Video of the first week of the June Pyrenees Trip
Video from North Wales October Trip including bits of the Wayfarer, carren Carwash and Happy Valley
Compilation video of some of the best bits of action caught on camera over the summer
We had a Big Weekend tour in Wales last weekend. Combined the famous Strata Florida route with Nant yr Arian for Saturday and Brechfa Forest for Sunday to pull together a full on but none damaging weekend of Green Laning.
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).
After clearing Strata Florida we found, to the frustration of the Ladies the toilets were locked at the Monastery. Not such a problem for the boys, and luckily the Ladies in the group were brave enough to make there own arrangements.
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.
A few sleet showers and a hail storm had seen us cut short our lunch break, so we stopped for an extended afternoon brake at the Red Kite Centre. Awesome to see so many Red Kites in one place at one time. Must have been 30 birds in the air over the lake. (Guess we must have coincided with feeding time). Enjoyed a well earned coffee and a slice of cake before head back south for the final lanes of the day.
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.
The route through Brechfa Forest is a great route, with the first climb a series of switch backs and the second a muddy rocky trail as hard as it gets. This final section saw the Mitsubishi get properly stuck on a big step,, but fair play to it and Ray for getting that far on road tyres. A quick pull and they were soon on there way again. Next came the Toyota and this too struggle partly from the hole dug by the Mitsubishi. Maurice decided this was a good chance to use his winch to make his own way forward. This was the first action his Chinese winch had seen and I think the last. While it did the job (just) it was not impressive and I think Maurice will soon have it back on ebay!!!
Following this we cleared the forest on a newly repaired section of lane and finished the day off with a big climb and descent on the far side of the valley from Brechfa Village. All finished off in glorious if rather chilly sunshine. I can't wait to do this route again.
4x4 Adventure Tours
Bespoke guided 4x4 tours throughout the South West and Wales.