August 22, 2011
After stressing to get Boozy out of the hostel and organized enough to get IN the car, we drove over to the ferry terminal (about 10 minutes from downtown Dublin). We were meeting up with our friend from Bronto Bikes to do some trail shredding in Wales. We built up the bikes, Boozy packed his bags and searched for his passport (seriously?? morning of!?!) and we rode our bikes onto the ferry to Holyhead, Wales.
After a few minutes of maneuvering and angling bikes, I had less space to sit in than we did in the SUV in Ireland BUT we all fit…and all our gear fit…and David rally raced us off into the mountains of Wales.
Snowdonia is a quiet and picturesque area that is known for it’s hiking, climbing, and mountain biking. It’s the Adirondacks of the UK. We stopped in Betws-y-Coed for lunch at The Bistro Betws-y-Coed. Hands down, The Bistro had my favorite soup on the entire trip. It was hearty and paired with a ham and cheese finger sandwich. It was a true Welsh meal and it was GOOD. The Bistro sources their own food, catch their own fish and work with local farmers. I can support that! We had some really big beers that I had a hard time finishing. I stumbled to the pastry shop next door and tried to feign soberness. We purchased Fairy Cakes and Icey Buns and some beer for later. The pretend soberness went out the window as soon as Boozy said, “Fairy Cakes.” Oh well.
We drove to Penmachno for mountain biking. I loved these trails. It had rained a little the day before but the trails were well groomed and twisty then technical and rocky and twisty single track again. This place had a bit of everything. We started in the woods, headed out into open fields and back into the woods. We had views, sweet single track and very little wind. Penmachno takes you out into the wilderness then back. Being that it had rained quite a bit, the trails were very wet with a lot of puddles. By the end, my shoes and socks were soaked and my leggings were drenched. It was exhilarating and incredibly fun!
We went in search of our hotel for a hot shower and a hot dinner. Foelas Arms is a 400 year old estate that used to be a carriage house years ago. It has always been a stop over place for horses and tired travelers. Now, it acts as a family operated bed and breakfast. We had a great dinner in the bar for 5L and a few beers for about the same price. Exhausted from an eventful and awesome mountain biking day, we went to bed in a very pretty and comfortable room. I snuggled up in the flower scented blankets and fell right to sleep.