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A scoot through Wales: Cardiff to Llandudno on a Vespa | Wales holidays

A scoot through Wales: Cardiff to Llandudno on a Vespa | Wales holidays

The neglect I had shown to my native Wales over the years, while writing about the streets of Delhi, or small town life in Kansas, shamefully hit home recently while listening to music in my apartment in Hong Kong, where I have been living for much of the past 20 years. The voice of the great British singer-songwriter Ian McNabb rang out loudly: “I never saw my hometown ’til I went around the world.

Wales by scooter
The main towns (in bold) on the A470 in Wales

These thoughts on a day of unbearable humidity and oppressive Hong Kong heat gave the germination of the idea behind my book The Long Unwinding Road. I grew up in the south, the commercial and industrial heartland of Wales that was completely divorced, I considered, from the big green north, where people were more tied to the land, and nature had done some of her best work.

So, in the autumn of 2022, I put Asia behind me and headed back to travel the length of the country to find what I’d been missing, or more accurately, what I’d forgotten.

Wales fans ahead of the game at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff.
Photograph: PA Images/Alamy

To do so I borrowed a battered old mustard-tinted Vespa named Gwendoline from Clem, a major force in the south Wales mod movement, and set a course to traverse the nation from Cardiff, the glass and chrome capital in the south, all the way to Llandudno, the Victorian resort on the northern coast.

There is only one road that runs the whole way, the A470. But it’s one road in name only. Its length is made up of the remnants of many other routes stitched together like a Frankenstein’s monster of a road. Some are dual carriageways – smooth, elegant, and straight – but others, especially in the green middle of the country, are as wide as only one car, lined by hedges and watched over by uninterested sheep.

The journey started on a rugby international day in Cardiff, all dragon flags and daffodil hats. This is when the city wears its Welshness like stage makeup. The uniform red jerseys of the crowd massing in St Mary Street are the rouge on the city’s cheeks. Here the Welsh are one in song, outside the pubs and along the packed pavements. They edge slowly, closer to the cathedral of the game, the Principality Stadium, sat like a fat spider, with its legs angled ready to pounce on the silent and…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Travel | The Guardian…