Michael and Pam's Travels Our European Motorhome Adventures and other Travels

Vale of Rheidol Railway, Wales 2017 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Travelled: 66 kilometres from Penmaenpool to Aberystwyth, Wales

Visited: Vale of Rheidol Railway, Aberystwyth ÂŁ26pp (seniors first class).  Then Devil’s Bridge, waterfalls and nature trail ÂŁ3pp

Stayed: On the breakwall at Penparcau (free), bin but no other facilities. N52.40549 W04.08948

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 ÂŁ1.50 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.

There’s nothing like a steam engine.

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 ?

The engine works hard taking us up the Vale. The journey to Devil’s Bridge takes almost an hour.
Lots of mysterious levers and valves, add to the charisma.
We arrive at Devil’s Bridge to find the mist and drizzle here as well. Thought this was an interesting photo, looked a bit like a AA phone box ?

Known as the Devil’s Three Bridges, its a long story you can look it up yourself. However I have never seen three bridges built on top of each other before.
Part of our purpose in coming to Devil’s Bridge is the waterfall walk, which takes 45 minutes (the train waits for 75 minutes before returning).
Looks interesting but it’s slippery and wet down there.
Note the iron railings protruding onto the path every 6-8 steps ! So you can only fall so far, hopefully.
Quick picture of the falls and we start the climb up out of the gorge.

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.

The Station Master at Aberystwyth give us the good oil. Motorhomes may park overnight on the other side of the harbour. Getting there is no mean feat as the town is all one-way streets but soon enough we are parked with 3-4 other motorhomes for the night.

Michael and Pam

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