Written by Nooky Lair of Team Oasis
So here it is, the first episode of a new column for the newspaper. We all know that real life traveling cannot really be done now, however we are free to dream. We have managers from all corners of the globe. Why not make use of that and let them inspire us with for future travels. If not, it could always be a pleasant distraction for us during this homestay period.
First episode is with Dafydd, the manager of the Welsh team named royle. After being in lower divisions for a long time he now moves up with his superstar Toller Péter.
1a. To which race location here in OCM would you like to go for a holiday?
“So the place i’d like to go on holiday that’s on a OCM course is the Alpe D’Huez classic (of div 1 I think).”
1b. Why is it that you picked this place?
“One of the main reasons for this is to be a part of the Tour, soak up the atmosphere. My friends went there to watch Geraint Thomas win the stage and they said nothing comes close to the feeling they felt there. Another reason would be to challenge myself on the big climbs in France, see if I can complete them as in Wales we don’t have as many harsh climbs as France has.”
1c. What else would you like to do there?
“I wouldn’t mind if I visited Alpe D’Huez during the winter, being a keen skier. Been to the Alps a few times skiing and i’d highly recommend it to anyone, who hasn’t done this before, to book a trip for next winter :D. The views at the top of all the different white peaks will just leave you speechless.”
2a. So you are keen skier and you also mention you want to take up the big climbs. So if I’m not mistaken you are an active guy who likes the outdoors?
“I live in the countryside and always have been. So yes, I’d say I do enjoy the outdoors. Although I can never find enough time to go hiking even though i live in one of the best places in Britain for that (Snowdonia). I am into other sports like obviously cycling, rugby and football. Unfortunately I don’t play competitively anymore as work commitments have had to be prioritized.
2b. Does that always count for your holiday decisions, that preferably include skiing or other active things?
“I would always pick a skiing holiday over a boozy summer holidays for numerous reasons. 1. Personally I feel I’m getting more out of my holiday if I’m exploring and seeing all the different sceneries and not sat in front of a pool drinking day and night. 2. Slightly less damaging on my liver :D Yes i still would drink on a skiing holiday but it would be in moderation as there’s no point overdoing it and not being able to do anything productive the next day.”
3a. What is actually your own homebase?
“My homebase is in the heart of the countryside in North Wales, only a few miles away from a small tourist town called Betws y Coed and around 25 mins drive away from another tourist hotspot called Llandudno. I’ve lived here all my life and wouldn’t change it for the world. It’s like living in paradise when the weather’s great. Besides the views of the Snowdonia mountains are to die for.”
3b. Is there any interesting to do nearby where you live?
“Away from the mountains if you want some adrenaline then I’d recommend you visit one of the Zip World sites around North Wales. From one of the longest zip lines in Europe to an assault course around a forest or even onside the slate quarry in Blaenau Ffestiniog. A little expensive but an experience you will never forget! If you go along the west coast (the nose looking part of Wales) you’ll find
some great beaches where there’s some surfing done over there around Abersoch. Something to try whilst you’re there maybe? If you’re into the World Rally Championship (WRC) most of the Rally GB stages are based around the woodlands of North Wales, and usually finishes in the town of Llandudno as they drive around the Great Orme, a climb you can also cycle all the way around the cliff.”
4a. And how about elsewhere in your country, what would you recommend?
“There is plenty of stuff people could do here in Wales, from visiting the big cities down in Cardiff and Swansea to being one with nature in hills. There are plenty of places down in South wales like the Brecon Beacon. Other Welsh managers could go into further detail about that area, as my knowledge isn’t the best. The classic thing most tourist do when they’re in North Wales for sure is climb Mount Snowdon, it’s a hot spot for hikers. One thing I’d recommend doing if you want a quiet place to relax is look for one of the many lakes in the area, you will not be disappointed and they aren’t scarce as there’s around 15-20 lakes alone connecting to the river Conwy. And that’s just one of the river’s in Wales. They make for the perfect area for leisurely walks and a great place for time with the family.”
4b. Do you also have some cycling tips?
“There’s a few great routes i know of, one of them is riding all the way around Snowdon, the roads are relatively quiet, few hills to get your heart going but not too much to kill you. Another ride I like is a cycle route to Porthmadog and around to Beddgelert then home towards Betws y Coed. Beddgelert is another place to visit too, with a famous old tale of the village and how it got its name. A ride around Anglesey (a small island just off north West Wales area) is also one I enjoyed, only downside for me was the headwind when I did a Sportive on the island. Also I did a charity ride down to Cardiff and there were some great places on the way down to the city.
4c. You sound quite enthusiastic. (North) Wales must be a great spot for a holiday.
“Personally I think Wales is a great destination for a getaway holiday, even if it’s a long weekend to a whole week, I’m confident you’ll find enough stuff to keep you going!”
5a. Now next episode we have Grimsey in our show. He is from around Clermont-Ferrand in France. Is that a place like to go on holiday one day?
“Yes i would very much like to see Clermont-Ferrand if it’s worth going there :D i’ve heard a lot about their rugby team Clermont Auvergne and would very much like to see them play. Otherwise i’m not too familiar with the area so any info Grimsey could give me would be beneficial to convince me to visit :)”
5b. I’m pretty sure he will do that. He himself seems to enjoy soaking up a new culture. What Welsh thing should he try to get in touch with if he would go there?
“If I’d tell him to do anything if he visited Wales then they would be embrace the singing. It’s been a huge part of Welsh culture for hundreds of years, with national competitions happening every year (except this year for obvious reasons) Also I’d tell Grimsey to embrace the outdoors and feel as one with his surroundings if he visits a rural area.”
5c. Lastly, Grimsey is a keen MTB’er. Do you also know one MTB-ride that’s pretty spectacular near where you live?
“I’m not into the MTB scene myself as I’m way too clumbsy for that. But there are a lot of forestry tracks around my area, one being in Llanrwst my local Town with plenty of downhill tracks veering through the woods. The main place though would be “Antur Stiniog” in Blaenau Ffestiniog, right next to one of the Zip World bases I spoke before. There are 14 different tracks graded from green (easy) to black (very hard). I’ve heard good things about this company and I’m sure the area was part of the world downhill championships once, but I could be wrong though.”