Tuesday 20th March
Stepping outside the hotel in the sunshine really made it feel like spring has finally arrived, it was still bitterly cold but I had layered up accordingly. I cycled across the harbour area and found the cycle path that went along the seafront all the way to The Mumbles. This is the nicest cycle path I have ever been on, smooth tarmac and a clear definition between pedestrians and cyclists. I’m not sure if it’s just because it was sunny but it was being very well used by commuters into Swansea. You could understand why as at 8am the traffic wasn’t moving!
I reached the Mumbles (the headland of Swansea Bay) and this is where the first hill started. The Gower is beautiful but hilly, the winding country roads are very scenic and the cars were very tolerant. I was supposed to be going all the way around the Gower but I needed to meet others in Llanelli at midday and knew that this wasn’t going to be possible so I cut across the middle, I didn’t manage to avoid more hills though.
I found a cafe/shack the other side and had a bacon sandwich. I then continued on national cycle route 4 to Llanelli. I was to meet Hugh and Mart here, but I hadn’t realised that the place they suggested we met meant cycling off the coast road and into the town. I got quite a few nasty comments from passers by and when I did finally turn up at our meeting point a little early I found out that they only served drinks and not food – this made me more grumpy. So I found another cafe across the road and then met up with the others after I had eaten.
Hugh and Mart both cycle recumbent trikes, Hugh has a self build and Mart a similar but earlier version of mine. We cycled down to the coastal bike path which ran for a few miles to Bury Port. After lots of photos Hugh left and Mart and I to continue onto Carmarthen. I am normally really chatty when I ride but I found myself apologising to Mart that I was unusually quiet. We cycled for a bit on the main road before cutting up some hilly back roads which was much more pleasant. When we reached Carmarthen Mart asked if I wanted to join him to go to a burger van, but I was cold and had been all day and explained to Mart that I still had 7 miles to cycle to my end point and that I would like to keep going. Thanks for joining me Hugh and Mart!
I tried to go to a pub on the way to the hostel for warmth and food but it didn’t open until 6, so I found the steep road up to the hostel and climbed that reading a sign that there was also a restaurant at the top. Unfortunately the restaurant was very expensive and out of the question so for dinner I had some chicken flavoured rice, a tin of tuna and a large bag of Maltesers!
I couldn’t sleep last night and I think this has contributed to my grumpiness along with the fact that my body is tired. My feet have been sore all day and I have been suffering from ‘hot foot’ something a lot of us who cycle recumbent trikes get and it’s like very painful pins and needles that doesn’t go away. I feel ashamed for feeling like this when it has been sunny all day, a little cold but perfect cycling weather. Hopefully I will get a better sleep tonight as I have a long day on my own tomorrow.
(The view from the hotel restaurant, next door to where I am staying.)