Tag Archives: travel

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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England! And Wales!

We’re going to England this summer.  I’m insanely excited for this trip.  Our honeymoon was great, but I really held off on planning anything and I think a bit of planning might have helped us.  So the England trip is getting planned.  I spent a bit of time getting excited over the weekend, and think we have a pretty good trip planned. 

We have Husband’s sister’s wedding reception/party in Leeds four days after we fly into Heathrow (Wednesday).  We don’t plan to spend any time in London (expensive, loud, crowded), and instead will hopefully just get right on the 201 and take the 3hr trip to Cardiff, Wales.  We will spend the first day exploring Cardiff (suggestions welcome) and stay overnight in a hotel or hostel. 

The next morning, we will head over to the Cycle Hire shop and rent ourselves some bikes. Then we will get on the Taff Trail, which is a 55-mile trail to the Brecon Beacons National Park.  (Yes.  We’ll need to train.)  We will stay overnight somewhere in the park (UK parks are huge and include towns and hamlets, unlike US parks which, if you’re lucky, have campgrounds) and then spend Friday “walking” (British for hiking) or doing something else grand.  Depending on what we do Friday, we will either leave Friday afternoon and cycle back part of the way to Cardiff, staying in a town along the Trail, and then cycle the remaining portion in the morning, or we will cycle the entire Trail on Saturday and then catch a bus to Leeds in the evening and spend a very smelly four hours on the bus.  We could also stay another night in Cardiff and get on a bus early Sunday morning, spending Sunday and Monday with family before catching a train back to London to leave on Tuesday, but it seems like we’d have a much better chance of seeing people and not being stressed if we come in Saturday night. 

Did I already mention how excited I am?  Even if the cycling thing doesn’t plan out, there are plenty of buses up to the Beacons, and plenty of cool things to do in Cardiff, that I’m unconcerned about our biking plan falling through. 

Has anyone ever been to Wales? Suggestions for places to stay, etc. would be appreciated.

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