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Highs and lows of lockdown year 2020

Highs and lows of lockdown year 2020

To comemorate it’s passing, I’m mounting a late vigil here on the blog.

Many people say they won’t miss it.

It started with some large wildfires and bad environmental stuff and worked it’s way up to a global pandemic!

No need to be frustrated though… The solution is here!

Look at it from above….

3 months on and into 2021. I’ve had a look through and gathered what I thought might be some of the best (and worst) parts of my 2020.

The lows

The highs

Photo gallery

Take a brief look at my photo gallery for the year.

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Day #10: Montgomery to Penyffordd

Day #10: Montgomery to Penyffordd

Where my journey finished.

I would’ve liked to have done more, but the MOT ran out on my car two days ago. That took priority over visiting the other places like Swansea and Cardiff I would have liked to dropped in.

Still there we are…

Photo’s from the trip

Haunted house Montgomery

I dug up the Google review which set me off on this place.

Charming and unique B&B, hosts were lovely and un-intrusive. Pretty sure the room we stayed in was haunted, as during the night kept getting disturbed by a figure standing near to the window and strange wet patch that appeared on the chair despite me and my partner not moving it through the duration of our stay, nor did we use the tea or coffee facilities (which were amply stocked with high quality goods), nor did we place any cups of water or drink near the dresser in question. Overall enthralling visit!! Would stay again:)

As promised. Here’s a video of the haunted house. Check the blue ‘orbs’ at around 2:14. I make a couple of errors whilst describing this video. I’d had a bit of a long day.

It’s fairly interesting anyway. See what you think.

Montgomery to Penyffordd

Last stop in Wales to pick up the car and back home.

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Day #9: Builth Wells to Montgomery

Day #9: Builth Wells to Montgomery

And the Montgomery canal. Which I travelled along for a period.

No boats on it…

Montgomery Canal - Newtown Wales
Montgomery Canal – Newtown Wales

This empty lock is the upper reaches of the canal about 2 miles outside of Newtown.

As you travel further down, it gradually starts filling with water until you reach the first working lock outside of Aberbechan.

Aberbechan lock - Montgomery canal
Aberbechan lock – Montgomery canal

It’s maintained by the Canal and River Trust pretty much as soon as it starts filling up with water.


Was much warmer today. Some places in the UK hit 30 +.

The day started very cloudy in Builth Wells, cold and overcast. Which is fine. Slowly, the sun burnt the cloud down, just leaving some resting in the valleys.

Cloud over Llandidrod Valley
Cloud over Llandidrod Valley

This was taken about 10am.

Things got hotter from then on in…

Severn valley

It was one long ascent to a peak of around 1,100ft just outside Newtown, then a drop with 6 miles into Newtown and the Severn Valley.

Newtown church
Newtown church

Newtown had this nice church, perhaps the best church I’ve seen since being in Wales.

They’re not big on their churches these Welsh. Most tend to be small, understated affairs. This one has done quite well.


Had some lunch in Newtown. Tesco meal deal and ate it in the park.

From here on in cycled down a combination of the Severn Valley Way, and the Montgomery Canal towpath until I reached Montgomery.

Bridge at Abermule
Bridge at Abermule

Managed to stay in the shade for most of the journey, which was a nice touch.

Accommodation at Edderton House

Their Feng Shui consultant appears to have been Aleister Crowley.

Everything arranged in a way so as to give an ‘off center’ or skewed feel. It’s like you look at things, they don’t feel right, then you think it’s your fault and they look nice really.

They don’t. They look weird and out of place.

One of the reviews on said the place was haunted.

It’s an extreme rarity that I’m ever woken by my dreams, but at this place I woke at 2.33am in a dream I was performing with some Black Lives Matter people on stage, and a jay flew squawking into my face. Like crashed into me. Sat bolt upright.

Welcome to Edderton House
Welcome to Edderton House

Got cold chills down my spine for hours after. Strange thoughts interrupted my sleep. The channels on the TV stopped working at around 3.30am, and the screen went blue.

Luckily my phone radio streamed through the internet which provided enough distraction to give me a nights sleep.

I’m someone who needs a little noise, or I don’t find it possible to sleep.

I’ve made a video of the house. Hopefully I’ll put it on here, but at the moment, it’s not uploading, so for now it will have to wait.


Went for an overpriced meal in Montgomery.

It’s more like an English town in design, with that familiar mercantile, tobacco trader layout and feel to it, but on a much smaller scale.

Montgomery - Town Square
Montgomery – Town Square
Montgomery - Merchant storehouse and living quarters
Montgomery – Traders house
Arthur Street - Montgomery
Arthur Street – Montgomery
Daisies - Montgomery
Daisies – Montgomery

Day #8: Camarthen to Builth Wells

Day #8: Camarthen to Builth Wells

High in the Brecon Hills…

What a day…

The pictures speak for themselves. But the roads I chose, not those that Google suggested had virtually NO traffic on them. Just hills, nature and wildlife.

Camarthen proved to be a fun place. No doubt I’ll go there again.

Staying in Camarthen

Breakfast was at a local pub, as the establishment I was staying in didn’t have the facilities. It was kind of above a venue set of 10-12 private rooms.

We got access to the rooms using an app. When I wanted to get in the door, either the front door or my room door, I’d fire the app up, and press my phone against the pad.

Worked kind of well.

The accommodation was alright. Could have had better toiletries, I don’t carry any of that around with me, but otherwise alright.

Had a croissant and honey and jam and a bacon and egg sandwich and coffee.

Fairly light, but lots of energy. Set me up until lunch.

“May the wind always be at your back…”

…”and the sun upon your face. And may the wings of destiny carry you aloft to dance with the stars.” – George Jung

Open roads, undulating hills. Brecon Beacons. 0 Traffic for hours on end. Bright with sights, smells and wildlife.

View down to Llandovery
View down to Llandovery

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Day #7: Milton Haven to Camerthen

Day #7: Milton Haven to Camerthen

Another easy day. Being the weekend, I wanted to have a look around Camarthen rather than just shoot through for a much harder, longer journey.

That’s not really a holiday.

So here I am in Camarthen. Only took one picture on the way down.

Cleddau Bridge
Cleddau Bridge

It’s this one.

Speed was up. Did more miles today in 1 1/2 hours less, time-wise. Just shows what a waste of time yesterday was.

Excess luggage

Here’s a picture of my bike. Maybe you can see what’s slowing it down.

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Day #6: Llechryd to Milford Haven

Day #6: Llechryd to Milford Haven

Thought about cycling to St. David‘s on the Pembrokeshire peninsular.

After reviewing prevailing weather conditions on the METoffice app, and knowing that Google said it added 3 1/2 hours to the 3 to get to Milford Sound. When the time came to set off, I set the destination for Milford.

This was without doubt the best decision of the day and I felt thankful for making it as I climbed and descended hills into 28mph headwinds.

The journey to Milford Sound

It took 4.5 hours. I really can’t say I enjoyed any of it. I just wanted to be in Milford, off my bike and out of the wind.

Didn’t really have a lunch stop, as I assumed I’d be in Milford for mid-day. Instead, lunch was few handfulls of peanuts and a snickers bar outside a church.

A lot of the day was spent crossing lowland pasture land, moorland and a very small amount on the coast.


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Day #5: Machynlleth to Llechryd

Day #5: Machynlleth to Llechryd

Sort of close to Cardigan.

Day of hills

According to Strava, I’ve ascended the equivalent of Ben Nevis today, around 4,500ft.

It certainly felt like that. Heavy trunk routes, endless traffic, hills and noise were all too apparent in their absence, and that was only in the last 5 miles.

Furnace watermill - Powys
Furnace watermill – Powys

Angry brummie

After that day of tireless effort, what could be better than being greeted by an angry Brummie proprietor, initially a little annoyed because you’d arrived 10 mins before check-in.

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