Well after a very downbeat week, I had a weekend planned to lift me again.
It’s the Big Birthday Weekend. Woohoo!
Whilst most people would probably go out and have a drink or 10, I reverted to type and did a physical challenge instead. At least that way, hangovers are rare.
I traveled into North Wales on Saturday afternoon in glorious weather. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, when the weather is good, I can’t think of many places more stunning to visit, made all the better being only a couple of hours away.
My challenge was the Etape Eryri Sportive on Sunday morning. A 47 mile bike ride through the Snowdonia National Park. Never going to be easy but always going to be spectacular, assuming the weather is good of course (that’s the Achilles Heel of the place, but also why it’s so lush and green!)
Due to a lack of organisation I didn’t book a hotel until the week before I went and the nearest I could get to Caenarfon was about 30 minutes drive away onto Anglesey. A big shame, I don’t think!
Anglesey has it’s own weather system and merrily does what it pleases regardless of the rest of the country (I’m imagining a BBC4 series called ‘Renegade Islands’).
In the quest to fill myself with pasta ahead of the ride on Sunday I went out foraging. It seems fish & chips is as good as it gets!
Still, I had a great drive around. First stop, the spiritual home of all those people with ridiculously long names:
I then decided to revisit the route of the Anglesey Half Marathon I ran last year and headed into Beaumaris.
On the way there was a great view of the Menai Bridge which I lamented the failure of me bringing a camera with me, and had to rely on my mobile which, to be fair, did an OK job. It was unable to cause the tide to come in though, hence this is the bridge at low tide!
I parked up in Beaumaris and had a pleasant walk around. I’ve not explored the town since I was there with family about 25 years ago, not that it’s probably changed much. Of course I ran along the front and past the castle last year, so it was nice to revisit these places to as a tourist, rather than as a nice backdrop to a race!
My hotel was totally fine, food and room excellent, hallway smelling a bit of dog, but for £40 including breakfast and at the last minute, I wasn’t going to complain.
I collected my bike on Sunday morning and headed into Caenarfon for the ride.
Which was AMAZING.
Here’s a route map and the hill profile though. A couple of hard work climbs but rewarded with breathtaking scenery of the Snowdonia National Park.
The photos from the ride are not yet available and they’ll follow once I have them.