|(Monnow Bridge illustration by: John Wilson)|
I am fascinated by the amount of unspoiled country-side in Wales. It feels as if it exists just as it has for thousands of years. You can cycle for miles down narrow lanes between villages that have existed for literally hundreds and hundreds of years and wonder what the Romans or the Knights of Gwent thought as they rode their horses through the very same land.
Wales is quiet. It is clean. The sky is bright. The air is fresh and crisp. You can hear lambs bleating from far off across the hills just as clearly as your tires rolling over the road. Often when I stop to take a photo I get left behind; but off in the distance, down in the valley I can hear the guys asking each other: "where is he now?"... and even though I holler ahead; "on my way!", what I really want is to just take my time.
Our trip to Monmouth was a special day of history and story-telling. The ride was peppered with brief stops for anecdotes and poignant vistas across the Usk and Wye Valleys. And that my dear reader is the makings of a fabulous bicycle trip.
Note: Having looked back over my previous diatribe with wincing embarrassment, I decided that an elementary school report is not my goal for this blog. You can read about Monmouth, Chepstow, Garway, Llandovery, or anywhere else that I'm cycling and find better detailed information than I should even attempt to condense into this diatribe. Says me to myself; "It's the ride, boy... focus on the ride."
With that said, check out the Roman ruins in Carleon... oldest in the UK. Cool as shit. A damn fine place to start a tour.