Bala - Bangor - Now Then to Nos Da - CycleBlaze

August 5, 1962

Bala - Bangor

After the previous night’s heaving, I wasn’t on top of my game, when we left the YH at Plas Rhiwaedog. [I'm not sure I can pronounce this correctly even now]. At the first road junction I rode out in front of a car I should have given way to. I scared myself and the elderly occupants, more than a little. It was a near miss but only a miss. We continued through the town of Bala and onto the A4212 towards Trawsfynnydd, where Britains only inland “nuke” or nuclear power station was under construction. It opened in 1965 and was decommissioned in 1993. Llyn Celyn reservoir provides water for Liverpool. It’s construction and the concomitant flooding of the village of Capel Celyn provoked fierce local opposition and gave a boost to the cause of Welsh Nationalism. Today Wales has its own parliament and Welsh language TV station, Sianel Pedwar Ec or S4C and the release of water from the reservoir into the Tryweryn river both powers a small hydro-electricity plant and provides facilities for international white-water canoeing and rafting.

Bala Lake camping.
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At Trawsfynnydd, we turned away from the coast and then away into the mountains again, through the village of Beddgelert {Grave of Gelert, a dog] to skirt the Snowdon [Yr Wyddfa] massif. We passed Snowdon Ranger YH and then dropped down to Caernarfon and from there, rode close to the coast into Bangor. Caernarfon Castle was the site of the investiture of Charles, Prince of Wales, heir to the British throne. As an English republican I can only hope, that this sort of thing won’t happen again. If I was Welsh, I would have been exquisitely annoyed. [Prince of Where?] We were in time for dinner and the next day was our rest day. Our rest, was amusingly interrupted by a group of four young guys, but older than us, from a cycling club in Gateshead, in England’s North-east, not too far from our home turf, with whom we were sharing a dormitory Like us, they were taking a break in Bangor. The Tyneside boys had a mantra, which they recited, probably too often, as though singing a round, taking a word or phrase apiece. “Me, Mesel, Porsonally speakin’, Hoose, Yer Fucker.” They extracted shiny suits from their saddlebags, combed their brylcreemed hair and went “oot on the toon.”

Trawsfynydd Power Station
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Bangor YH
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Today's ride: 95 km (59 miles)
Total: 658 km (409 miles)

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