Machynlleth to Rhayader

Vale of Rheidol Railway at Devils Bridge
Vale of Rheidol Railway at Devils Bridge

I slept really well but another hour would have been welcome. The other occupants were still in bed when we left, but no sooner had we locked the door than Rowan announced he couldn’t find his sunglasses and they must be inside! The bike shop didn’t open until 10:00. Since I was desperate for a coffee, I ambled along to the Quarry Shop while Christine woke the others… to no avail as the sunglasses were nowhere to be found. Later in the day, Rowan found them in one of his panniers.

It was a warm sunny start with heavy downpours forecast for later. We started off along the mountain road which forms a short cut to Llanidloes, turning off at Forge, a mile or so outside town, and up the narrow road which soon became a track. This was really hard going with numerous large rocks making even the downhill sections difficult. At one point we had to remove all the luggage and drag the bikes over rough rocky ground off the path to cross a river, as the bridge was upstream away from the path.

At this point it began to rain heavily so we were very pleased to reach tarmac at Nant y Moch reservoir for an easier ride down to the main road and on to Devils Bridge. We looked at the railway then continued on to Cwmystwyth where we turned off along the mountain road to Rhayader past derelict mines. The midges prevented us from reading the information boards, it was more comfortable to read about it when we got home.

We reached Rhayader at 18:30 and found Greenfields, listed in our independent hostel guide. It’s a listed building with two decaying tennis courts, the door was wedged open with a note telling prospective customers to ring this phone number. It looked interestingly run-down inside, old furniture and flower vases, fireplaces in the bedrooms. Christine’s description was “seedy” and she wanted to try the bunkhouse two miles out of town but Rowan and I were tired and wanted to flop. So we booked in, bought food and I cooked, not easy in the grossly inadequate kitchen.

Rhayader to Tregaron