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  #16  
Old 12 Jan 2010
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Don't even get me started on the Welsh and the Taffy Taleban!!!
Er... please do because I'll be going to Wales this April.
Anything I should know about the people there? Do I need bearspray? Or worse a sword and shield? Or some kind of cloaking device to keep myself invisible?
We're coming over with a couple of friends. They've been talking about B&B's. But I'd rather be camping, a lot cheaper though.
Any must-sees?

I also had a good impression of the scots, really friendly.
There are unfriendly people all over the planet. It's not that they concentrate on certain places. Met some really friendly people in France.
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  #17  
Old 13 Jan 2010
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Er... please do because I'll be going to Wales this April.
Anything I should know about the people there? Do I need bearspray? Or worse a sword and shield? Or some kind of cloaking device to keep myself invisible?
We're coming over with a couple of friends. They've been talking about B&B's. But I'd rather be camping, a lot cheaper though.
Any must-sees?

I also had a good impression of the scots, really friendly.
There are unfriendly people all over the planet. It's not that they concentrate on certain places. Met some really friendly people in France.

Again, Wales, especially North Wales and the Snowdonia National Park is simply breathtaking and most of the people are really nice but in this case there are two problems we face. The first is the real antipathy the Welsh (mainly in the north) have for English visitors which manifests itself in such ways as refusal to serve you in a shop unless you speak Welsh to them even though they were speaking English to each other when you entered the shop (this is local shop for local people - https://www.thisisalocalshop.com ) and I have had this so often it just gets boring. Every bilingual road sign has the English word crossed or sprayed out and replaced with some anti English obscenity. Also I speak as someone who spent much of their childhood growing up in Glan Conwy so I have some perspective on the Welsh. I have also had my bike kicked over once by a group of local yokels. In days gone by there was a spate of arson attacks on English second homes in Wales too.


A much great problem for bikers is the extreme harassment of bikers by the police which is top down and very real. The recently retired chief constable Brunstrom who obviously had a screw loose implemented a campaign to "actively dissuade" bikers from entering HIS territory. On Sundays de facto road blocks were set up on the major routes into Wales where you would see as many as 70 bikes stopped in a lay-by where each bike was closely examined one by one by a police officer for offences so the you were held up for half the day or even had your bike confiscated in some instances. Speed cameras proliferate and limits are enforced with a draconian zealotry. In case you think I am exaggerating consider that in an anti bike campaign Brunstrom used photographs at a press & media conference of a deceased biker (from my home town) to illustrate his campaign. The pictures he used were of the rider's crash helmet. His head was still in it. In the presentation Chief Superintendent Geraint Anwyl said the head was torn off by the force of the impact, he explained: "His oxygenated brain went flying down the road for 50 metres, before he expired. It's horrific, I'm sure you'll agree." The gruesome images were shown to journalists and local authority representatives but only one or two of the the family of the deceased biker ( a Mr. Gibney) knew the exact circumstance of the accident, for obvious reasons they had concealed the details from his mother and close family but now without even consulting the family his head was paraded by this "police officer" for the media for his own bigoted purposes. The family of Mr Gibney were distraught. He was entirely unapologetic. This episode drew parallels to the beheading videos the taliban post on the internet and together with the xenophobia (admittedly mostly towards the English) is the origin of the phrase "Taffy Taliban" and Brunstrom became know as the "Mad Mullah". He had the word Police removed from evey police vehicle and replaced it with the welsh "Heddlu" describing police as "An English-speaking army of occupation." Watch out for this word if you do go to Wales - you will encounter it often on a bike. Oh and during this time (real) crime levels in North Wales soared to record levels.

For the above reasons I have no hesitation in telling everybody I can to AVOID North Wales and hit them where it hurts - in the pocket so the campsites, guest houses, petrol stations, shops and entire economy of that place knows that there are real consequences to the actions of the people they vote for and the actions of the red necks who masquerade as police in that place.

Consider the Lake District? It's about the same size as North Wales, ace biking and very pretty. I would recommend Scotland over Wales anyway, it is much larger, less populated and even more spectacular. The food is better and they make whiskey. Have fun.


All's I want to do is ride my bike in peace.
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  #18  
Old 13 Jan 2010
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Consider the Lake District? It's about the same size as North Wales, ace biking and very pretty.
It's true, this is a great place, great people (if I do say so myself!), great food, awesum scenery, good roads (when you get away from the one or two busy routes) and did I mention the scenery ? Lot's of camping, but you'll have to pay! (not much wild camping to be had around here), and we have harder sheep than the Welsh!
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  #19  
Old 14 Jan 2010
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Fastship: how are foreigners treated in North Wales? Do these few xenophobic a**holes make sure that you're British before they discriminate against you, or do they discriminate against anything that is not Welsh?
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  #20  
Old 14 Jan 2010
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Fastship: how are foreigners treated in North Wales? Do these few xenophobic a**holes make sure that you're British before they discriminate against you, or do they discriminate against anything that is not Welsh?

The police - everyone on a bike

The Welsh - only the English (and only some of the Welsh are like this but it is them that make themselves noticed)
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  #21  
Old 14 Jan 2010
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I wonder how the police would react if they'd stop me and I'd pretend that I only speak German, no English at all

Thanks for that, I'll keep my eyes open while in the area (if we'll end up in that area at all).
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  #22  
Old 14 Jan 2010
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I wonder how the police would react if they'd stop me and I'd pretend that I only speak German, no English at all

Thanks for that, I'll keep my eyes open while in the area (if we'll end up in that area at all).
You in definitely have to keep your eyes open all the time, that's for sure !!!

in 2001 my mate (UK citizen) and I (UK resident with German nationality), did our "1st big" bike trip all around the UK's national parks.. starting off in south Wales... both of us on UK registered ex-MoD-Army bikes...
I agree the south of Wales is very pretty and we had no problems with the cops at all and folks are friendly.. but riding further north... well that's a whole different story...
on a beautiful Sunday we got stopped behind a bend, pulled over by a Policeman in to a to car-park at a beautify spot... there was a whole trap set up special for biker's with several cops on every road that routed around that crossroad... imagine us... two bloke's on NATO green Enduro bikes, fully loaded with panniers and bags all made up from MoD green canvas... and a cop with £-signs in his face...

as soon we stopped he ordered us to get of the bike and starting poking around the bikes... we both had registration plates in a non-legal size (to small) and additional to that the letters of the plate where to small and to tight together too...

all this together is a big issue in Wales... the Wales Cops are specially hunting down Enduro bikes regarding there often small registration plates !

But as the Police man asked me to present my driving licence... I handed him over my "German" driving licence... (yes the old big grey one from 1978)
he just looked at it and must have been quite shocked... I could see his face dropping down badly disappointed, about all the hassle of paperwork involved in writing me a ticket... so he immediately got fed up with bothering us and let us go our way fast, by reminding us to change the plates as soon as possible.

so ... yes you have to look out, specially on nice weekends.. but you will get away with a lot if you either are foreigner and/or travelling on foreign registered bikes.

wish you all the luck... you gona need it in north Wales !

spooky
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  #23  
Old 14 Jan 2010
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It's true, this is a great place, great people (if I do say so myself!), great food, awesum scenery, good roads (when you get away from the one or two busy routes) and did I mention the scenery ? Lot's of camping, but you'll have to pay! (not much wild camping to be had around here), and we have harder sheep than the Welsh!
.....and don't forget the Yorkshire Dales where you will receive a warm welcome and there is some wild camping.
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  #24  
Old 14 Jan 2010
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Scotland... yea it's a grate place to ride a bike, specially around the highlands and there mountains up in the north absolute stunning along the cost.

by the way... this small narrow and bended country lanes... take care not being to fast, be aware of any obstruction suddenly to appear in the middle of the road around any corner in form of this red fury "Highland cows" as I experienced more than ones first hand... yes this beasts with there long and wide horns just blocking the lanes and don't move an inch out of the way... you in definitely don't want to run in to one of them at all... much worth than a roe deer.... so take care.

other than that.... I would go there again and again....
when it comes to Scotsman's in human form... yea... any time, best company you can experience, specially if you are not "English" but German (sorry for saying this.. no offence to the English guys "you are my 2nd choice of company" and Germans come at the very last) but yea... I must say the most fun and best laugher I always get with a bunch of Scots and a few pints... if I got to choice between a table in a pub between one occupied by Scots or English flaging drinker... well I will settle with the Scots any where in the world straight away... and it would be ending up in between both of this tables having the best fun out of both worlds and grate time with all of of them together, uniting all pisstaking and self irony in a big collective over all fun !

"don't mention the war"...
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  #25  
Old 15 Jan 2010
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by the way... this small narrow and bended country lanes... take care not being to fast, be aware of any obstruction suddenly to appear in the middle of the road around any corner in form of this red fury "Highland cows" as I experienced more than ones first hand... yes this beasts with there long and wide horns just blocking the lanes and don't move an inch out of the way... you in definitely don't want to run in to one of them at all... much worth than a roe deer.... so take care.
Like this !



I came around the corner to find this looking straight at me, didn't move a muscle till I got the camera out!!
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  #26  
Old 15 Jan 2010
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Good to know, thanks. They sound much like the sheep in Ireland.
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  #27  
Old 15 Jan 2010
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Like this !

this road singe.... "Skeeray" is not by any changes the old Scottish phonetic spelling for "scary" or a local hint for it ?
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  #28  
Old 15 Jan 2010
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MJ "Do these few xenophobic a**holes make sure that you're British"- the Welsh ARE British!!!

Just to add a little balance, I've been to Wales perhaps 50 or 60 times in the last 25 years. Anything from a daytrip to the Red Bull MTB route to a fortnight in the Snowdonia National Park (the Snowdon Horseshoe in March in misty snow will never be forgotton!), a trackday on Anglesey, to a caravan family holiday near St Davids Head, to getting very muddy on beemers with Simon Pavey near Ystalyfera, to watching Wales play Scotland in Cardiff. There has been the odd change of language in a shop or two, but that has been far outweighed by the genuine friendlyness and hospitality I've received throughout the country.

It was once pointed out to me the old song "There'll be a welcome in the hillside" suggests thats the only place Wales would welcome an Englishman i.e. no way in their homes, but that was from someone who would probably find trouble wherever he went!
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  #29  
Old 6 Mar 2011
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Hey folks, very interesting little thread here. Just wondering, I'm hitting over from Ireland to London at the end of march on business, but this thread has made me want to hit on up to Scotland after it. What's the weather like, temperature-wise in early April? Would I be mad to want to wild camp up there then? A small few not-to-be-missed spots too, anyone?
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  #30  
Old 6 Mar 2011
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me and the mr's had fifteen nights wildcamping up there last may,in the camper ..
i stopped over one nite onlies and they were all on rspb reserves and natural scotland sites..only bother i got was from an english farmer..who was a bit stroppy.but i still stayed the night..found all the sites from a AA 2008 map..
if you google [wild camping for motorhomes] loads of great info on there..
when i first joined up a lad on there put all the wildcamping spots in the uk,which you downloaded to google..
you can still get them but now you have to pay..............
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