Friends Reunited

'Friends Reunited' - part 5 of the a Band named Brian's Just Songs tour blog

Today we had no gig planned. But the ride was gruelling in the extreme. Thank goodness for our friends’ hospitality and generosity…

Oh Little Town

Following a hearty breakfast, we climbed steeply south of Llandovery, making our way along the line of hills, through Bethlehem (not so much a little town as a hamlet) and beyond. After that, we descended to a quiet road that follows the wide valley to Carmarthen. This afforded us views of old castle ruins, perched on promontories, as we sped along the gently undulating valley side.

In Carmarthen, we found a lovely café with seating outside and an extensive menu. This happened to be on the same street as ‘Cwrw’, our venue for tomorrow night. A local informed as that comedian, and Carmarthen native, Rhod Gilbert had previously had shares in the venue. Not sure what to do with that information but there it is.

Rob hit on the idea of leaving our instruments, since we had no gig planned for this evening, Rather, we were heading to our friends’ place in the Preselis. However, we were unable to reach anyone at Cwrw to arrange this.


So, still fully laden, we set about the hills to the west of the town. And these were ridiculous. We began with a climb up a road so steep that a lady witing in her SUV for us to pass shook her head and mouthed ‘madness’ at us. This ‘road’ then continued to climb. And climb. And climb.

Just as it seemed we’d reached the top, we were plunged back down into a steep-sided valley, only to have to climb an even steeper ascent the other side. And this was repeated, over and over, with nowhere to stop for any kind of refreshment. Much of the time, we followed the Sustrans route No. 47. I can only say that whoever chose this route is a sadistic b*stard (a bit like a great bustard but more vicious).  

Higher Gear

Typically, the part of the ride we might have expected to be tougher – climbing up into the Preselis – was not so hard at all. Granted, we still needed to engage our lower gears for lengthy sections. But the gradients were steady and consistent.

We did notice, however, that following the near-unrideable ascents and protracted climbs, we now seemed to be barely out of breath. It was as though we’d engaged a new mental and/or physical gear in defeating those hills. Having said that, we resolved afterwards to find a less arduous route for our return to Carmarthen tomorrow.

Sensible For Once

There followed a lovely evening with our friends Pat & Verity, complete with good veggie food, beer and a little wine. Conversation flowed and we were sensible enough – for once – to call a halt before it got too late.