Tim Pryce, born and raised in Wales, and I were sitting in our workshop between gearboxes and differentials, when he began to rhapsodise about his home country. He inspired us with stories of scenic views, mysterious names like 'Strata Florida', and soon the idea was born to visit the land of the red dragon. To complete our fellowship and record the journey, we needed Thomas and his magic camera.
A few weeks later our group of Defender 110s were in the bay of Swansea, where we reached our first waypoint.
Early the next day, as the sun was about to rise over the cliffs, we left the campsite and steered north-east. The Brecon Beacons' scenic views invited us to take our time during the day as we cruised on small single-track roads, enjoying the fantastic landmarks.
The day ended at a campsite in the heart of the Beacons close to a small river. Soon a small campfire flared and the moist air kept the midgies away. Tim assured us that the little beasts wouldn't bite, and he was right - at least for that evening. But the next morning they changed their tactics and went for us.
So we had a small, hasty breakfast and escaped over the hills towards Brecon Castle. It took the whole day to climb the Brecon Beacons and reach the small tavern near Llandeilo. To puzzle any followers we decided not to take the direct way to the northern lands but to cross the countryside instead to the west. A few hours later we arrived at the stormy coastline near Llywybr Arfordir Ceredigion. Before heading for the open lands south-east of Snowdonia, we planned to explore a mysterious place named Strata Florida.
Located in a wonderful, unique landscape, this trail is a real overlanding highlight. This is what it's all about - exploring great landscapes rather than conquering obstacles. As owner of Landways (landways.de), an off-road travel and training company, I always follow the principles of Treadlightly, driving on designated tracks only, and travelling with respect for nature and people. Such experiences build respect and admiration for nature, and the rewards are scenery, wildlife, self-sufficiency and a wider view of the world.
So we took this difficult path. Rain had caused flooding, and we were slowed by ditches and gullies, so some winching action was required.
Finally 'The Dragon' taverna was in sight and we had a fireside pint and a hot meal.
But still we had some miles before our destination of Snowdonia, so next day we crossed lowland trails, driving through the northern lands and passed Abaty Ystrad Fflur, reached the northern lands and passed Affon Dyff. The beauty of this region left us almost breathless. It was even better than we had hoped. We erected the tents above the Irish sea and sat down to a cosy campfire, an amazing sunset, and some good grub.
Originally featured in the June 2014 issue of Land Rover Owner International. Download a digital issue, or order a back issue by calling 01858 438884.
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