Thursday, 7 June 2012

Day 7: Abersoch to Rhoscolyn

We woke in the crew room of the Abersoch RNLI station to the loud pitter patter of rain on the Velux windows above us. Not the best noise to hear at the start of a day's cycling!

We checked the forecast to see if it was worth waiting for a while until the rain stopped, however this was optimistic thinking... Heavy rain and head winds forecast all day! So, I resigned myself to getting drenched again, donned the kit which I had washed and spent huge effort drying overnight, and set off into the rain for another soaking.

Rad on the other hand donned the kit that he hadn't bothered to wash- smug from the fact that all of my efforts to wash and dry my kit which were a waste of time, and also clearly delighted by the fairly fruity smell of his kit which I would need to endure for the coming day. 

Not only this but Rad’s focus on cutting weight down when packing for the trip had meant that he had taken measures such as cutting his toothbrush in half, and more importantly for me, leaving his deodorant behind... this led to some fairly interesting’ smelling kit by the end of each day, and Day 7 was certainly no exception.

Cycling through torrential rain, it began to dawn on us that there was a bit of a pattern emerging here with the Welsh weather!  The only way I could describe this morning's ride, is by asking you to imagine someone spraying a cold power shower directly in your face for three hours consecutively. You will now begin to realise how enjoyable the ride was through the hills to the north of Abersoch.

We headed north westward across the Lleyn Peninsular into strong head winds, until we reached the Porthdinllaen Lifeboat Station, which was located at the end of a rough gravel track on a remote promontory. What a phenomenal spot. The storm was reaching its peak by the time we arrived at the station- strong winds and heavy rain battering us as we tentatively cycled along the track, working hard to avoid potholes or getting knocked off by the strong gusts of cross wind.  A quick photograph and we were back on our way, to avoid getting any colder! What a phenomenal spot thought, and we wished the weather had been kinder to us so that we could have admired this with a little less haste... 

We ploughed on for a couple of hours heading northward, stopping briefly at a service station for some food and in an attempt to warm up. The very kind lady a the services gave us each a mug of coffee from their staff room to help us warm up, and sent us on our way again- back in the rain.

About half an hour on, and we crossed the Mennai Bridge onto Anglesea. Seeing a break in the rain (in the knowledge of heavy rain forecast all afternoon) and even a brief sunny spell, we woolfed down a few Eccles cakes before getting under way again.  Deciding to pick up the pace a bit, we began streaming behind one another for two minute intervals across Anglesey targeting  an average of 30 km / h.


But with Rad and I being rather competitive animals, the pace kept creeping up, and we ended up averaging 38kmph over the coming hour with top speeds of over 50kmph on the downhills. Head’s down we forged on across the island and were soon pulling up the Hart-George family’s wonderful house in Rhoscolyn. No sooner had we arrived but the heavens opened and it began pouring- good timing for once!

Thankfully we had the use of the Hart Georges washing machine at their house and quickly loaded Rad’s stinking kit into it before a very welcome hot shower and change into dry clothes, before heading off to the pub for a late lunch, followed by a brief windswept walk down to the Rhoscolyn Bay. Not quite the weather we were hoping for with our planned rest day coming tomorrow. During the afternoon and over supper we began contemplating the idea of getting up early the following day (which was forecast for gale force winds, driving rain and flooding), and plough our way across North Wales in an attempt to get the rest of the trip done in a single day. Based on the forecast this started looking like quite an appealing option and the seed was sown.

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