We headed out from Dyffryn Ardudwy at about 9.30am to cycle approximately 50km. Not the longest ride for a Sunday, but the forecast showed heavy rain spreading in by lunchtime. Yesterday we got soaked cycling in the mountains, so we thought today we’ll try and stay dry!
The first 10Km heads south down the coast to Barmouth, always a great ride, with the sea just down to our right. The sea here is usually calm, but the waves seem to be building a bit as the low pressure pushes in. The road is quiet now the holidaymakers have gone, and its pretty flat, then its downhill into Barmouth. We climb out of Barmouth heading towards Dolgellau, as we get to the top of the short climb we get our first views of the magnificent Mawddach estuary. It doesn’t have the widest estuary mouth, nor is it a very long river, but it is one of the most beautiful in the British Isles. The river rises 25 miles to the east in the mountains of southern Snowdonia where Welsh gold and copper has been mined for many centuries.
We push on inland admiring the Autumn colours, and views across to Cadiar Idris towering over the estuary. We have a good tailwind which sees our average speed start to move upwards. Soon we make our first crossing of the Mawddach estuary just outside Dolgellau. The river is quite high after last night’s rain. We turn right to head down the south side of the Mawddach, passing through Penmaenpool, with its old wooden toll bridge and spectacular estuary views. The road is up and down all the way back towards the coast, and in shade, so we keep moving!
It seems no time at all and we are making a right turn to go over the wooden railway bridge spanning the Mawddach estuary. The bridge is almost deserted so we blast across the bridge, being shaken to bits by the unevenness of the wooden sleepers laid down. We imagine this must be something similar to the cobbled sections of the Paris Robaix, how do they do it!
Before we know it we are back in Barmouth heading north again, back to Dyffryn. Sure enough the rain begins as we get into the last 10km, so we don’t mind, and the wind is behind us! All in all a great ride for a Sunday morning.
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