Aaron stopped me on my way out of the campground this morning to wish me safe travels and offer a bacon biscuit (with ketchup?) for the road.
Given the amount of recent climbing, I spent a lot of time deciding where to go today. Heading towards the coast I’d end up back on major highways with few options if that didn’t work. The more direct path to Sam’s Dad’s (Kieran, as revealed in his e-mail reply) appeared … unpleasant. Instead, I selected something counter-intuitive. If I headed back from whence I came, and continued an additional 10 km beyond even that I would arrive in Tregaron and reconnect with the National Cycle Path 82 (the one I veered wildly away from yesterday). From there I could follow the Teifi River all the way to Newcastle Emrys (where Kieran lives), and then to the coast. It still wouldn’t be flat, but the climbs are shorter, and slightly less steep. Not to say that I cycled all day. I still spent time walking up hills, but at least not as long or as far. After that was just a long day of cycling.
Arriving in Newcastle Emlyn, I made a quick pass of the local castle before heading towards Kieran’s. As I cycled through town, someone walking by hailed me – Kieran! He was taking a walk through town and figured a fully-loaded cyclist was likely to be me. We walked back to his house. Up a huge hill.
After a shower, Kieran offered laundry. I’ve mostly been doing laundry by hand this trip, in bits here and there. Normally I can do laundry by hand and hang it up in the evening, and it would be dry by morning. Here on the Irish Sea the nights are wet (either rain or dew). Even on the generally sunny days, the mornings are grey and dreary.
Kieran also exchanged my cursed Isle of Man currency for true English sterling. That not only gets rid of that problem, but it solves the fact that I was almost out of sterling, and now don’t need to withdraw more money only to almost immediately exchange it back.
After dinner we took a walk down for an extensive review of the castle and associated park. We spent the remainder of the evening chatting, deep into the night. Sam’s always spoken highly of his father, and I can see why. Kieran is retired now, but has a storied working career and a pleasure to get to know.
From here I head to Newport, and then to Fishguard and the ferry to Rosslare. I figured out that I’m about three days “ahead” of schedule. A large portion of that is due to the fabulous weather. Even wildly rain averse, I haven’t had to stop for rain (and in fact am a bit sunburnt). What I will do with that time remains to be seen. There’s still plenty of time for rain.