We called in on the bike shop for a replacement inner tube, where the owner told us that the “rough track” over the mountain into Arthog was tarmac to the summit and a good dirt surface down, though it was a long grind to reach the top. Also he’d met someone else who’d made the same mistake as us by taking yesterday’s sunken track! After chatting here, we further delayed our start by taking the wrong road out of town, up a long steep hill!
Finally we were off, climbing up through Coed y Brenin and enjoying the views despite our exhaustion, the hillclimbing effort of these three days having caught up with us. We freewheeled down to the main road at Trawsfynydd, climbed up through the village and onto a new section of route, which took us by surprise. This brought us to the visitor centre of the defunct nuclear power plant, where we called in for bara brith and a disappointingly lukewarm coffee.
The new track wound round before leading us into the next village of Gellilydan and along a minor road to Maentwrog for a short section of the A470 then onto the B4410. There are some interesting old buildings in the vicinity, including the house where Clough Williams-Ellis, architect of nearby Portmeirion lived – the garden is open to the public. Annoyingly, an “RAC MPG rally” significantly increased the traffic until we shook them off at Beddgelert and celebrated with a chocolate and ginger ice-cream.
We burnt off the calories and more on the long climb up to Pen y Gwryd and round the corner to the top of the Llanberis pass. A group of teenagers clambering out of a minibus at the car park admired our fitness, which made it all seem worthwhile!
Then it was downhill almost all the way home for showers and dinner.