To mark my 59th birthday, I decided to tackle the 7?? mile and 2,200ft ascent of Pen-y-Fan. The weather was ideal, warm with some cloud cover. Surprisingly, the ascent was fairly easy although the last 300 feet or so were steep with a small scramble to the summit. The descent wasn’t bad either and I didn’t need my walking poles.
The day started showery but with a forecast of brighter weather later in the day; hence the 11:20 start to this 5 mile 1,200ft walk. The decision on a delayed start paid off and the walk was completed in ever increasing sunshine. The picture is a bit of a cheat as it shows Sugar Loaf Mountain from the top of Table Mountain. The former is on the agenda for later in the holiday. If all goes to plan, it???s Pen-y-Fan tomorrow for my birthday!
It’s my 59th birthday on Wednesday and age seems to be catching up with me. I realised at 17:10 that I’d come away to Brecon having not put my pillows back in the caravan. A quick rush into town before the shops closed overcame this problem. As I write this blog, I’ve also forgotten the power cable for my laptop and I’m relying on battery power. Usage over the next 10 days will therefore be kept to the minimum. The 4½ hour drive to Brecon was uneventful and I’ll be heading for the hills tomorrow. It’s a shame that Karen & Barry will be unable to join me, as planned, so it will be solo walking on this holiday.
As an alternative to the football 11 walkers took part in the short 4 mile walk around the area of Elton Hall. Several different styles were tackled along the way with several drink stops due to the scorchingly hot weather with little or no wind. The walk included sights of raspberries under polythene tunnels, corn crops and sweetcorn growing in the fields.?? We also saw a bird of prey carrying its booty back to its young.
Yesterday’s walk at Cley-next-the-Sea could best be described as “bracing” with a strong wind blowing in off the sea. Only 7 hardy souls turned out for an interesting walk. The outward leg along the shingle sea defences certainly blew the cobwebs away as can be seen in the accompanying pictures. The planned route across the salt marshes was under water and we had to make a short detour along a parallel road to access the village of Salthouse. At this point we visited an art exhibition in the church staged by John Hurst of Marshall Arts. His watercolour pictures were about ??250 each so I had to settle for a couple printed greetings cards at ??2 each. Only Hilary opted to take the shorter route to go and see some flamingos whilst the rest of us completed the 7?? mile walk.
Home again, briefly, from my travels. The holiday in Caernarfon started with mixed weather plagued largely with a low cloud base and strong north-easterly winds. This restricted walking in the first few days and meant that I had to stay at fairly low level. Thankfully, the only rainy day was the Sunday in the middle of the holiday on which I normally take a rest from walking so it didn’t spoil things too much. The weather improved considerably in the second week and the holiday ended with 3 consecutive mountain climbs (Tryfan, Snowdon & Moel Siobad) with a total ascent of 7,550ft. Needless to say, I was pretty tired after this and used my last full day in Caernarfon for recovery prior to a 6 hour drive home. The totals for the holiday were 45 miles and 11,500ft, bringing the totals for the season to 185 miles & 31,000ft.
Today’s walk at 7?? miles and 3,000ft of ascent was possibly the toughest that I have ever undertaken. This was due to the rugged terrain and a blazing sun. The approach to today’s mountain was steep but not too difficult. However, the last 1,000ft of ascent was one long scramble calling for some rock climbing up the ridge of Daiar Ddu. Had I known that it was to be so difficult then I might not have tackled it, but having done so and survived, gave a great sense of achievement. The panoramic views from the summit had to be seen to be believed. It seemed as if the whole of Snowdonia was in view including Carnedd Llewelyn, Carnedd Dafydd, Tryfan,The Glyders and the whole of the Snowdon Horseshoe. To the south, I could even see the sea beyond the Llyn Peninsula. In retrospect, perhaps the effort and pain was worthwhile having been able to take in such memorable views.