The half-hour walk to view the waterfalls and the famous three bridges over the Mynach starts just outside the hotel, a lovely beginning to the day. The lowest bridge dates from the 12th century, with more modern constructions built on top of each other. After breakfast a very hilly ride took us an hour to cover the seven miles to the start of a rough track past Nant y Moch reservoir, a ford further hindering our progress. The surface improved after a few miles, enabling us to reach Machynlleth in time for lunch in the Quarry Shop at 13:20.
We bought food for tonight’s self-catering stay at Kings youth hostel before thinking it would be a good idea to check they had vacancies. We were shocked to find they’d already closed for the winter, burdening us with extra weight for no reason!
A mountain road took us up through Happy Valley before dropping down into Tywyn where Christine sustained a puncture in her front wheel, the hedge trimmers having finally got us. After fixing it we swept inland past the dramatic Craig yr Aderyn (Bird Rock), then decided it was too late to face the rough track over the mountains and opted to return to the coast to take the main road, which was fairly quiet by now.
At Arthog we gained the Mawddach Trail along the estuary for the easy run to Dolgellau, but after only a couple of miles, Christine’s back wheel suffered a puncture! We thought we’d fixed it but it deflated immediately after re-assembling everything. Feeling deflated ourselves by now, and thinking that the George III hotel at Penmaenpool wasn’t far off, I cycled off to try to book in while Christine pushed. It was further than expected and they were fully booked! So I raced back and we just had time to fix the puncture properly before it became too dark (the patch hadn’t adhered properly), and rode past the hotel into town, booking in at the first B&B we found. Dolgellau isn’t a great place for dining out, luckily we made last orders at Y Sospan by a few seconds for a mediocre broccoli bake to sustain us until breakfast.