Palm Sunday bimble on the Black Mountains

Palm Sunday is known as The Flowers Sunday in Wales – Sul y Blodau (Phonetically – Seal urh blodye) – and it is a big thing. Tradionally it is the day we tend to loved ones graves and put flowers in rememberence and to honour them. Yesterday I did just that, honoured my grandparents, my mum and my friends and then I went for a long motorcycle ride.

And boy! What a ride it was! I took the fast road from Pembrokeshire into Carmarthenshire and did a left turn into the Amman Valley. I have always had a great affinity with this beautiful part of Wales, having taken many picnic day trips out to the Black Mountains with my family when I was a little ‘un. A thermos flask of tea, some ham, cheese or meat paste sandwiches, ready salted crisps, chocolate biscuits, apples and bananas and out into the great wide open to blow the cobwebs far away. Today is different. It saddens me to see the many pubs and chapels closed along the way. These were corner stones of communities in Wales, but have slowly been closing down. I believe that these closures have been accelerated since the Covid pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns, but it scares me that all these social gathering places are disappearing at such a pace. They won’t come back. Lonely travellers and adventurers will have far less gathering places.

I stop at the highest point and disembark the Triumph to stretch my legs and look around. I am sure that this is one of the car parks we would stop at and share sandwiches at with my brother and my sister when we were small.  Too much reminiscing won’t get me home before dark, so I smile at the memories, twist the throttle and coast into Llangadog, Llandeilo, Carmarthen, stopped to see my dad and then rolled into Pembrokeshire. I managed to miss the rain and pull into my drive before it got too dark. I even manage to clean my trusty steed in the cold evening air and tuck it back into its stable.

Today it was back to the grey and the rain. I am so grateful for the escape yesterday. 

By the way, the registration plate shown is a show plate. It looks great in photos but it doesn’t live on the bike.

Honest x

Ian ‘Ianto’ Gravell is a disabled businessman, author and adventurer.

When he is not working, or writing he is riding his motorcycle to exciting places around the world.

Keep tabs on his adventures by reading his blog, newsletter and book 

 Loose Gravel 

 Broken Bones, Broken Dreams made good on a Broken Road.


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