If you drive directly east out of the small Welsh town of Tregaron, you soon find yourself climbing the mountains that lurk there.
You climb gradually up one side of the Afon Berwyn valley, and already you feel like you’re somewhere special.
The road gets narrower and more hairpinbendy, and there are steep drops and sudden twists. Proper mountain driving. On a sunny Sunday afternoon, there’s quite a few motorcyclists there. They’re all terribly polite, and wave their thanks at me when I pull over to let them pass.
The Tywi Forest blankets a vast area around here. We pass the car parks, notice the tracks and footpaths on the map. I make mental notes of places to return to. We can’t stop here today, we’ve got to get home. But maybe another day.
About two thirds of the way across the mountains, we find ourselves in a broad flat-bottomed valley. A stream meanders past a parking area. There’s an information sign, and a bird of prey wafting above. I take a photo that looks like a car advert.
Then we’re on again, down out of the mountain pass and back into normal roads with two sides to them. Wales feels magical, even from the front seat of a car; but that’s because it is.