Thursday 13th September 2007

The AbbeyUp very early on account of the bog next door (or possibly in the room from the volume of it). After faffing about for an hour I took myself off for a walk as breakfast is not until 8:30 however this proved to be a blessing as otherwise I would not have seen the ruined abbey just up the road.

A large and robust breakfast was very satisfactory and we got underway about 10am by which time jacket liners were not required and the day was set to be glorious.

We went through Hay-on-Wye which the locals have turned into 'book town',  this has been a most satisfactory conversion as the place is fair buzzing. Economic development agencies need to take note with our first stop for the day in Brecon for coffee and cake. Joan attempted to lose her ear plug applicator down a stoem water drain but it stuck on the dirt between the bars, lucky.

Joan goes on aheadThe web site Bestbikingroads.com recommended Tregaron to Llanwrtyd Wells  (we did it the other way around). The route turned out to be a steep single lane road over the hills. It's far from fast but glorious views marred only by the lack of visibility, a standard UK feature.

Another coffee in Tregaron and we set north to Devil's Bridge (the bridge is spectacular) and another recommendation of Elan Village - Devils Bridge (again in reverse). This is a better road but still not hugely fast,with fabulous dams reminiscent of new Zealand's South Island. Seems we met Mad Meg in an orange van coming around a blind corner with a manic smile.

Overall a surprisingly small distance today (150 miles over 10 hours) but wonderful scenery and views.

The Lonely Planet recommended the Elan Valley Hotel (www.elanvalleyhotel.co.uk) which is a cracker, albeit somewhat more expensive than last night. The bar meals downstairs are also excellent and we met two very pleasant regulars who were very helpful in planning our route for tomorrow.

Internet or cellphone access? Apparently Orange works. I have Vodafone.

and on