Wales is why people get travel agents

We’ve booked our coach tickets from London to Cardiff, and now we just need to sort out where we are staying and reserve our bikes.  I finally, after much searching, found the perfect place to stay, but sadly, they only have three rooms and all are booked.  I came thisclose to asking if we could camp in their backyard.  They are the only hotel so far that has given directions for getting to them by bike.  Everyone else says, “we are close to the Taff Trail” which seems to mean either actually close to the Taff Trail, or “easy driving distance” from the trail.

We are still trying to figure out whether we’ll actually be able/want to do a full 55 miles there, and 55 miles returning the next day, since 55 miles takes us the better part of 7 hours with a stop for lunch, and that means we don’t get to see much of the Beacons.  So now we are considering taking the Taff Trail to Brecon, staying there, and then taking the 20-mile canal towpath down to Abergavenny, where we can then hop on the train and take the train back to Cardiff.  This would give us the morning to hang out in the Beacons and explore.  Perhaps do a bit of walking, which is British for hiking.

So far, I have found the following other problems with planning our trip to Wales:

1.) I can’t pronounce anything.  Can somebody please tell me how to pronounce Bwlch? It seems to be a town, but it has NO VOWELS!

2.) I can’t figure out where anything is.  In my googling, there are many things located in Powys, which seems really far from the Beacons, but it seems that maybe Powys is a region or something??

3.) There is a big difference between hotels, hostels, guest houses, bunk houses, and bed and breakfasts.  You would think that you could just search for “places to stay” but apparently you cannot.  Also, accommodation is British for “places to stay”.  Once I realized that, I stopped getting links about camping about the Taff Trail in my google search.

4.) The Taff trail does not appear to be marked on Google, so I can’t even tell if some of these towns are anywhere near it.

After excessive googling, it looks like it might be possible to stay in the town of Talybont-on-usk, which seems to be just off the Taff trail and also accessible to the canal towpath.  I thought I found a nice hotel, but they don’t list an email address and request that you instead call them.  Seems like a way to deter those rough and obnoxious American tourists if you ask me.



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4 responses to “Wales is why people get travel agents

  1. “I can’t pronounce anything. Can somebody please tell me how to pronounce Bwlch? It seems to be a town, but it has NO VOWELS!”

    LOL. Have you seen the movie “The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill and Came Down a Mountain?” Movie is only so-so (early Hugh Grant romcom), but it’s set in Wales and I remember how long and vowel-less the town names are. Y’know, I’m trying to think of other movies set in Wales, and I can’t think of any others. Weird.

    I’ve always wanted to see Wales (a few of my ancestors came from there :)), but I don’t envy you the logistics planning part … hope things start falling into place soon — when is your trip, btw?

    • vadoporroesq

      We’re going mid-August – leaving around the 23rd, coming back the 31st, I think, but we’re only in Wales for a bit of that. I think I have actually found us a place to stay that is along the trail, has a room available, isn’t terribly expensive, and is pronouncable (sort-of.) I have seen the Englishman Who Went Up A Hill And Came Down A Mountain; but I thought for some reason it was set in Scotland and not Wales. Perhaps we will have to re-watch it.

  2. 1) Boolkh.
    2) It’s a county:
    3) Sounds like you’ve figured this one out, more or less…

    While we’re on the subject, this may be useful to review:

  3. That sounds incredibly frustrating. Maybe there is a travel book about biking in Whales? Or a magazine article somewhere out in the cosmos.

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