Travelled: 66 kilometres from Penmaenpool to Aberystwyth, Wales
Visited: Vale of Rheidol Railway, Aberystwyth £26pp (seniors first class). Then Devil’s Bridge, waterfalls and nature trail £3pp
Stayed: On the breakwall at Penparcau (free) Bin but no other facilities.
Wake to drizzle on the roof again, it appears Wales has an issue with the weather. There is a fog or mist in the air, its so heavy I can only just see the Toll Bridge, perhaps 50 metres at best. I do the blog, then make coffee whilst Pam cuts fruit. The drizzle turns to rain…After breakfast there’s no stalling it any further, I service the Hymer in the rain. Anyway its done and I am only half soaked. We had thoughts of doing a walk up the Mawddach this morning but we have learnt that morning activities are subject to the weather.
We head south on the A487, the rain continues. We considered turning off for Tywyn the home of Thomas but not in this rain. The Tal-Y-Lyn Railway is the basis of the ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’, sorry Nick. But the time we reach Aberystwyth almost an hour later the rain has stopped. We find a lidl and do a little shop, the carpark is full so I sit in the Hymer rolling backwards and forward as need be, whilst the navigator is doing the shopping.
We roll around to the Vale of Rheidol Railway Station and buy our tickets for the 2pm departure. We find the station has it’s own free carpark, rather than every other carpark in Aberystwyth which has a park-n-pay £1.50 every 4 hours. May as well have a gripe whilst I am on the subject, this country is one big pay-n-park carpark. Any village with more than 20 houses has pay parking. We put a reasonable effort into not paying unless absolutlely necessary.
Before you know it its time to have our tickets checked and board the old rattler. The steam engine itself looks more like a shunting engine than your classic 38 series. But every piece is painted, polished and loved, its a beautiful piece of engineering from another time. Contrary to my enthusiasm Pam raises her own other concerns. Its a bit noisy, smells like Lithgow and why don’t the seats recline ?
Thirty minutes after starting our walk we are sitting in the pub drying out. After a small bottle of champagne and a pint of lager we have forgotten the drizzle and develop a little glow before we wander back to the railway station with a minute to spare. The trip back to Aberystwyth takes 10 minutes less, as its downhill all the way. Anyway we are back in the Hymer soon enough and our next challenge is a free nights wildcamping.