Day 16. Friog to Lake Bala. 43km. 380m climbing

We were really well rested  after our stay at Panteinion Hall but our legs were still tired after several stiff days so we planned a shorter half day to Bala. We don’t usually plug specific places on our blog but I would definitely recommend Panteinion Hall. 

Panteinion Hall
The view from Panteinion Hall

The setting was amazing and soaking in the log fired hot tub yesterday evening looking out over the tree-scape of the valley to the sound of the nearby waterfall and birds singing was blissful. It sent every muscle in my body to jelly! The whole place was very comfortable and restful ….but time to move on again!

The first section was along 9 miles of the Mawddach trail – a lovely track along the estuary to Dolgellau.  We stopped to watch herons and passed numerous family cycling groups coming in the opposite direction.  A great place to get your biking legs.

Heron on the estuary

Dolgellau is one of my favourite towns in Wales and well set up for our needs.  It  was busy but not heaving.   We managed to get a patch for the small hole in our flysheet and a new bottle cage to replace David’s split one within the space of a couple of hundred meters, and chatted to the friendly and helpful man who ran Dolgellau Cycles.

The route to Bala was along a main road – never a great prospect but we needed a short route with not too much climbing.  The road was not too busy and the climb was relatively gradual but I was finding it really tough.  My legs were really telling me they had had enough!  However after a rest by a babbling little river and a large handful of jelly beans I revived – mainly because the wind switched from a head wind to a tail wind.

Over the top of the hill and down towards Bala, and we were able to turn off the main road in order to cycle up the quiet side of the lake. Still there were quite a few cars bon this tiny road, but it is half term and sunny so its not surprising that lots of people are out and about.

A tranquil brook on the way between Dolgellau and Bala

We were at the campsite in time for a late lunch.  Pleasantly surprised that the nearest campsite to the town and very close to the lake was a quiet, smallish, grassy simple site – plenty of hot water in the shower a marker for 5 stars in or book.

The aim for the afternoon was to rest and revive our tired legs so we pottered about the campsite then ambled into Bala for an ice cream, which we ate looking at everyone else being very active on the lake – canoes, swimming, windsurfing, paddle boarding and lots and lots of children having a great time in the water.

As we strolled back a couple of runners passed us babbling away in an incomprehensible language.  I commented that I had heard more foreign languages in Bala than anywhere else; until David pointed out that they were speaking Welsh and we were the foreigners here!

1 thought on “Day 16. Friog to Lake Bala. 43km. 380m climbing

  1. David, Bernie,

    I have seen yout tweets, but only just found the blog

    I was picking up post in the Flint Delivery Office and commented to my lodger that I had not realised so many people spoke Welsh. He pointed out that they were all speaking Polish!

    Hope it all goes well.

    Wales has a LOT of hills, so I hope your legs survive!

    Am looking up your charity but have no money

    Philip

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