Going back to my holiday in North Wales last month – having ridden to Bala and back from Porthmadog, accompanied by the “Beast from the East” the previous day, the next day was only ever going to be a short recovery ride, which made a trip to Portmeirion the ideal desination – that and the fact that I’d always been curious about the place, since my sister bought the ‘botanical’ dinner service there a few decades ago.
There wasn’t an early departure on the cards, as both Bev and I were going with a chilled out vibe, preferring to set off mid-morning in glorious sunshine. We retraced our steps from yesterday’s ride, leaving Porthmadog and heading out along The Cob, which breaches the Traeth Mawr estuary and paved the way for the famous Ffestiniog Railway to come to Porthmadog.
The Snowdonia mountain range vistas to the east of Porthmadog and The Cob are truly magnificant and majestic, particularly with the snow-capped summits on parade. I was just grateful for a lack of snow and freezing temperatures here on the coast.
It didn’t take long to get to Minffordd, a small village nestling below the climb to Portmeirion, and after turning right to ascend the road became much quieter. Another few minutes and we arrived at the ticket office only to discover no cycle racks or other places to leave our steeds. A bit disappointing – but on the bright side we were both £8.00 better off. Also, walking round the village would have been a challenge in cleats to put it mildly.
We took a few snaps of both of us messing about before descending back down to the A487 and heading back to the cottage.
But just before riding across The Cob again Bev spotted a narrow, steep stone staircase, which had to be investigated. Dismounting, we shouldered our bikes and alighted the steps to the Ffestiniog Railway sidings and took a few photos before climbing back down to road level.
Heading back into Porthmadog along The Cob was an uneasy experience, as this involved riding next to a stone parapet that towered above us. The problem was that riding far enough out in the road caused lots of close passes involving overtaking vehicles and oncoming traffic, the only other alternative being to ride close to the wall and risk a nasty brush with it.
At this stage, I was glad to get home what with it also beginning to spit.
Looks like there’ll have to be another trip to North Wales to repay a visit to Portmeirion in the car.