A Challenging Drive North
Feeling we needed another getaway we headed for Snowdonia once again. However on this occasion it would be a stark contrast to when we last visited on the blistering Easter bank holiday we had earlier on in the year. Having checked the weather a few days before, it was clear that temperatures would drop below freezing, but as always this would never stop us.
The journey up saw us encounter freezing fog, and by the time we entered the park it meant conditions were far from ideal. Having prepared a park up in advance, we headed up towards this via the narrow lane. Its worth also mentioning at this point that one of the comments for this location included the word ‘Steep’. This mixed in with the freezing temperatures was only a recipe for a lack of traction shall we say. Onward we went and after a few hairpin bends eventually lost grip on a huge patch of wet leaves across the road. There was only one thing for it and I instructed Sam to ‘Give it everything’. We were able to claw our way ahead, all be it with some tyre smoke and laughter.
What we were presented with shortly after however, meant we could progress no further. With a drop to the passenger side, we had stumbled across a huge patch of black ice. A drivers nightmare and caused by the surface run off finding its way to the road. Essentially only two of the four wheels had grip on the side away from the edge. I slipped as I got out to check, and it was at this point we had to back down the lane and 2:00AM in the morning in sub-zero temperatures. We did eventually made it to a second location safe and well, parked up and bedded down.
The Loop (Great challenge – Reid a Ras Loop)
We woke to beautiful scenery as we overlooked the valley, made breakfast and then headed on down the road to a parking place close to Capel curig where we would start the ride. The Reid a Ras Loop is an 18 mile ride which they say you should allow 3 hours for. As with most rides we take on, Strava was enabled which showed 2h 35m of ride time. This figure was however longer with the break stops and photo opportunities.
As rides go, we were incredibly lucky with the weather, and the scenery and landscapes looked utterly spectacular. In the morning we woke to thick frost, and throughout the day, this was pretty much the same picture. Those areas in shade even at lunchtime still held on to this frost. We would have to say good fitness required and in areas advanced riding skills are necessary.
Mountains, rivers, forest and Robins made for one of the most memorable rides I think we have had. About half way round this loop you come out to the llanrwst side which as recommended by other is the ‘Best’ part of the trail. They were not wrong, and the decent which lasted for a good amount of time was technical, flowy and a absolute joy to ride. The only downside, is to continue on the loop, you have to ride, or walk up a very long incline. I honestly think I had more fun on this decent than some in the French Alps.
Navigation – Before leaving we downloaded a GPX file which included the complete route, however upon setting off the route was very clearly signposted. In certain places there was even a map to show where you were in relation to the ride. If you did wish to download the GPX, please check out THIS page.
We Love Meeting You Guys!
A massive part of what we do is sharing our adventures with you our followers. We do meet a lot of people that see the van and are interested in what it is we do. Sam and I are always happy to have a chat and explain, whilst also finding out what it is you do! We have made so many friends so far on our journeys, but we hope to meet and make many many more.
At one point, we had finished our ride and parked back up overlooking the valley. Then out of all the cars to come along, we had a police car pull in behind us. There was us thinking we were going to be told off, however it turns out the officer was a follower of ours. Never did we expect this, and was a privilege to be able to have a chat about all things bikes and Vanlife. If you ever see us, come and have a chat!!!
Thanks for being so supportive