Thursday, August 15, 2019

Powers the Pot Royal Enfield gathering pt1

Dan and I last made it along to the Powers the Pot Royal Enfield gathering back in 2013. It was a great event even though we had a couple of breakdowns on the way and managed only to turn up late Saturday night, drink too much home made scrumpy, and then wake up after most had left the next morning. All the same very memorable and I made a promise to myself to make it back sometime in the near future. The near future turned out to be six years later and I didn't have an Enfield in running order but I did have a clear weekend...
Laugharne, Pembrokeshire. I made this detour
following an erroneous petrol station signpost.
Worth it as the place is rather scenic.
Dan signed up to make it over once again and regular riding trip buddy Matt was in too. Matt's sidecar passenger Gary broke his wrist a few days earlier so was out but still, a team of three was an OK turnout. I pledged to ride my Norton Dominator, Matt his BSA A10 outfit and Dan his old faithful 350 Bullet. Just before leaving on Thursday afternoon I looked at the weather forecast for the weekend, didn't like what I saw and made a last minute switch to my BMW R100RS...

The switch to the BMW was an almighty cop-out but I didn't feel too ashamed as somehow the ride to the ferry at Fishguard, South Wales, from home was significantly further than I had remembered. Last time I split the journey with a night at Dan's in Bristol on the way up. I managed to hit Bristol in rush hour and the motorway was backed up all the way from Bristol to Cardiff, I was slowed down but at least could lane split and didn't have to sit it out.

Laugharne Castle. Just before it started to
rain, and rain, and rain....
My satisfaction in having a bike with a fairing was compounded as it started to rain stair rods in the last thirty miles of the journey. We had all agreed to meet up at the Gwaun Valley Brewery just outside of Fishguard. I got there first quite damp in body and spirits and didn't relish putting up a tent in the Welsh Hills in the rain... Luckily the rental cottage was empty and the lovely folks at the GVB took pity on us and let us have it for just the one night. So, a dry night in a comfy bed it way. Beautiful!

Thank you Gwaun Valley Brewery. A very cosy cottage.
The next morning it was still raining and amongst the group there was a vague hope that the ferry was cancelled and we could feel justified in staying in the cosy cottage all weekend and sampling the labours of the brewery. However it was not to be as the text came through that the ferry was running. Back in to soggy bike gear it was for a run down to Fishguard for breakfast. On the ferry the bikes were well secured for a rough crossing. And rough it indeed was, luckily I have good sea legs but it all started to go wrong in the passenger lounge after an hour or so when one chap wobbled in to the room grabbed a barf bag, missed it and chundered all over the floor. That set off a domino effect in the room and from that point on it seemed prudent to spend the rest of the journey out on deck in the fresh air.

Well secured down for a rough crossing.
At least the ferry arrived on time. Powers the Pot is only just over a couple of hours away from Rosslare even on an old bike. Mercifully the first half of the journey was dry but thereafter back came the rain. Now, Powers the Pot is atop a mountain so damp weather is not unexpected but when we pulled up our hosts advised to set up camp sooner rather than later as proper rain was going to come in shortly.

Camping spot at Powers the Pot.

Pitching under trees seemed like a good idea. In practice
there was no shelter from the fury of the mountain top rains. 
With tents pitched it was time to hit the bar. A great night in great company and the cider of the previous visit was not on hand so we didn't even get the chance to repeat past mistakes.

Yes, it rained a lot during the night and it was drizzling in the morning but by the time Saturday's ride out left at the crack of noon the lightness of the mizzle compared to previous downpours meant that it felt positively dry. A lovely ride down to the coast on a drop off run so little chance to get lost, a hearty lunch and scenic ride back made for a decent day out.

Pt2 to come...

Lunch stop by a choppy sea.

Salty spray on shiny bikes..

Yours truly on the Beemer. A good choice for motorway
blasting but a terrible one for bimbling around on narrow,
damp and mossy Irish country lanes.

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