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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Forest of Dean

The Forest is just over an hours journey away, so we had a few days away to catch the colourful shades whilst they are still around.  The campsite was at Parkend, a lovely village that we have visited before and also one the cycle club has used for weekends.

The next two shots were taken on the cycle trail to Coleford.

Right next to the campsite is the RSPB Nags Head nature reserve.

Parkend church and cemetery. 

 It was interesting to see that the graves of people who had been dead for well over 70 years had fresh flowers on them, so someone in the family still remembers.

The Fountains is the pub and this caters for us when the cycle club stay.  They have a bunkhouse accommodation at the back.

Wild boar were reintroduced into the Forest a few years ago but their numbers have now got out of hand as they now number over 1000.  They do an enormous amount of damage to anywhere that is left unfenced, and every morning you can see fresh signs of their previous nights work.  Gardens and playing fields have been completely destroyed.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Hay on Wye cycle ride

Ray and I  rode up to Hay, the town of books, on the Friday morning, taking a mixture of trails, lanes, and B and A roads, 52 miles and about 3500 feet of climb.  

The Autumn colours are coming in and leaves are beginning to fall.
These were on the trail to Tredegar and built on the reclaimed land of the Markham colliery.

Others arrived by car and 15 cyclists set out on Saturday morning for a 58 mile ride to Hereford and back. 

The best photo opportunities are usually when we stop to regroup or have a snack.

The present day success of Hay lies mainly with Richard Booth, the owner Hay castle below.  He started bookshops in the town about 40 years ago and at one time declared himself the King of Hay, but eccentric as he may have been he was the catalyst that has helped Hay become what it is today.  The bookshops grew and eventually developed into the now world famous Hay Literary Festival, where many famous people have made an appearance.

Hay Castle

Whilst the rest of the group did another ride, we took our time and a different route , enjoying a teastop on the way and ending up in Abergavenny to catch a train back to Cardiff.  As Ireland were playing France in the World Cup at the Millenium Stadium the train was full of supporters and we were lucky to get ourselves and the bikes on.  Getting the bikes on trains can sometimes be fraught and often its down to the train conductor, who was pleasant and helpful.

Arriving in Cardiff it was as if Ireland were playing home, green shirts everywhere, and watching the game later on TV the atmosphere sounded fantastic.

All in all a good weekend, and about 150 miles cycled.