I cycled the short distance into Rhyader, continuing the on the main A road, and stopping off in the town for photos of the tower in the middle of the road. I decided to take the mountain road from here to Aberystwyth as 2 or 3 people had recommended it to me, including the pub landlord last night. It turned out to be a quite an easy road to cycle on.
I looked in turn at three dams on the river. These were the dams of the Elan Valley. From what I understand, these were built by the Birmingham Water Company a number of years ago to supply the whole of Birmingham with drinking water. Because of the height here, the water simply flows by gravity all the way to Birmingham.
At the first dam I stopped and spoke to a couple, Ian and Beth who had their backs to the dam. They turned out to be bird watchers and were watching birds on and around the cliff up above. They pointed out a pereguin falcon, a buzzard and possibly a pigeon all diving at each other in the sky above. A man in the last caravan site had said that Buzzards and Kites would be easily seen.
On the B4574 I stopped at 'The Arch'. Apparently, this arch was built by a local landowner in 1810 to celebrate George III's golden jubilee. Here I phoned my friend Annette in Aberystwith to see if she was around. We had tried to contact each other earlier in the week but she was going away to Cardiff for the weekend so I stopped off at the campsite at Devils Bridge for the night instead. This was a strange campsite. There were many artefacts dotted around the site including a red telephone box half way up a small hill. I think the owners thought it added to the experience. The grass had not been cut though and the services were run down. Lovely woman at reception but she was married with kids.
A vintage AA box on the main road catches the eye. It is at Devils Bridge where three bridges one on top of the other cross a thickly wooded gorge. The oldest span is medieval and according to legend was built by Satan. But the joke is that the Welsh name for Devils bridge means Monks Bridge. There are many stories about how it got its name. The river Monarch? flows through here.
I met Chris and Sarah at the campsite, they were Australians on a camping tour, and were planning on touring Scotland next. I spent the night at the pub with them.