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Korben in Wales!!

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Today started brilliantly. I got the last few things packed and got myself on the road about 9am. This was unfortunately still rush hour in Derby, but I filtered my way through the traffic with only one driver beeping at me. He beeped at me due to basically giving me a big enough gap to get through even though he tried to cut me up and stop me. Quick shake of the head from me and move on.

Quickly through all that and off into the countryside. Fantastic riding and all was going well until my bladder interrupted the fun (It does that a lot...). 10:15 in the morning and I pull into a Pub car park. Thankfully the owner was outside sorting the beer garden out so I worked my magic (Yeah, right...) and she let me use the bathroom even though they didn't open for about 45 minutes.

Back on the road again and I was in Wales quicker than I expected.... Then back out again due to turning back to get fuel. Anyway back into Wales again and I realised why it’s so popular. Amazing countryside and roads.

I eventually got onto the Horseshoe Pass. Halfway up I pulled in for a quick break and took a couple of photo's, then tooled back up and set off. About 2 miles up the road the view was awesome. A couple of bikers were parked up along with a whole coach load of OAP’s. I pulled in behind the bikes, took my lid and jacket off and wandered over to the bikers. Only then I realised I had pulled up right behind TC's bike who I was due to meet at The Ponderosa.

We enjoyed the view then went to my B&B so I could drop off my backpack and all the other bit’s I didn’t need.

We got ourselves a bite to eat at The Ponderosa then got on the bikes to head for Barmouth.

First stop was Bala which has a stunning lake.

Thanks to TC for taking the photo)



After a quick break there we headed to Barmouth.




Then I saw my one opportunity to get a weather picture. The one and only cloud for the day.


We left Barmouth. TC was heading down south on his own little trip, but we stopped at a few places to snap a few pictures. The views are just stunning.


TC catching a few snaps of his own..



I know the next one is essentially the same as above, but I couldn’t decide which one I liked best


Me and TC headed off again and went off our separate ways at the next roundabout.

This gave me the opportunity to make regular stops for photo’s which I did!!










The Bala lake from the other side.





The Bala Dam



All in all an amazing day. So far the only thing I realise I have forgotten is my trainers so I have no non-biking foot ware.

I am now back at my B&B enjoying the view from my window and wondering just how much I have sunburnt my face today. Knackered, but looking forward to tomorrow. Already thinking about next years touring. I think I have the bug!!!

I will be uploading video (I have a video camera system on the bike), but at the moment, it’s all very raw video and have about 9gig at the moment to work through. To be honest that will probably be in a week or two’s time..... Lot's of Video of TC!!! :D :D :D

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Wow! Fab stuff Steve! Good to see the weather's keeping for you and you're enjoying it so much. Photos are really good, very scenic. Can't blame you for wanting to stop every 5 mins for a photo.

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Oh, and funny moment of the day....

We walk into a shop looking for sun cream and the person behind the counter has their back to us.

TC says "Excuse me love"

The person behind the counter turns round and....... It's a dude!!!!!!!!

TBH it did look like a woman from the back as he had a girly hat on and long curly hair... Made us both laugh though when we walked out the shop.. :lol: :lol:

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It's weird mate.... I am thinking about my next trip already.. It's meant to be Scotland next year with this forum, but I suspect I will be doing something in between as well. It's like a whole new dimension of biking I have just discovered...

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:lol: glad you're enjoying yourself mate, good pics!

that's my playground! everytime i go out on bike i end up in barmouth! :lol:

did you have fish and chips from the mermaid? ( good chippy by the level crossing)

A good ride and good photo opportunity is: from dollgellau, follow coast road, other side of estuary from barmouth, signed tywyn.

past fairbourne and tonfanau. As you come into tywyn stop at honey ice cream factory( halo foods) best ice creams in the world!!! no sugar, just honey! then follow road round to aberdyfi and machynleth, back to dollgellau over dynas, divert left and have a look at tal y lyn too, top road!

wherever you go enjoy! 8-) :lol:

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Looks good mate,


Oh, and funny moment of the day....

We walk into a shop looking for sun cream and the person behind the counter has their back to us.

TC says "Excuse me love"

The person behind the counter turns round and....... It's a dude!!!!!!!!

TBH it did look like a woman from the back as he had a girly hat on and long curly hair... Made us both laugh though when we walked out the shop.. :lol: :lol:


I have done that before :lol: :lol:

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Guest nastro azzurro

Love it over there...... There is a great place near Barmouth for camping... Shell Island......

Glad your having a good un Stevie...... Weather playing a blinder for you too. 8-)

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I see SPLAT :lol:


The bugs round here are freakin mahoosive!!! Honestly, yesterday I had one hit me left shoulder and it actually hurt through my leather!! :shock: :shock:

Bike and leathers are slowly going a mushy reddy greeny colour at the moment!! Gonna need a new V-Sponge when I get back as well!!


Looks awesome Korben! Id love to do this but wouldnt even know how to start planning the rout :? Have a good rest of trip and hope the weather stays nice and sunny 8-)


Dead easy mate!! Honestly, if I can organise it, anyone can!! Best thing to do with planning a route is to do what I did. Post up on the forum where you are going and ask for suggestions. I did and got a few great ones. Jota gave me the most amazing run which I did today (Write up on it's way).

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Day 2 - The Jota Run..

What an amazing day. Got up and had a massive cooked breakfast which kept me going until the evening. Nothing like a full English to keep you going.... Or should that be a full Welsh? The lovely Hannah 8-) (The lady who runs the B&B) kept me topped up with coffee and orange juice as well.


The view out the window was not too bad either. I could get used to this very quickly.


Headed out around 9am following the route Jota had recommended. Basically it headed down a few of Wales Valley’s then over the highest road around Snowdonia and into Bangor, then out and back to where I am staying.

The route was fantastic. Awesome roads and the scenery was just mind blowing. Without a doubt the most stunning place I have ever seen. Again, I don’t feel my pictures give a true aspect of how amazing this place is. Thanks Jota.

Stopped at a few places on the way and managed to grab some photo’s. The mountains ahead in the morning mist teasing me.




I needed fuel (For the bike and myself). I stopped and fuelled up (both of us) and managed to get a picture of this old Honda Goldwing complete with side car and trailer. I was hoping to follow him, but he headed off in the other direction with a friendly wave to me.






More of those mountains.






I got over the mountain section and couldn’t get any of the photo’s I really wanted. I was a little annoyed, but carried onto Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. To be honest I just wanted a photo of my bike under a sign....


I headed out of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch towards Bangor where I was going to have a quick break.


I found the car park and pulled up to the barrier. Only £1 to park for the whole day. Very very cheap for this country, so I started sifting through my pocket for a pound. As I looked up I saw a woman waving at me. The gestured me to simply ride round the barrier. I pulled up and she informed me that bikers don’t pay. If you are ever in the area then use this place. It’s right down by the pier.


I had a wander down the pier and grabbed a drink and a chocolate bar.





Got fairly close to this fella.


Then a bit too close....


Don’t know why, but at the end of the pier this really caught my attention.


Looking back towards land


I walked back to the bike and was just getting kitted back up before heading off when an elderly couple pulled up in a car next to me. The lady was disabled and used a walking frame permanently. She jokingly turned round to me and “I’m having one of them next”, gesturing towards my bike. Her Husband turned round and had a good laugh and said, “yeah 20 years ago maybe”.

We stood and chatted for a while. They had lost a Son while he was out on his motorbike. He had been riding in a group when the rider at the front had lost control while braking. Although upset about it they seemed to suggest that he had died doing something he loved. I showed them the gear that can be worn nowadays (There son had died over 30 years ago) to help protect us. They were very impressed.

The man (Alan) had been a rider in his younger days. He told me about 4 bikes he had owned and ridden and my complete lack of knowledge of bikes anything older than about 1998, I can’t remember a single one he said. She had ridden once in a side car but after seeing the spinning wheels of cars about 4 inch from her head she had ridden on the back with her husband ever since. He said at one point when she was in the side car he had felt a sharp pain in his side which was when she reached out of the side car, and punched him in the ribs to get him to slow down.

They wished me well and went for a wander along the pier. I tooled up and set off again.











I was heading back to my accommodation for the day when I decided to head off to Bala where I had been yesterday. I found a tiny road which led me right to it.

When I arrived I settled down under a tree with an icecream and a drink (I’m 33 and that still makes me happy!!!)

A bird trotted over to say hello.


There were a few bikers there


And a fellow Hornet rider. Proper Hornet Yellow as well...


The weather was very hot. Due to already having a mild form of skin cancer a few years I basically have to cover myself in suncream and still hide in the shade as much as possible.... That’s why I look like Mr Paleskin. In winter I actually go slightly see through!!


As I walked over to grab something from my bike I found a fellow biker looking over my machine. I said hello and he pointed at my rear facing bullet camera and asked what it was. I showed him the system and he was very interested. He owned a CBR XX Blackbird which is actually a bike I hope to own one day. He loves it. Unfortunately this was the best photo I could get of him. Quality is poor as it’s off my ancient mobile phone.


I headed off myself and decided I would run through the run I had done earlier and get the photo’s I wanted this time.


This was in a cafe car park halfway up Snowdonia.


Looking through the Valley



Small Bridge (Only photo I could get)







The flowers attracted me so I wandered over. I wasn’t sure what it was, but someone had made the effort. This was in the basin off the Valley









I headed back home stopping only to pick up a Pizza. I was very tired and must admit my concentration failed me a couple of times. My limits were almost reached getting back to the B&B.

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Great pics there and I'm glad you liked that route Korben :wink:

Should have given me a shout that you were heading into Bangor! My shop isn't that far from the pier, have to say Bangor pier is the last thing I expected to see posted up haha I mis-spent my youth around there :lol:

I was out and about yesterday evening round Snowdon on the 1098, if you're looking for an evening ride let me know and I can turn up on the Blackbird and let you see what you think of it.

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Glad your enjoying it.

Now why was it I moved to Wales ? (smug) :lol:


Yes, be smug... Everyone else, be envious!!!

Write up coming up for todays. Been a long day. 4 tanks of fuel!!! :shock: :shock:


Great pics there and I'm glad you liked that route Korben :wink:

Should have given me a shout that you were heading into Bangor! My shop isn't that far from the pier, have to say Bangor pier is the last thing I expected to see posted up haha I mis-spent my youth around there :lol:

I was out and about yesterday evening round Snowdon on the 1098, if you're looking for an evening ride let me know and I can turn up on the Blackbird and let you see what you think of it.


The route was just amazing. I was left speechless by the scenery. Just fantastic stuff. I have seen some great things today, but they all pale in comparison to yesterdays run.

Sorry about tonight mate!! As I say, been a long day and covered some serious miles. Totally knackered and my body is aching!!!

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Day 2 - The Jota Run..

This was in a cafe car park halfway up Snowdonia.




haha had to add this...........

If you look at your bike, on the landscape behind the top right corner of your mirror there is a small rocky outcrop where yesterday evening at about 8pm I took this picture (by coincidence) looking up at where you were taking your picture earlier in the day :lol:


you can just make out the Pen y Pass hostel, cafe if you take a line vertically from the bike seat :lol:

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Wales Day 3

Today was not so pleasant. The sun was hiding behind low cloud which covered the top of the hills.

Even though the weather had changed the temperature was still pretty good. I scoffed down another Full English for breakfast and headed out on the bike. My aim was to run ride down to the Elan Valley which boasted a large amount of Dam’s built in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

I had a route planned and set off. Little did I know what was in store for me. To begin with I soon realised my route had me heading off down Welsh roads that were... well... Welsh. Very narrow, very bumpy, very dirty, and with switchbacks and climbs I had never dealt with before. Incredible fun!! Eventually the roads widened slightly and started to steadily rise. I came round a corner, out of the tree’s and the views were suddenly laid out in front of me.



After miles and miles I eventually realised I was running very low on fuel and was basically in the middle of nowhere. I came to a small village and found a petrol station.


A lovely old lady came out asking if I needed fuel. At this point I had about 8 miles left before running into trouble. Unfortunately the “Sorry, Not in Use” sign on the Diesel pump was a sign for all 3 pumps. The old lady explained that the station was not a flower shop. I asked if she knew where the nearest station was and she told me about one 2 miles away which was even on my intended route. Brilliant!! 7 miles later I found it. I don’t think the old gal could really comprehend distance too well!!

The station was in fact just 2 pumps. One unleaded, one diesel. And for the first time in my 17 years on the road the pumps were not self service and I had to ask the owner to fill her up for me.


I headed off and found the lake I was looking for. A road ran right round the edge of the lake which I wanted to follow. At the start was a dam. 3 plaques showed the building progress through being built.




The dam was very impressive.



I started circling the lake on the bike. Stunning scenery and views.



I was unable to find the peeing man, but was impressed by the arc he was achieving...





Very peaceful


On the way out I found this memorial statue to the Great War.


At this point my so far faultless planning went completely wrong. I got lost. Completely lost. I headed out for about 20 miles along what I thought was the right road before giving in and getting the map out. I had strayed slight further west than I wanted. I figured out a route and set off. All in all this took about 2 hours out of my day.

This 120 minutes though were probably the best of the holiday. When I finally got back on track it was a good feeling that I had figured it out. I stopped off for a quick break and checked my phone. TC had text me while riding to ask if I was going to the Elan Valley. At this point I remembered he had called me and told me about a road he recommended I try. The A483. I realised my detour had taken me right to the start of a great part of it.

I set off and after a very near miss only about a mile in on a very tight corner (Braked and target fixated on the hedge I was heading towards. Snapped out of it, got off the brake and leant her in). I started to enjoy the road. Very twisty, but very open and smooth tarmac. The views were great, but this was about the road and the ride. The section I did took me about 40 minutes, but was fantastic.

I eventually came to the right place and headed off to the Elan Valley. Although I didn’t realise it at the time about 200 metres from the my destination of the Elan Valley Visitors Centre I took a wrong turn again and headed out in the wrong direction.

Again not such a bad thing. Incredible views.


I got off the bike and headed down to a stream. Lots of tadpoles in rock pool.





A wind farm in the distance



This has been bugging me since Monday. RAF pilots practising over the hills and I have not been able to get a picture, but I got this one!!


Loads of Dams






Eventually I pulled in at the Visitors centre and stopped for a rest. I had not realised how much time I had spent arriving here and it was already nearly 3:30pm. This bike pulled up in the car park. I have no idea what is in.... Rear brake and chain on opposite sides to normal.


I was a little tired now and set off using a route I had planned out to get back to the B&B. Unfortunately I had totally forgotten that I had planned the long way home. I set off and soon realised, but decided to plug on.

At 5pm I arrived in Aberdyfi and was greeted with a lovely small seaside town and an incredible sea mist that was rolling in.




I stopped and took a break. It was an incredibly peaceful place. Eventually I realised I needed to get back and set off. I arrived back at about 7:30pm. Bad car drivers are like Vampires in Wales... They only come out when it started to get late.

Well that’s me done. Back home tomorrow and a new front tyre for the bike.

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I woke up this morning after an incredibly good nights sleep. Starting packing all my stuff together after a shower and went for my last cooked breakfast (Back on the diet from tomorrow).

After breakfast I decided to walk up the large hill next to the Ponderosa Cafe and grabbed a couple of photo’s. The building is the Ponderosa Cafe.


The views were awesome. I wandered back down and finished packing.

I managed to snap a picture of the B&B owners dog. She was an old girl, but very friendly.


I headed off and was running well on time. I headed across into England and was enjoying the roads when I came across probably one of the funniest signs ever!!!


I followed the signs and came across this











The site was now a public display. I wandered inside for a few pictures.




I had no idea what this was for....


The cockpit section of a F4 Phantom II



I finally arrived home, dropped off all my luggage and headed straight out again. Got myself a new front tyre, went for a quick run to put it through a heat cycle then came home.

It’s been an awesome tour and I didn’t want it to end. I would be there still if I didn’t have other commitments. At the moment my plans are to go to Scotland next year as my next holiday. I think I will have to go somewhere else before then though. My plans for my next bike may well change and be something more suitable for touring.... We will see what the future brings.

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