Monday, 24 August 2009

Lessons in goatherding

Had a great weekend in Wales. Got to Brecon quite late after a slight detour (head torches are an absolute boon when putting up tents at night) but was somehow up bright and early on Saturday and full of energy to go walking. We stayed at Bishops Meadow campsite; woe betide you if you turn up late, but in every other respect, a very comfortable site. Next time I might try Priory Mill Farm Campsite for the scenery alone.

We covered around about 20 miles, taking in some of the Taff Trail and then up to the top of Pen Y Fan and back again. My map reading was mostly ok but there were a number of rest stops while trying to climb a particularly steep slope to rejoin the path we somehow lost. The views going up Pen Y Fan were awesome and it's another one of these peaks that I think you could climb again and again, trying different routes each time. Although it was a bit busy at the top it was much quieter than Snowdon was. I'd definitely go back. Legs and feet were ok apart from a bit of a twist in my right knee and left ankle. These seem to be recurring mild injuries so I may invest in a support or two. No blisters though and the boots are really comfy.

Got to try out a Torq gel which tasted fine but I'm not sure whether it actually did anything. I guess with food it feels like proper fuel so maybe it's all in my mind. I also got to taste a Nakd bar and a Trek bar, both of which were lovely and I might well use some of those on Kili. I'll persevere with the gels for a bit longer. Other new items for the weekend included my lovely new Vango Viper 750 sleeping bag, just about the most comfortable thing in the world (considered using it instead of my duvet last night) with fancy pockets, drawstrings and stuff, and a howies jacket. Fantastic at keeping the wind out and comfortably fits a fleece underneath. Didn't get to test it in the rain though.

Having got a good work out on Saturday we decided to take it easier on Sunday, visiting Hay-on-Wye and the Small Breeds and Owl Centre, a delightful place where you can see shetland ponies, pygmy goats and many different breeds of owl. Some of the goats tried to escape through the double gate of their enclosure with us, at which point I discovered goatherding is not a viable career option but my fleece and trousers are goat delicacies.

You can see photos from the weekend here (not taken by me) and a video I put together on my flip, here.

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