty of the surrounding country helped me to move forward…

IMG_0035

…there was always something interesting along the route where I could stop and have a little break…

IMG_0009

…as I entered Wales, the flat country started changing…

IMG_0059

…but the tall peaks of Snowdonia were still nowhere in sight…

IMG_0045

…but the roads, oh those narrow curvy roads, they are a dream to ride on…

IMG_0073

…very quickly it got dark and I couldn’t take any more photos.

My destination, a farm with a campsite deep in the valleys of Snowdonia, was still 80 miles away. There was virtually no traffic on the roads, so I dared to come off the back-roads and head towards A5 to make up some time. After 2 hours of night-riding, one fuel stop and multiple encounters with sheep sleeping ON the road, I made it to the campsite.

I could feel a cold breeze coming down from the mountains around me, but I could see nothing. The world around me was silent and pitch black. It was almost midnight, so I quickly went to sleep and couldn’t wait till morning to see where I was.

…to be continued…

One Comment on “Snowdonia – To go or not to go (day 1)

Leave a Reply