We arrived at the hotel after battling through the pre Jubilee Bank holiday traffic, to find Joe minus Izzy, who was at home poorly, Graham ( on his first trip) minus Jean who was resting in their room, Norman minus Ireen who was also resting, as well as Richard and Christine all outside enjoying a welcome drink in the warm sunshine.
Nigel, Joanna, Dave and Jan joined us all for dinner, in our own special dining area. Nigel was at a loss as he had bought his camera but no film!!. Mick and Netty, Richard and Françoise were also with us after settling into their rooms. While we were eating a stranger walked in and asked if we were the owners of the bikes as he had just reversed into one!!! You could hear a pin drop, as we all hoped it was not ours! He then broke into a broad smile and introduced himself and his wife, it was Robert and Karen, it was their first trip with us and what an entrance it certainly broke the ice, as we quickly found them a space to sit and eat their dinner
After dinner all the men went out, drawn like moths to a flame to inspect Graham’s new 1800 with its array of flashing lights.
The weather was slightly overcast with possible rain for the day, John and Alison arrived and gate crashed breakfast by clearing up the odd pieces of toast and cups of coffee. Soon 10 bikes set off in convoy through the low cloud heading for the Horseshoe Pass., Nigel’s bike had a blue aura around it( which later in the day hypnotised a cat crossing the road) as he went under the trees and into the mist, he looked like a Marvel Super hero!
As we climb higher the low cloud became thicker and wetter, so the views of the Horseshoe pass were totally obscured. At Llangollen Roy decided to put on his” lucky” waterproof over trousers as the rain was beginning to fall quite heavy, but by the time we arrived at the first coffee stop the skies were beginning to clear, Roy was ordered to keep his lucky pants on! Soon we were winding our way to Caernarfon through the heart of Snowdonia when Rick called out that he had a wobble at the back, we all pulled over and check the tyre pressures which appeared fine, the general consensus was that the wobble was Francoise???. Most people took the opportunity of the stop to take off their water proofs which were turning into “boil in the bag” outfits as the temperatures were rising. Once more on our way to Caernarfon, where Nigel and Dave had arranged a secure parking space for us all at the harbour close by the Castle, in the warm sunshine, magic!
With Nigel, Joanna and Dave and Jan guarding the bikes, the rest of us set off to explore the city, castle, market, shops and harbour. The sea gulls ducking and diving above the harbour decided to use Rick gold bike as target practice!!! Some of their aims were spot on!
After a lovely lunch spent in the warm sunshine admiring the views across the estuary we moved out once more to make our way through the dramatic countryside, counting the pubs on the way through Bethesda, all 10 of them on the same side of the road? At Betws-y-Coed, the afternoon tea stop Dave ordered us all to have compulsory ice creams, as this is what you have to do at Betws-y-Coed.
On arrival back to the hotel after another great ride, we found that the Ian and Denise, Dennis ( looking very fit after his fall) and Christine, Alan and Ann, Denis and Lorraine and Paul and Angela had all arrived safely after their trip down from up North. Steve and Sandra with friends Kev and Karen had also arrived with the bikes proudly flying the Union Flag.
Dinner was a noisy affair with everyone catching up; Ireen was proudly wearing a crown in celebration of the Jubilee.
Joanna had organised a quiz, which was won by Rick and Françoise, 2nd place Rob and Karen and 3rd place, John, Allison and Joe.
Was wet cold and windy!!! Well it was a bank holiday.
Dennis, Christine, Graham and Jean wisely decided to stay in the warm for the day. So we set off in thick wet mist, this time with two blue auras, Nigel’s and Alan’s (although not so bright). Roy was sporting the latest in dry feet footwear, 2 white plastic bags, he does have style?
We wound our way through the wet, down the Crimea Pass, passing by the moody, foreboding but impressive Slate Mines where the purple Rhodendrum bushes clung on to the sides, in full bloom. The coffee shop was deep in amidst these towering slate mountains and the respite was very welcome.
We moved on , missing out the photo shoot at Harlech Castle, but we could make out Portmeirion, through the mist and across the slate grey sea , where the “Prisoner” was filmed – was surprising how many Prisoner experts were on the CB, along with” Zulu” experts when “Men of Harlech” was discussed. Those who do not have CB miss out on some amazing facts?
At Barmouth, we parked up and went off in search of warmth and food. Ann and Alan refused to take their helmets off. It was so wet and very windy. Roy’s and Denise’s umbrellas blew inside out and were quickly deposited in a bin. Paul and Angela decided not to stop and headed off to Bala. Denis and Lorraine also decided to carry on back to the hotel.
Joe quickly spotted the “arousal” café which looked welcoming so, not to leave him on his own, Roy and I, Denise and Ian joined him. It was an “interesting” eating experience. Once inside we found out that the name was Carousal, the “C” had fallen off the sign outside!
After a quick go on the grabbers, where Roy won 4 teddies ( he is the man when it comes to grabbers) we all decide to cut the route short and make for the Hotel, well all of us except Alan and Ann who gallantly followed the route for the day.
Back at the hotel, it was time to dry out, warm up and watch the Thames pageant on TV.
Joe and Izzy (who was feeling much better and had driven up to join us) won tonight’s quiz, with John and Alison, Mick and Netty coming 2nd and 3rd respectively.
What a difference a day makes? It was bright and sunny. Paul and Angela said their good byes as a street party had been planned back home.
15 bikes set off, taking in the clear beautiful views, quiet villages and enjoying the empty dry roads. Coffee stop was by Conwy Castle, after passing over bridge into the walled town. To sit outside and enjoy a coffee was brilliant. Nigel then lead us over Britannia bridge on to Anglesey to Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwlllantysiliogogoch Station, where much to the dismay of the coach drivers but delight of their passengers, we formed a display to have our photos taken under this fantastic sign.
Rob, Karen, John Allison had to leave now to get back home. I hope Rob and Karen enjoyed the first trip out with us and look forward to seeing them again.
The rest of us made our way to the beautiful town of Beaumaris, which could have been in the South of France with its, deep blue sea, white houses, pretty boats chinking in the harbour and warm sun beating down. Here we spilt up for lunch and a walk round. Joe (who had left Izzy back at the hotel to do the washing and ironing) went on the Beaumaris Wheel. He is just a kid at heart.
We all assembled and were lead over the Menai Bridge with its fantastic views of the Snowdonia Mountain range. We were so lucky the weather was clear. We then wound our way to Nant Gwyn ant, where Nigel decided to take a group photo, we lined up and were supposed to wave, but our frantic hand movements were us trying to sweep the miggies away. We also observed a traffic warden having a field day handing parking fines to loads of motorists who had illegally parked on a clearway. I bet he gets a bonus each year for exceeding his targets!
We had fantastic ride back to the hotel, with grit free quiet roads, fabulous scenery and a quick ice cream at Betws-y-Coed. Fabulous!!
After dinner we sat upstairs and watched the Jubilee concert, singing along to the songs and completing a quiz which was won tonight by Alan and Ann, Denis and Lorraine (there are incriminating pictures of Denis on his phone)
The weekend was brilliant, thank you once again for Nigel, Joanna, Dave and Jan for all the hard work in organising the weekend and for taking us on roads we did not know even existed.
Complete photo gallery