The ferry landed in Dover in the morning and I decided to stop the night just outside High Wycombe, as I drove I had a change of heart and thought about getting closer to Birmingham, then finally decided to head straight back home, to Cymru. I knew that I'd be able to find some quiet spots around Llyn Efyrnwy and it's a part of the world that I love and have stayed several times previously. Shame the weather was so bad.
The area around Llandegla Moor was set alight during WW2, I thought it quite fitting to be here so soon after being in Étaples, to divert German bombig raid away from Liverpool. When planes had rudimentary navigation tools I imagine that direction and time were the main factors, upon seeing flames, the bombing crews were to assume the place was a burning city. The moors are littered with bomb craters.
The main reasons for being back in Cymru were firstly for an MOT for Gloria and secondly to joins the ranks of the independence march in Abertawe. I didn't need an excuse to have a gentle meander down the country stopping at Cwm Bychan on the way. A beautifully secluded camp spot, and the first paid stop over in months, where the main attraction is the lack of cell phone coverage.
In spite of a drizzly day I made the little hike up to the Roman Steps where I'm sure the views are incredible.
Further south and into Ceredigion after a beautiful drive through Machynlleth. A remote bothy with no cell service, but a toilet. I almost managed a full 24 hours without seeing another human being, another time maybe. There appear to be several wild camping spots around this stunning area and some green lanes in the vicinity, including Ystrad Fflur, which is well known in the 4x4 community and where Gloria had a torsion bar pop out.
Camping is forbidden in National Parks, parking isn't as can be seen by the number of residents that park their cars within the National Park boundaries. Bannau Brycheiniog is a small National Park that's acessible from Abertawe where I spent a few nights, again paid in a car park. The National park itself is littered with mines and is also famed as having a road used by Top Gear. The name itself has caused some consternation abroad as a vocal minority have complained that they are unable to pronounce it.
Staying in a city centre can be fun as I discovered in Abertawe. The main reason for being here was to swell the numbers at the independence march, but also have a wander around a city I haven't visited for decades. There's something special, as I write this in Gijón, about a city with a beach. I was camped next to the rowing clubs, which is a sport that's close to my heart, and chatted and photographed the crews throughout my stay. I was fascinated by the launching of the boats from the slipway, something that requires real decication in winter.
Back up north and a very special day for C.P Wrecsam as the teams celebrate their victorious seasons, and I got high fived by Ben Foster. I was there in 75/76 when we missed out on promotion, and there again in 76/77 when we succeeded. The atmosphere was electric and the people so happy. I love this town.
More wild camping in the local area and a change to photograph Pontcysyllte, the longest aqueduct in Great britain and the highest in the world. Completed in 1805 it's a remarkable piece of Victorian engineering.
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