Thursday, September 22, 2011

Day 5 of the mountain biking trip

Woo! Finally. Writing it up! The very reason for not writing up the last few days of the blogs, apart from being a darn lazy ass would be the fact that i was rushing in and out of the place every few seconds to make the best of my last few days.

Day 5 was one of the most memorable days of my trip (Okay, cut the crap. Everyday was memorable!). I spent the entire night in a sleeper train, which really really gave me the harry potter feel! It was amazing! one EXTREMELY LONG Scotland train. I must say, i was half freaked out to say the least.

1) I had to get my bike on it
2) I was afraid that the bike would be stolen while i was sleeping (train was from 12am to 9.54am)

The moment the train arrived, wow. I was wow'd. Right infront of me was my train to a whole new world, Scotland (you'll understand why)

I cycled straight up to the front carriage, arranged for my bike to be locked ( i must say this was half hell, the people weren't TOO clear+specific as to where to get to the train to have my bike locked). Not to mention, i was told that i had to wake up at 4.30AM in the night just to change the carriage in which my bike was kept -> Wow, couldn't they have just asked me to put my bike to another carriage in the first place? hahahaha but i was okay with it, since i know i would've been up most of the time anyways thinking about riding Fort William and being in Scotland.

I got into my room on the train, and thankfully i was alone in the room with 2 beds to myself! It was tight and narrow! but wow, it was really comfortable. I went on the bed, made a few calls to mum and immediately i collapsed on the bed. I was beyond tired. The next time i woke up, changed my bike position, went straight back to sleep.

When i woke up.. i opened the curtains. I was in Heaven. The majestic lakes were BEAUTIFUL. This was the scene that i would say would make every single human being stop and say "Beautiful". A stunning sun laid the entire landscape with this beautifully bright sunshine, with the lakes reflecting the sun rays right through my windows. Wow. I knew we were in Scotland. They said Scotland was the country of beauty. I never believed it. I was a fool.

Within 5 minutes, my door was knocked and i received my coffee from the waiter. enjoying coffee and scottish walker cookies with that scenery, wow. Damn. That's a scene.

Before long, we arrived Fort William. I got out of the train with my bike, it was a beautiful town with huge towering mountains around the village. The day was beautiful, a really beautiful sunshine was just all over the city!! I can't believe it. 4 days of dreadful british weather and i get an AMAZING day the day i arrive in scotland? wow.

I rolled my bike out, getting hundreds of stares all over from all directions. And suddenly i saw this tall british man walking towards me, he was my guide, Alastair Maclennan. He was none other than the world champion of the masters category at some point of the year. YES. WORLD CHAMPION! Meaning he was one of the BEST bikers in history at some point of time!! Jesus. I was shocked when he told me that.

He brought me to my accommodation, unloaded and got myself ready before we drove towards Aonach Mor. The famous Fort william Downhill world cup track. As we took the Gondola up the mountain, my heart dropped. I saw a track going around the mountain, down the mountain steeply with huge boulders all over the place. I asked alan, we riding that?

His reply "OOooh hahaha this is just the easy bits!!"

My heart skipped a heartbeat as i saw a biker blaze down the boulders at speeds i would think would kill if he crashed. This was hardcore! But i was feeling extremely happy, knowing that i would get to ride one of the toughest tracks in the world.

The moment we got out of the uplift, it was freezing! We first went down the Nevis Red. And i was shocked. They called this a cross country track, but the amount of steep and exposed sections on the track, wow. This scared the !#^! out of me. Alastair made it a point to stop every 500 meters to check on me. He really made me feel safe. He made me feel that i was gona be fine if the track's gnarly. Well, the track was gnarly. HAHAHAHAHA!

One thing i must say, Alastair IS a good guide. We continued railing the tracks (fine, ill admit, the first time down, i was more on railing my brakes than the track) and wow, my arms were pumped (Cramped up) and before i knew it, we were down. My heart settled. The whole time down my heart almost dropped. The board walk, the wind, the rocks, the boulders. Damn this was a BRUTAL track.

We drank more water, and we went back up the Gondola and we rode down. This time, it was HELL fun!! I could carry more speed, i was confident about railing the berms and rocks, i was starting to do drop offs with more confidence and man, i was having the time of my life. This was a mountain bike TRACK!!! it was crazy. I had one or two near misses which would have resulted in me rolling off the cliff but thank god i stopped in time.

Not to mention, the near misses which were a result of my arms being TOO CRAMPED to brake. God. Those were scary shits. I literally let all my fingers off the grips to grab the brakes. That was how brutal the track was.

Before long, we went over to the World cup track. My heart was pounding on the way up. Actually, fine. it didn't even beat once. I was that scared. This was the track that even the pro's say is a tough ass track, whatmore me??!

We rolled down the start gate, and it was full speed ahead, the wind was blowing against my dry lips and i was railing down the track having the time of my life, having the berms and little drops. The track seemed so smooth, world cup track? huh?

We went past the board walk and suddenly, BAM! Hell broke loose. There were BOULDERS every single where, rocks everywhere, my wheel was bouncing beyond bounce, the suspension was being eaten up alive and i was scared as hell, the whole silence was broken and the whole surrounding became noisy with the chain slapping the bike. It was steep as hell

I held on to my bike, hoping ill make it. Ive never experience such chaos. Before i knew it, it was over. Jesus. Thank God im alive. hahahaa! Now i know why its a world cup track, the chaos continued all the way down, with some sections i pushed down because i was completely sure that i didnt wana risk my ass on my first run down this but the rest giving me the kick of my life. It was a fun fun track, but man. its tough. even the "smooth" parts were steeeeep as hell.

I rode and i rode, and before i knew it, i was down the last run of the day. It was 330pm. The last run of the Fort william track. Man, it was fun.

Immediately after the fort bill ride, we went straight to the West Highland way. It was this epic route, 85 miles that goes straight from Glasgow to Fort bill. We were probably only going to ride 10-20km on it though. hehehehehehe. The moment we drove to the place, i knew i was going to be in for a treat. The moment i started the ride, i knew we were going straight into the wild!!

3Km in, and i stopped pedalling. The magnificent and gorgeous mountain range stood infront of me. I kept quiet. My breathing became slower. I breathed in the mountain air and man. It was one hell. of a breath.

We stopped by a river, and i drank some of the water from the river; with guidance from the wilderness expert Alastair. hahahahahahahaha. It was one awesome experience. drinking water from the flowing waterfalls! dang!

before long.. the ride ended. The day started to get dark and my guide brought me back. The drive back was quiet. I had ridden with the best scenery i had throughout my trip, and had one of the most craziest downhill experience I've ever had.

Day 5 ends, with a crazy cycle through the darkness while i was cycling back to my accommodation after dinner.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Snowdon. The crazy ride. Penmachno. The beautiful ride

Day 4. The weather looked so much better! It was not perfect at all!

It was raining and hailing ass but ah well, my guide promised that no matter what the weather, we'd do snowdon today as i came all the way for some crazy good downhill! And so we did, we rode up the mountain. Fine, it wasn't exactly a ride. It was more of a push. The uphills were crazy steep in the first bit.

The tarmac was really really steep up the hill, but a quick struggle and we started riding on the offroad track up the mountain. now, it wasn't TOO steep, but it was CRAZY rocky. As i looked up the track, it suddenly dawned onto me. Not just is this one high mountain, It was a crazy rocky one. Its literally a rock garden the whole way down. My arms are going to be pumped (cramped) and it sure says one thing. Have a mistake here, and you're not really going to have a chance to walk out of it.

I nodded my head just thinking about that line and told myself this is either going to be fun or a disaster. I looked at my guide, and he knows what im thinking. Its a crazyyyyyy track!! The weather wasn't too bad, but the WIND. WAS INSANE. It was really really windy, the kind of wind you get and you know that riding downhill isn't going to be the most fun experience.

We continued up and before long, we reached 3/4 of the way up Llanberis path. We've decided that because the wind is too strong and we could HARDLY SEE ANYTHING at the point at we were ( the clouds were that low) it would have been suicidal going any higher.

I looked down the track, and man was i scared. I was literally on a rock garden that lasted 400m. It was crazy. it wasn't THAT technical, it was more of the fact that a silly mistake here, would send me down a gulley at least 10 000ft deep to my left or a broken face with the amount of rocks near me. It was crazy. My guide said. " THIS IS GOING TO BE CRAZZZZZZY FUN!!" And dashed down the rock garden with confidence and insane speed.

I told myself. im not sure how this is gona turn out, but im here for it so LETS GO! And i pedalled off and immediately the speed grew onto me. I was riding off all the rocks with confidence but of course some hairy moments. It was windy. did i say its windy?

The ride went on and on and it was downhill all the way on some crazy downhill.

It was a fast fast ride and before i knew it, it was the end and i just sighed. aw man. It ended so quickly.

My guide brought me along to a castle to have a look and also to decide for us where our next destination is going to be. I must say i was slightly dissappointed in the fact that the itinerary wasn't closely followed, the fact that we missed out some good rides due to the weather and stuff. And also the fact that although today's my last day in North wales, the day seemed gloomy in terms of amount of riding i had. It was just Snowdon and literally, that was about it.

In the car, i offered to pay abit more for me to get to another destination to ride. I told myself, i came all the way here, i'd rather pay slightly more to get the riding i want, although it was a heart breaker as the weather was the cause of me losing out my rides.

Bryan told me that he'd bring me there no charge, but just an extra tenner for the fuel costs.

And that was it, we were heading to the one place i wanted to ride but was unable to ride on day 1 as bryan said it'd have been too boggy.

The moment we reached and i saw the scenery. I knew this was going to be a good ride.
This ride was literally the highlight of the north wales epic. crazy long singletrack (28km, nearly all singletrack) and an insane wilderness feel. We were transversing across the contours of the mountain in singletrack which has rock gardens that are not difficult but instead confidence inspiring which gives to a crazy fun ride!!

We reached several waterfalls, had a many amazingly fun sections and before long, i could feel my energy levels dipping. I was cold, freezing, hungry and really really tired. This was dangerous, and i knew it. We were doing technical and long distance riding and i could hardly feel + focus. It soon hit me, and i had a crash. a pretty bad crash with a tree stump smashing my shin. I was so tired, i could hardly brake on a downhill and almost rode off the cliff. It was a close call!!

I really started to sleep on my bike but thankfully, we quickly reached the end...
The riding of the day finished, i bid my goodbye to Bryan and was received by Gareth, who took me to the train station and talked up with a cuppa before i left on train.

North wales done.

Scotland; Fort william -> Here i come!!

The most beautiful ride of the trip

Day 3 of riding turned out to be pretty gloomy.

The weather was crazy, bursting the banks of many rivers in the area and flooding the gardens of many houses. The plan was to ride the 2nd highest mountain in the UK, but because of the crazy weather, we decided that we'd go for an easy ride today. Ouch on the wallet, but i was soon to be shocked...

We rode the bellegert Forest of North wales, a really empty forest. I was soon taken aback when we were riding towards enormous waterfalls accompanied by crazy awesome scenery. The ride was nothing technical except a few bits, nothing too exciting apart from several rocky drops and downhill bits. One thing was clear though, this ride was not about adrenaline packed riding. It was about mountain biking. Being in the woods, with your bike, the best scenery ever and a good riding buddy, my guide Bryan. This was what mountain biking is all about and sometimes, we forget that after riding too much.

Not to mention, this trail in the forest was the world cup track of EARLY Mountain biking back in the days. World cup racers really have beautiful tracks to race on !!

The ride soon brought us to a beautiful lake where my guide and i just sat down along the benches and talked. Oh yeah we talked. We enjoyed the sights and learnt more about each other. It was amazing.

We continued the ride and beforelong, we were hitting some long rock strewn-ed downhill sections, it was great fun!! We even rode down several amazing singletrack down Rstreams and rivers. It was crazy good.

The ride quickly came to an end, a mere 22km and that was it for the day. Bryan told me that most of the trails in the area would be crap given the weather. While i was not completely convinced, i was fine with the day coming to a quick end. i must say my heart kind of sank.
But it was nice, having half the day off where i visited a beautiful royal palace in caenarfan and did some good shopping before heading back to talk to a few friends.

the day came to an end ... Short, sweet and beautiful.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The crazy solo adventure

Continuing on from day 2 of the riding days and day 3 of the complete wales holiday

After Bryan dropped me off. I questioned myself. should i rode Mt Elio (this ginormous mountain). It was dark up there, it was cloudy. jesus. It scares me.

I told myself. I planned this trip as a solo adventure and now, 99% of the riding is guided. Why not do something i never believed i'd do. It'd be an adventure, a true adventure.

I nodded my head, i bit my teeth really hard and told myself i'd brave the rain and wind for this adventure.

I deposited all my luggage and kit in the new accommodation and IMMEDIATELY went out on a solo ride towards Mt Elio, up the foot path.

The climb up was CRAZY. The road was so steep, accompanied by my aching thighs. It was crazy. the winds were blowing against my face, my cheeks literally NUMB from the cold.
Before long, i reached the first gate that signified the start of the climb up Mt Elio. It was offroad from here onwards, and i know after this gate, it was just The mountain , the winds and me.

The adventure starts now. I crossed the bridge and cycled pass some grassy fields, with SHEEP literally meters awy from me! It was amazing! Truth to be told.. i was quite scared cycling pass them. i mean, honestly. What could i have done if all the sheep ganged up on me. Its just me in the whole mountain, nobody in sight, nobody would even knew what the hell happened if it happened to me!

I manage to cycle past them with no problems at all. It continued on and on and my legs were burning. until i past the 2nd gate. I cycled up a steep uphill, gritting my teeth the whole way round. SUDDENLY. I Saw this Huge cow at the side of the trail. It stared at me, and i stared back and holy shit my heart skipped a beat. I cycled past it, no problems. Then i realised in my mind. I go past it now. I gotta go past it again later. i just hope it doesnt give me any problems! I cycled up and even higher and the winds just got worse and worse. The wind nearly stopped me in my tracks at one point of time. I was nearly NOT moving at all because of the wind. It was crazy. it was hailing and jesus. It was British Grit to say the least.

I finally got past the third gate and now, its the real ascend up the hill. the skies were dark, and i was alone on the mountain. I looked puny compared to the mountains. I was one boy on a crazy adventure.

I climbed all the way up and finally before i could appreciate the sights completely ( which i probably did on the way up really) i decided. It was late, nearly 7.30pm and it was gona get dark in a matter of minutes. Its time to rail the downhill and have a taste of some real mountain riding!!

I dashed down the trail, heading back home. The trail was loose, i felt both wheels sliding out under the slate rocks and man must i say, it felt amazing. the Mud flew all over my face, probably getting into my mouth at some point of time. I was freezing, my mouth could hardly open up completely without aching!! It was a crazy speed dash back down.

Then, i hit the steep downhill section where i saw a beast that made my heart skip 2 beats.
A really fat cow was in between the path ahead and me. It was the same cow that made my heart stop previously. I stopped. I literally jammed my brakes into a complete stop and just stared at the cow. It moo'd at me like it was pissed off.

I was alone on the mountains. Just my bike and I. Now, i was literally fearing for my life. This cow could easily kill me and i wouldn't know what the hell just happened. I stopped in my tracks and stared at it. 10 minutes, this went on. I never moved an inch.

Suddenly, the huge beast walked up towards me and screamed into the mountainous air. I was terrified. I told myself. Don't move. My muscles tensed up just incase i had to make a crazy dash for it. My mind went blank. Before long, it walked past me and gave me a cold stare. It had no life in those eyes. It was cold. completely cold. Immediately i pedalled hard past it and talked to a jogger that was behind it, who also didn't move as she thought it'd be crazy and said i was one lucky lad!!

We shared a few laughs about what happened, and finally, i went back to the warm accommodation. My mouth couldn't smile. My hands were trembling, i was shivering like crazy and my mouth was wide open with the adrenaline i just got minutes ago up on the mountains.

I had a crazy experience.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Most stunning singletrack. Solo adventure. Awesome guide.

Day 3 of the trip started out pretty dull . I woke up at 6am and it rained terribly. Packed all my crap around the room and got ready for the ride. Ate breakfast, took a picture with my accommodation people and yeh. that was it really. I went out of the accommodation, and said hellow to Bryan who was well early!!!

We quickly got the things and luggage into the car and quickly drove off for the trails; after spending 15minutes trying to find the place on the satNavigator ;P

as we were driving, Bryan told me that one of the trails'd be really exposed with such winds and the rain would make it really crazy and suggested we go to Coed-y-brenin ( a trail center, man made trails. yeh.).

However, the trail that would be exposed had one of the best singletrack in the area.
As we drove by Coed-y-brenin. Bryan asked me. well its your call... Coed-ybrenin or Nantyarian (the place with the awesome track)

We had some 2 minutes of discussing, and finally. Bryan said it. ARGH. HECK IT, LETS GET TO NANTYARIAN!!! I smiled and gleammedddd with joy! that was something i wanted to do but you know, since he said it'd be nasty so i didnt wana say anything. But when he said it, i felt the sense of adventure in my kick up and hell yeah, lets do it!!

When we reached the first part of the trail, wow. I rode and literally ALMOST GOT BLOWN OFF the cliff. the forecast was 60mph wind. mind you, thats literally like a car running you over as you ride towards the wind!!!

I knew that today, its gona be a gnarly gnarly day.

We rode the first real section of the singletrack and immediately, i was blowned away. amazing single track!! it was rocky, steep and exposed. One wrong move, and you're going down a 15000 ft drop. Geez. I told myself i had to get this right to the T. It was smooth, and i was swerving my bike all over the place with amazinggg flow. the trail was great.

As we came out of the first part of the trail, we saw this amazing mountain. That was amazing scenery!!!

I told bryan "that mountain's amazinggg"

Bryan said " amazing huh, we're riding up that"

My eyes opened up wide and big. and holy shit. yes we were riding up that. we soon started a crazy long climb (not as crazy as the one coming up later) up the mountain with some amazing trails, it was rocky, cold and wet. I loved it. a mountain range rayed itself behind us, tempting me to have a look behind me after every 5seconds of looking forward.

Soon, we had an amazing descend into the valleys and wow. it was great. it was the first time of the trip i told myself. let go of the brakes, let the suspension do the work and rip the trails apart. i did that, and before long my tyres were sliding all over the place. there was one point of time i thought to myself "you're going down aloysius" but miraculously i recovered from the slide and dang! it was up and running at full speed again!!

Amazing. Before long we got to this section called the legburner. It was a LONG HAULLING ASS climb that at first, was a real suffer.

However, during the climb. i got to talk to my guide. his REALLY good company. Not just were we talking about riding, we were soon talking about life. We started to talk from things about Singapore's drinking, nightlife to his background, family, wife and kids. it was magical.

This is what mountain biking really is about. riding some good trails, talking with a riding buddy who really can talk about just anything. Its amazing.

Before long, we hit another amazing piece of trail before bryan brought me up to this crazy area with SO MUCH good scenery (i have a few shots, will update soon!)

Then, we rode back down the mountain with a crazy nice trail before heading back.

Bryan brought me to Coed-y-brenin, but i shall not talk too much about it as it was a really brief ride, just a short ride (but i must say its GREAT fun and really awesome to ride, technical and nice.)

Bryan sent me to my new accommodation, Glyn Peris...

From here, i shall commence a new post.. just such an amazing part coming up ;)

Amazing riding. Lost in the forest. Wow. amazing

I just chowed down a long ass chicken mayo subway that would have made Leslie extremely jealous. Its long, cheesy and creamy and man i . must say its amazing.

Im already in day 3 of my riding, but will be blogging about day 2's ride.

I woke up, to an amazing breakfast at Mairlys accommodation. 2 steaks of bacon, eggs, amazingly barbequed mushrooms and tomatoes.
Its fantastic. the food up here isn't the best, but its fantastic.

My bike guide arrived and man, im glad his my guide (you'll know in a short while time)

He told me that we had to change plans because obviously with the heavy rains the past few days, the Penmachno would be extremely boggy. He suggested Marin, and trusting the local, i said. HELL YEAH. LETS GO.

Both trails were on my itinerary but in the end ive decided to just do one ride to get used to the bike. Alright, cut the crap.

Talking to my guide in the car. His Bryan. Amazing guide. He talks to me about the riding around the area, the food. His just amazing to talk to. i can tlak to him about anything, everything.

Before long, we reached the trailhead. it was empty, there was a triathlon going on in the background of the area and well. I was EXCITED to say the least for the trail.

On a new bike, in a new trail with a new friend. I pedalled up the first climb, excited. Sadly, my bike gears gave me countless of problems. it would prove to be hell for the next 24 hours at least. But i told myself.

"Aloysius, you're here for the ride, not for pushing it. just enjoy the ride"

I climbed up the first singletrack climb and must i say, it is WAY technical compared to anything we have in Singapore. One thing i realised was that my bike was working amazingly under my legs. The suspension soaking up the bumps, i was feeling strong over my bike, the weather was a cool breeze at 15degrees. I was in heaven.

The first downhill started, and before long, i lost it and crashed. HAHAAHA! It was a really simple turn but the trails were really slippery and they really encourage crazy riding and that was when i got the wake up call that i was ON A NEW BIKE and on a NEW trail, and i shouldn't be tryin anything stupid.

The ride continued on and on .. and i realised one thing. The trail is amazing. There was great scenery, the single track was fantastic, ahhh...
Before long .. we hit some of the best and most fun singletrack in the world. Flowy, with AMAZING scenery right beside me, i was having the time of my life! Busting berms, pushing my bike into every down. Wow. Just wow.

We rode the dragon's back, which is this extremely technical bit of the track, really rocky, steep and it was WAY slippery here. ive NEVER felt two wheels slide under me that easily with NO resistance at all. thankfully i controlled the slide and felt confident over the bike, and rode it out without dabbing! Bryan was impressed and said that was good riding! and even complimented the way i rode. I don't think i ride that well, but man did it feel good to get that compliment ;) At least it did, since it came from an experienced and well ridden man!

Soon, we finished the ride and my guide sent me back to the accommodation..

Guys. you see. I haven't been talking much about my guide. but in this day, my guide really showed who he was to me.

He was a man, who loved mountain biking so much that he offered to bring me to a really faraway place, Nant-arian (its further, and technically it would cost more) at NO extra cost. His reasoning -> lets just go there anyway; its one hell offa singletrack.

The free trip/ better value for money was not even on my mind. What hit me hard was how friendly and non-business like these people are. This is something we don;t see much in Singapore. I was convinced on how friendly British people are.

before long, i was in my accommodation area again, having lunch and wanting to find the beautiful and well reknowned SWALLOW FALLS.

After lunch, i walked towards the waterfall on the road but suddenly, i saw a TRAIL that follows the river. i knew that the trail would definitely lead me to the waterfall and so i went. I met many tourists along the way. It was one HELL of a trail. steep uphills, extremely rooty, tight. yeah. you name it, it had it.

Before long, i ended up (Yes, alone, with jeans and a rreally nice UK T shirt that cost me) in a full fledged hike up on some singletrack. i was perspiring like CRAZY (Yes okay i know. i bet someone will be laughing here.) and i was literally getting my shoes all muddy (Yeah my only shoes for going out)

i walked and walked.. 2hours in and i suddenly realised. Im alone, in this singletrack, nobody in sight, with extremely tall trees, it was pretty dark already. The hairs on my body suddenly stood. My ears sharpened up and my sweaty fists clenched itself. I realised i was in the woods alone. with no idea where i was. I told myself that at this juncture, going back would be hell.

I saw two trails infront of me, one uphill and one downhill. At this point of time i was RIGHT BESIDE the river of CONWY and going down would only lead me closer to the swallow falls but further away from help. I took the uphill trail in search of any tarmac paths/footpaths that i could take out. and thankfully, my judgement was good and i found a tarmac path!! I got out of the trail, not sweating anymore but with all my hairs standing in horror. I had just risked my ass.

That night, i went back to the hotel and simply laid on my bed. This was a real adventure. Going to the UK alone was already an adventure enough. This, was a true epic.

I laid on my bed, and talked to all my awesome friends. and you know something, i talked to wenyi and when i told her the food portions are HUGE, she said it would be so UNCLE to da bao and made fun that maybe i'd do that.
i went for dinner after talking to her and i saw a british do exactly just that!!! but not like theres anything wrong about it anyways. it'd be a waste really.

So awesome to catch up with friends and share my crazy stories for the day...

alright. gotta go. gotta write my next blog (which i'd make it much more detailed and smoother because im rushing this blog as i CAN'T WAIT FOR THE NEXTBLOG ENTRY HEHEHEHE)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I think im crazy

The moment i got onto the plane. It suddenly dawned onto me.

The hell am i doing?!!? Hahahahaa! This trip suddenly shot me in the face. Its the UK, myself and I. It dawned onto me how dangerous, sketchy and mad this trip actually really is. And i never let it got to me until it was too late.

but of course, im enjoying every single second of it.

In the beginning, it all seemed surreal. Videos, blogs and other articles gave me the information and adrenaline rush to form the trip.

Once in real life though, it was a hell of a different experience.

From the plane, i realised how crazy it was.

The moment i got off the plane, the craziness attacked me.
In an airport where i was only 6 years ago, i could hardly recognize the signs! Tube, rail, what the hell?! Alone, with a huge luggage and a dangling helmet, i was petrified. Yeh petrified's the word mate. ( UK influence there hehe)

I rushed towards the tube, after realizing where it was and took it down to greenpark, where my first sign of trouble rose. My luggage was so big it had problems coming out of the tube!! (Wonder how it got in so easily) This was when i knew, i had to solve my own problems.

In the past, it was always mum, my mother and mummy. Solving problems was as easy as taking out a credit card, having a helping hand or even just 2 brains make work easier. But this time, i had no credit card, only 2 hands and an itinerary to help me.

I rushed for the train towards London Euston, where i was set to rush to get a ticket Llandudno Junction within 20minutes before the train leaves. The next train, an hour later, would have ruined my plans and give me less time to visit castles.

I asked several people, all giving me different advice as to WHICH TRAIN TICKETING BOOTH EXACTLY IS IT!!! Tube and RAIL is 2 different things. but the ticketing booth for each NEVER said anything about it (or at least i was made to queue the tube booth twice by the advice of the information counter before realising it was at another booth!!)

Finally. I got my ticket, and MAN DID I RUN TOWARDS the platform to catch the train that was leaving in 5 minutes. I RAN. One boy, one luggage, one full face helmet and one objective, CATCH THAT TRAIN BECAUSE IT COSTS A BOMB!!!!

I ran onto the train, and suddenly. HELL broke loose. The luggage was TOO BIG to even fit the train's doors into the seat area. THE HELL?! i couldnt even believe this. i had to undo my trolley + full face helmet to actually squeeze the luggage in in an extremely awkward position. and then i realised the problem. i had to lift the 20kg luggage up the train JUST TO find out it didn't fit. then i dragged it all the way across the train SEARCHING for an empty spot. and thank lord i found it!!!! Then i went back to take my full face helmet, trolley. Finally. I got to rest.

I sat down on my seat, and smiled. Only for a short while. I suddenly realized. Im going to be in for not just an adventure but a logistical nightmare through my trip. I have a train trip coming up on wednesday and it includes not just all the crap i was carrying, but a FULL SIZED BICYCLE.

I closed my eyes, and told myself to enjoy the sights. While the train moved, only one word could describe the sights. Ugly. This was the true definition of ugly. Run down buildings, horrible rail stations.

I closed my eyes, and told myself to go to sleep.

Within 4 and a half hours, i reached Wales. I opened my eyes, and only one word could describe the sights. Beautiful. It was amazing, i reached a sea side village and it was spectacular. Only one problem, i had to carry all the crap i had up a long flight of staircase. HOLY SHIT! I lugged and hauled shit up that staircase and before i knew it, my arms were getting cramped!!

I rushed to deposit my luggage and suddenly, i felt a huge relief. No luggage, and a huge castle for me to explore. I toured the entire village.. before heading straight for my accommodation.

Then came my next heart breaker. The weather... oh the weather..
I shall not say further. Google UK weather, and you'll understand why i had a heart break.

Thankfully. things were bound to be different the next day...