Saturday saw an early start and we were at the beginning of Strata Florida by 10 O'clock. Think we must have been ahead of the crowds as saw nobody for the whole length of the route. Water levels in the rivers were moderate for this time of year. Looks like a lot of work has been done on the route with many of the bigger puddles drained and some new cattle grids installed (Not sure about these as none of them seem to have a bypass for Horses or Horse drawn vehicles. Being a byway open to all traffic one would have thought a bypass gate was required!).
We had some fun at the bomb hole. All the vehicles managed to make it through without any problem. This was the first test for the Disco 3 that proved itself to be very capable throughout the day, until disaster struck on the final lane. (More about that later).
Now we moved on to Nant-yr-Arian with a 30 minute road section. First lane is a little gem, nothing difficult and doesn't luck much on the map, but some lovely views and a few rocks to keep it interesting and brings us out by the lakes for a convenient and picturesque lunch stop.
Next it onto Nant yr Arian proper with a steep muddy climb followed by a short and very wet descent. There were plenty of Mountain Bikers out and about in this area. Some of them were making faster progress than we were, at least until we cam across the poor guy with a snapped saddle. Seem happy enough with his lot and refused our offers of help, but sure he had a long push back from the middle of nowhere. The next challenge was a series of axle twisters. These have been somewhat improved over recent year, but still a challenge. The Disco 3 with diff locks and traction control made light work of it, but the Toyota Land Cruiser struggled with a lack of articulation. This was made up for by some deft driving and line selection by Maurice who managed to pilot if through the next section without issue. Great shot here of the Disco 3 being balanced on 2 wheels as it progress forward without issue. A very impressive vehicle.
This was Soar Y Myrydd, which is interesting enough if a little tame now it has been repair. Nice little ford and a good climb. The final 100 yds of the lane saw disaster strike for the Disco 3. Could have happened to anyone at anytime, but really unlucky to get a puncture so close to the end of the day. This was made worse by the fact that it was a stone through the sidewall of the tyre. The spare saw them on there way again, but with nowhere open in Mid Wales on a Sunday, and only the one spare tyre, this saw they having to withdraw from the next days fun.
Following a few samples of the locally brewed ales at the Nueadd Arms, Sunday saw a rather foggy start to the day, but this soon cleared away following a hearty Breakfast. We had arranged to try to fix get a replacement tyre from the local mechanic on Sunday Morning, but given the state of him on Saturday night at the bar it was no surprise he did not show up.
First lane of the day ends in a big ford. This blew away any remaining cobwebs. Myself and the Toyota managed to cross safely, although it was near enough on the limit with water over the bonnet and a little sideways movement in the middle of the stream. Ray's Petrol power Mitsubishi took the short an sensible detour. From here on we were heading south towards Brechfa Forest. Some interesting little lanes on the way kept us amused and it was nice to see the sun come out and brighten up the day.