After waking up in an ancient Bristol castle, like real princesses, we started the day with morning beans and eclairs, had traditional tea with milk and continued out journey. We had to go more than 50 miles to Cardiff.
Before leaving cozy and congenial town of Bristol, we decided to pass by the famous ship “SS Great Britain”. Waved to children playing on the deck and went on – to Wales!
1600 meters above the 47-meter precipice
Through the industrial towns, bypassing large factories, we reached the Severn Bridge. Now we had to go 1600 meters. This is the length of the bridge, and under it – 47 meters of nothing.
The wind blew crazy, but inside we felt delight – this is the freedom you get thanks to a bike. The cars, of course, are not allowed to stop on the bridge! Unlike us – we could enjoy the view on the Second Severn Crossing and staying on the bridge as long as we wanted.
The riverside of Severn is very picturesque. The water receded a bit, and we could see deep cracks in the soil and steep slopes. It’s breathtaking – what whimsical patterns the weather can create.
Hello South Wales!
On the other side of the bridge starts the welsh county of Monmouthshire. After a continuous uphill climb (luckily not very steep), we saw a pointer to our favorite National Cycle Network. We took it and found ourselves in a completely another world.
Everything was different – different houses, different meadows and fields – they looked more green and bright than the ones we met before. Maybe because of the rain. The most impressive thing – no single person around, not in the fields, not on the cycle path, not in the small towns we passed.
We are riding, and our only spectators are local rabbits, cows of all possible colors and tidy sheep.
At some moment it started raining heavily. By that time we were riding for already 1,5 hours non-stop, but haven’t met a single café or shop on the way. Only nice houses, but even in the windows we haven’t noticed any lights. We had to stop and hide from the rain in a little shed – for tractors or for animals – at least it had a roof.
Along all the way you feel the odors of a real countryside: linden and rosehip blossom, mown grass, mixed with smell of dung and wet grass =) It may sound strange, but it was a very nice and soulful ride. At some point we turned to a celtic trail, that passed through a shady and thick enough forest. We all the time had to dodge the branches of lilac and apple trees that were eager to touch our faces and shoulders.
Newport – Cardiff
We had conquered 32 miles, it started getting dark, the rain got stronger. We reached Newport and decided to speed up, as we had no idea what kind of road was waiting ahead. If we had to pass again through those shady forests at night, that wouldn’t be a pleasant trip anymore. So we decided take the motor road, besides, the one with less chances to meet tourists – all the signs on it were in Welsh.
Ah, yes, didn’t we mention? People here speak two languages: English and Welsh.
On the way we met a red Welsh Dragon, who, as it seemed to us in the dark, was saying: “Go, girls, go fast!” Once again we felt like in a book of Tolkien and wondered – “Why was in necessary to shoot “The Hobbit” in New Zealand if here you have so many not less beautiful landscapes?”
We reached Cardiff, the capital of Wales, totally wet and “squeezed”. 54 miles on little Bromptons is quite a lot! We bought a small bottle of spicy rum in a store on the entrance to the city and celebrated our longest cycling distance so far!
We stayed in a beautiful home of Anastasia and Steven. The only thing we wanted to do after we took our bags and bikes in – is to fall down on the floor and enjoy the warmth and dryness!
The legs were buzzing. The head realized – it was another incredibly cool day!
Here’s the route (sorry, it’s in Russian):