Rhayader Weekend 2021

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  Southern Section diary

Mike Cross fending off the wildlife
Return to events....
Our lunch stop was in Tintern, before heading on to Monmouth and our destination – the Elan Valley Hotel in Rhayader. John had left us in Tintern to continue his journey to Gloucester and Adrian, Roger and David joined us at the hotel.
The group was now complete. Gin and beer in the sun on the terrace and a light-hearted quiz after dinner gave the perfect end to the day.
Saturday dawned grey and damp, but we were all looking forward to a day of fabulous Welsh roads and stunning scenery. We weren’t disappointed. The ride round the Elan reservoir and on through the Elan Valley was twisty and fun, but we had to keep our eyes open for sheep and their deposits on the road! The coffee stop after Devil’s Bridge at the Red Kite Café was most welcome. Then we carried on toward Aberystwyth before heading north to Machynlleth and Bala, where we were lucky to find sufficient parking within close proximity to the Y Cyfnod Italian restaurant that Paul had booked for our lunch stop.
After an extended break (busy restaurant and excellent food!) most of the group set off on the return journey. For a couple of us there was a slight delay while James finished a bar of chocolate that he just couldn’t resist, but we soon caught up with the main group. The return was 87 miles non-stop via the A470 through Dolgellau to Newtown, then the A483 towards Llandrindod Wells and on to Rhayader.
The weather had been changeable all day, with one or two brief but heavy showers and even the occasional glimpse of blue sky. After dinner the UEFA cup game (England 4, Ukraine 0) was showing in the bar, but the dining room was open for those who preferred not to watch. Another excellent day, finished off with another fun quiz.
Group picture - Elan Valley Hotel
On Sunday morning we had to say goodbye, as the group split and people went their different ways. Most were extending their travel, but Paul & Marion had work commitments and had to return home.
One group had decided to stay in Wales and repeated the route through the Elan Valley to Devil’s Bridge. We took a different route to Aberystwyth, where we picked up B roads to Tregaron and stopped for coffee - after three attempts to find the Riverside Café! Then on to Lampeter and Llandovery before heading across the spectacular MOD ranges at Sennybridge for another coffee stop in the main square in Brecon. Our final destination was the Abergavenny Premier Inn, where former members David & Myfanwy (Myf) Williamson joined us for dinner.
Brief but heavy showers
On Friday 2nd July, eleven members on nine bikes left The Haven on the A30 to begin Paul and Marion’s trip to mid Wales.

We made good progress until we joined the M4 above Chippenham to take us across the Severn Bridge. An accident on the opposite carriageway was causing severe traffic delays in both directions, but we were able to filter fairly easily and weren’t delayed too much
We had a good ride home on the Monday, with no traffic hold-ups and even some sunshine!
Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the weekend, testament to Paul and Marion’s thorough research and meticulous planning – thank you from all of us.
Final stop - Brecon