After Vic North’s Cookery School it was a short journey to Caws Cenarth. That would be under normal circumstances …however the rain was falling heavily and foolishly I followed the roadsigns for the dairy. Unfortunately the place of interest brown signs take the vehicle drive around the hillside the long way. Missing out what I learnt later was nicknamed ‘the road of death’ anyway I was off the bike and pushing Betsy up a slippery road scattered with twigs and leaves. The wind was gusting I would think 25mph and the trees began to whistle. After an age I got to the dairy completely drenched.
Carwyn Adams was surprised to see me in such weather, but there I was bold as brass.
We immediately snapped a few pictures in the cheese store and tasting room. The pictures don’t show that if I stood still water run down my legs and flowed out of my shoes as I walked!
I still had a few miles to go to find accomadation and the storm was worsening. Carwyn loaded me up with a few examples of their excellent cheeses.
It was a terrible hardship, but I had to try a few nibbles too.
This rider was offered cheese biscuits for later, but knowing the bumpy ride declined, as in an hour riding the rutted lanes I would have a wrapper with panko crumbs not biscuits.
Leaving ladened with scrumptious cheese I laboured up the hill right in the face of the storm.
Carwyn had called around local hotels and guest houses and found me a room at the luxury Emlyn Hotel. The difficulty was getting to it.
I passed through a copse at the top of the rise and the wind ripped through the mixed woodland sounding more like heavy waves on a shingle beach. It was almost deafening. However my concentration was on the fine beam of light out front keeping me moving ahead. Missing potholes and twigs that could obstruct Betsy’s wheel. Then I heard dong! The telltail sound of a thorn in the tyre being caught & dragged out by the mudguard. I looked but couldn’t see a thing. And sure enough within a minute the front tyre was like a pancake.
It was so miserable I pressed on and discovered I could cycle very slowly forward in first gear with a flat tyre. Result!
I was only realising 3-4mph but better than 2mph walking in a filthy storm. I freewheeled down hill towards Newcastle Emlyn and made the four miles in about an hour.
I was drenched and the evening staff at the hotel were great as I created a puddle in reception. They kindly whisked me off to my room and put a ‘caution -wet floor’ bollard up were the food cyclist had once stood. I certainly made my mark!
Later after a hot shower and a change of dry, warm clothes I was ushered to the hotel boiler room to wring out, then hang my entire days’ clothes to dry in relative ease.
What joy it was to have a Halloween inspired (spiced pumpkin) local pint, one of the hotels famous local steak pies with twice cooked chips & veg. Sitting back as the storm raged to watch my first tv for almost two weeks.
More to follow…