Yesterday’s non stop rain continued all night and again this morning. Paul, our host at Zion Hall, made us an early breakfast and we had to leave as soon as possible due to having to be at the Dublin Ferry Port by 8.00am to check in with Irish Ferries, as we would board at 8.15am for the 8.45am departure on the Jonathan Swift ( a fast craft but still a 2 hour trip). Vince wanted some medication for sea sickness and when I went into the pannier I discovered it had leaked and everything was swimming in water. Our original plan was to camp in Snowdonia but this would now be impossible with our sleeping bags etc all being completely soaked through.
The journey was a rough one across the Irish Sea – if you walked around it was like you we drunk staggering everywhere. I joined Vince in taking some medication and we both slumped over our jackets on the seats next to us to rest. We managed to not be sick even though we didn’t feel too well. The ANIMAL was fine downstairs …this being her fourth sea voyage in total, and third ferry ride (Mallaig to Isle of Skye (Scotland), Cairnryan to Larne (Nth Ireland) and now Dublin to Holyhead (Wales)). She attracted the usual attention from other riders at the ferry port and on board. She also proved of interst to an older Welshman, his daughter and her two children at the local McDonalds when we stopped inHolyhead to get our bearings and look at our Map. I gave them some of our 2upadventure stickers and they seemed pretty pleased. Holyhead is on the Isle of Anglese and we had to cross over the Manai bridge to get to the mainland in Bangor.
We decided to go through Snowdonia (which I keep calling Snowlandia by mistake) and ride as far as we felt comfortable and then find a B&B …as it rained continually. From Bangor we headed out to the start of the Snowdonia National Park passing through Betws-y-coed and down the A5 to Druid before turning South down the A494 passing through Bala before arriving at Dolgellau.
We found the Dolronwy B&B on Baker St and Maureen and Alec made us very welcome for 35 pounds each for a double. The house they stay in was originally the fire chief’s and the part we stayed in was the original bakery until the 1970s. They were very helpful letting Vince put the ANIMAL in their garage and, when we explained about our panniers, giving us a drying rack to use in the hallway in addition to our room. It looked like a bomb had hit with stuff layedout everywhere, our medical kit was completely ruined …all the medication boxes falling apart in my hand.
Dolgellau is a historic small market town from the 12th Century at the foot of the Cader Idris mountain range in southern Snowdonia. Alec told us about Owain Glyndŵr who held the last Welsh Parliament there in 1404. St. Mary’s Church dates back to 1716, but was built on the remains of an earlier building from the twelfth century. There are even earlier remains by Ffynnon Mair (Mary’s Spring) which was thought to have had healing properties centuries ago. Roman coins were found there around two-hundred years ago.
After we unpacked and tried to dry things out, we went for a walk in town and saw some of the original buildings now homes …the bank, the shopping mall, the police station and we even had coffee at T.H. Roberts, in a building that used to be Parliament House. The owner, Tom, and his nephew spoke to us …..as we were still in our riding gear…they both ride and are interested in overland travel. We also chatted with a couple who ride a tandem bicycle.
Back at our B&B, we started watching a DVD in our room (The 100 ft Journey) before going to the The Royal Ship Pub for a roast dinner. We will need to get up early tomorrow to get everything packed away…hope it dries in time!