BMW R1200GSA vs Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Ride to Saint David's, and a water cooled BMW.

23 and 24/8/12

After our nice sleep in and tasty breakfast we headed south again, but not before a quick ride around the area. Dolgellau is a picture book village and everything is perfect. The stone houses, the hand built rock walls that are put together without any cement, and the lush green fields all combine to make this a very special place. We loved it.

Southward bound the roads were pretty much spot on. Nice and smooth, winding, and undulating. We rode at a quick cruising speed and it was a very enjoyable ride all the way to Cardigan where we had lunch. After a quick poke around in a few of the shops we were on our final leg to Saint David's.

The paddocks lining the roads were full of black faced lambs. Suzanne said they looked like they were wearing burkas, then said they must be "Mus-lambs". I laughed so hard I nearly ran off the road.

An hour or so later we were in Saint David's, which is Britain's smallest city, but not at our house. The sat nav kept telling us to go down this little lane that looked like it was a pedestrian path. No way, not again. I rode on and it recalculated and sent us through a stone gateway. I still wasn't sure we were going the right way. Suzanne said "Just keep going". So we did, til we got to the river. There was a small bridge that had a sign that read "No Vehicular Access". I then realised we were at a fording point in the river. Should we go through?

There were people everywhere and they were all encouraging me to have a go. They also had cameras ready so when I fell off and got soaked they could capture the Kodak moment. I decided to have a go. The truth is it was just to bloody hard to turn the bike around and ride out. Suzanne deserted me and joined the blood thirsty photographers on the other bank.

I rolled the front wheel off the eight inch step on the edge. I was now committed. The problem here is that when your front wheel is in down a drop, and you ride forward, you end up with your feet being so high that you can't touch the ground. If you loose balance, you fall over. I gave the throttle a squirt and was in the river. I immediately put my feet down to balance and realised that he river stones on the bottom were VERY slippery. This should be exciting. I bobbled and wobbled my way across the river (it wasn't very deep) to the other side, where I found another eight inch concrete step, only this time UP. A blip of the throttle and the front wheel was up, then I stalled. A bit of clutch and throttle work and the bike climbed out without a problem. Much to the disappointment of the assembled crowd. The stones on the bottom were incredibly slippery, but all in all it was a pretty easy crossing. 

"Should I stay or should I go now?" (Thanks Clash).

No turning back now.

Nearly there.  You can see the rocks on the bottom here.

Job done.

Suzanne climbed back on and we were away.

Then we saw the exit track. It was an uphill, dirt track, covered in loose, wet rocks. Suzanne yelled at me "I'm ready. Just go for it". I hit the throttle and we bounced up the hill without a problem. This bike just keeps on impressing me more and more.

We were nearly at the top when Suzanne managed to click off a photo.

About ten minutes later we arrived at our accommodation for the night.

The house belongs to Maggie and via Paul we were invited to stay for a few nights.

Paul and Suzanne in the depths of discussion, solving the problems of the face painting world. Thanks for the invitation Paul, we had a ball.

I'm not sure if she knew who was coming, or how many. The house was once a small farm cottage but has been extended and is now a two story building with I don't know how many bedrooms and bathrooms. We enjoyed a huge bedroom with it's own bathroom. Deluxe. It was in a paddock and was a very relaxing place to stay. It just felt good to sit down, do nothing, and relax. Magic.

Maggie shares her home with her ninety year old mum June, her daughter Sophie, and her son Matt. They are a great crew and made us feel very welcome. 

The lovely Maggie. Thanks Maggie, we loved staying with you. Hope you don't mind, I stole this photo from your Facebook page.

Maggie's mum June is in her nineties, but is still very much the full quid and a lot of fun. Everyone thinks she has a hearing problem, but open a bottle of wine or Gin, and she'll arrive from three rooms away in a flash. You're a gem June, if I was a couple of decades older...

Dill the black Labrador finishes the family package and was a crack up. She wanders around with a bit of sheep skin that is a cuddle toy and loves a cuddle. She's only two but is very well behaved, until someone naughty steps in... 

Dill the Labrador shows her affection for Suzanne.

A huge spag bol cook up for dinner concluded the night for most of us. One of us stayed up until around three or four in the morning drinking Gin and Tonic, and drawing. Can you guess who?


The next day was a very quiet and relaxing day. We were so mellow that I completely forgot about taking photos while we were there. Suzanne took a few.

Paul, Nina (another painty friend) Sophie, and I headed out for a tapas lunch in a town about forty minutes away and had a very enjoyable time.

Dinner consisted of a selection of fish and chicken pancakes. Yum.

A couple of days of eating, drinking, relaxing, and chatting was just a whole lot of fun. 

Thank you so much Maggie, we really enjoyed our stay.

Where's Rex's Buff?

Rex's Buff meets Maxine. 

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