I heard my human saying “Horace is too big to take on a bicycle mini tour”. While the humans were asleep I curled up small in one of the panniers. I popped out just as they had started the Taff Trail in Cardiff.
The humans pedalled away along the trail and I just peeped out at the view. I climbed out to look at Castle Coch….
They cycled up a steep hill and stopped for a while outside the castle. We didn’t go in as the humans had a long way to ride.
They did stop for a bite to eat, and shared a tasty cheese and tomato roll with me.
After quite a long while going along tracks and roads through Pontypridd and Methyr Tydfil we reached the Pontsticell reservoir, where there are lovely views of the Brecon Beacons.
The humans kept pedalling, the ride got a bit bumpy in a few places as the Taff trail follows a gravel track up and around the reservoir. They got a bit tired cycling on the gravel, and after going the wrong way up a hill decided to continue on the road instead of the trail to get to Brecon before it got dark! Fortunately there was one pub still serving food, and after checking in to our B&B we went the George Hotel for some supper.
I was very pleased to be able to sleep in a bed and not the pannier!
The B&B that we stayed in cooked a yummy Welsh breakfast. We stayed at The Old Castle Farm Guest House.
The humans didn’t want to cycle over any more big hills so set off to Abergavenny along the Brecon Canal towpath. Here I am at The Brecon Basin, where the canal begins.
In the early 19th century horse drawn trams used to transport goods such as coal, limestone, timber, farm produce and beer to the canal from Hay on Wye, and the goods were then transported onto Newport by canal.
Here I am sitting on a wooden horse sculpture pulling a coal wagon at Watton Wharf.
As we went on along the canal we came across a family of swans that were following a narrowboat. I think they may have been hoping for some food!
The bicycles, or indeed no one could get through the Ashford Tunnel unless on a canal boat so we went around a diversion. Back in the 1850s the horses that pulled the canal boats were walked around on the outside, while men had to lie on the top of the boat and walk their legs along the tunnel walls to propel the boat along.
I spent a while reading about the tunnel. Fortunately there was text in English as well as Welsh. I only know a few Welsh words.
Further along the the humans stopped at Llangynidr where there are five locks quite close together. There was a little stall selling Welsh wildflower honey. As you probably already know I rather enjoy honey so I bought a jar.
A man who was a Canal and River Trust volunteer gave me a sticker.
I watched a canal boat going through one of the locks. It must take a while to get through five!
At Llangynidr there was water available for dogs, humans and bears. It is important to stay hydrated when the weather is hot so I refilled a water bottle there.
As we continued along the canal I spotted Rosie and Jim.
I would quite like to go on holiday on a canal boat, but I think sometimes they can be difficult to steer. This one was trying to turn round but seemed a bit stuck…
We left the canal path at Abergavenny, where we went to the train station as the humans had tired legs and didn’t want to cycle all the way back to Cardiff. At Abergavenny Station the Whistlestop Cafe serves made to order toasties. The cheese and tomato one was very yummy indeed.
I did enjoy my mini tour of Wales, and I don’t think I was too much trouble in the pannier as I don’t weigh very much, though I think I may weigh a little bit more now after all the food that I ate (I wasn’t doing any pedaling to burn it off!)
Horace the Alresford Bear 12/8/22