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outdoorbloggers in Snowdonia

Last week I attended the Outdoor Bloggers weekend in Snowdonia.  It's been a while since I met (in real life) any random people from the internet, and I've never really done any sort of networking so wasn't quite sure what to expect.

Despite an afternoon off work and good intentions, I arrived in the dark.  Good thing my tent only takes a few seconds to put up!  We were camping at Llyn Gwynant, which rather conveniently features a pizza shop on busier weekends.  Yum yum!

We sat around the campfire telling stories and getting to know each other a bit - though... continue reading »

sunny Upper Usk

2015 has not involved enough kayaking.  2014 probably didn't either, but this year has been ridiculous.  I paddled the Dart Loop in January, but that's been it in terms of white water!  Ok, I've done a couple of flat trips too, and most weeks at the lido over the summer, but that's not the same.

Last weekend we did the Upper Usk.  One of my favourite easy rivers, especially on a sunny day.  Which it was:

There was a nice (and pretty!) dusting of snow on the Brecon Beacons, but it wasn't actually as cold as I thought it was going to... continue reading »

Whites Level at Afan

It's been several years since I last went mountain biking at Afan, which is a bit silly because when I do go I really enjoy it.

Yesterday morning I met up with some friends at a rather damp Glyncorrwg.  As we got ready, I watched a serious of brightly coloured dots slowly weaving their way up the hillside, and soon it was our turn.  Climbs at Afan are an absolute pig, but at least all the up is at the start so you get it out of the way!  No shame in having to get off and push, either...

Once we eventually... continue reading »

Conwy

It seems to be some sort of unwritten rule that meetups with Rachael involve running of some sort.  For her birthday, we went to Snowdonia.

I had to stop on my drive up to take some photos because the sunset/view was absolutely stunning:

Anyway, to the bemusement of everyone else I managed to get all the way to Llanberis without the aid of satnav or google maps.  I still maintain that it's not that difficult, but then again I've been to Llangollen/Bala kayaking so many times and once you get past that point there are only so many main roads and big... continue reading »

Snowdonia

Another bank holiday, another camping trip.  This time in Snowdonia, staying at Dolgam near Capel Curig.

Saturday started with some mountain biking at Coed y Brenin.  Firstly the green Yr Afon trail (at 5 year old pace!) then after lunch a much more exciting mix of MinorTaur (blue) and Cyflym Coch (red).

To cool down after that we went wild swimming in the Llugwy, just below the siphon-tastic mess that is Pont Cyfyng.  Yuck. Others did actually swim, but I splashed around waist deep because it was rather cold.

On Sunday I turned down more mountain biking on grounds that the Penmacho trail... continue reading »

Wye/Usk walking

First little bit of Wye for 2012!

Not hugely much to say about this one really... supposed to be kayaking, but I wasn't feeling well enough to want to sit in a boat all day, so instead went for a short walk from Rhayader down the to Elan confluence (then slept in the car until the others returned).

Crossing the Elan is a ridiculously wobbly footbridge, which actually made me feel seasick - this is a very rare thing!

On Sunday the Usk looked low and I didn't fancy it (the middle usk isn't my favourite bit of river, for whatever reason), so... continue reading »

Teifi Tour

This is the river Teifi between Llandysul and Henllan falls, as captured by my dinky little gps:

Surprisingly accurate! I was expecting it to be all over the place, what with being buried inside my bouyancy aid.  Though I have tidied up some of the messy squiggly bits at the start and end, and also where I swam (oops) and where I portaged the evil weir (which I think everyone else ran anyway, but I was having a rubbishy day so wasn't going to risk it).

As with last year's Teifi Tour we headed over in the daytime on Friday... but with... continue reading »

Y Wal at Afan

Here's a GPS trace of most of "Y Wal" at Afan.  There's a bit missing because at that point I took my coat off (with gps logger in the pocket) and shoved it into the depths of my backpack where it couldn't lock on to the satellites. oops.  I realised this mistake, and moved it to somewhere more sensible at the next stopping point!

Anyway, yes. Red mountain biking - probably not my normal choice for a weekend's activity, but this was a bit of a uni reunion type thing, involving many keen bikers.  Plus a few of us with somewhat... continue reading »

Tryweryn weekend

August bank holiday weekend in North Wales - usually means guaranteed rain, but this time only in the form of short showers between bits of sunshine.

I took Friday off work for an extra long weekend, and in the afternoon we headed up to Bala.  Not without incident - for starters, I'd had to beg a security person to let me load my car up (Tall Ships festival = busy docks!). 
We went via the back roads, which took forever due to getting stuck behind several slow moving lorries full of hay.  Still prettier than going via motorway though.

We camped at... continue reading »

Walking the Upper Wye

Part two of "making the most of days off work" - a weekend walking in Rhayader.  (by 'weekend' here I mean Sunday and Monday, but that's a minor technicality).

This plan wasn't decided until Sunday lunchtime, and since it's a 2 hour drive away I think I did quite well to start walking at half 3!

I'd paddled a small section of the Upper Wye in February, so decided to spend a couple of days completing this stretch.  Started from the layby at Pont Marteg, I walked up through Gilfach nature reserve (next to the Afon Marteg) then over a hill and... continue reading »

winter walking

Well, I was supposed to spend last weekend kayaking in North Wales.  But then the British Weather happened, so it got cancelled.  Frozen rivers, snow everywhere, icy roads, etc etc.

Gloucestershire, of course, has done its usual clever trick of almost entirely avoiding any snow.  Freezing cold with freezing fog, oh joy..

Luckily there was a backup plan, so my weekend was not entirely ruined - a walk in the Brecon Beacons on Sunday. 

From the Storey Arms, we walked up Corn Du, across to Pen y Fan, and back down the main tourist path.  6 miles, 4 hours of walking.
We had... continue reading »

Teifi and Fireworks

Argh, it's the second week in November already!  I'm not quite sure how that's snuck up on me, other than me being far too busy doing a million other things to notice. 

The final weekend of October was the Teifi Tour - a weekend paddling the River Teifi, in South West Wales (in fact, 3 days for me, as some of us went early on the Friday). 
Hundreds of kayakers from various clubs all around the country, plus a massive party - which we avoided as we'd decided to stay in a lovely warm cottage rather than camp in a disgustingly... continue reading »

Wedding and Waterfalls

I appear to have reached the point of growing up where my friends are starting to do silly things like getting married and having babies.  This summer seems to have been a steady stream of fancy invitations, and occasions where I can't get away with wearing shorts and flipflops (or better, freakshoes).

Last Saturday we celebrated Lucy's wedding.  For me, this mostly involved getting quite drunk, dancing badly, and covering everything I touched in purple glitter.  Oh, and pinching strawberries from the chocolate fountain to put in my Pimms, 'cos I'm classy like that.

Obviously that meant Sunday was a bit of... continue reading »

I miss the mountains

My legs ache. 

Entirely due to having walked 17.5km (about 11 miles) in the Brecon Beacons yesterday.

The plan had originally been to walk up Pen Y Fan, but it looked decidedly grim and rainy up there - so instead we wandered around on the other side of the A470.  I have a nice GPS trace of the whole thing. Yay for gadget phone :)

I don't do anywhere near enough hiking any more, hmm.

Walking in the Black Mountains

I'm currently recovering from two days of hiking in the Black Mountains :)  Nice and relaxing, but I'm rather tired now.

Most of my scouting memories of walking around the Black Mountains/Brecon Beacons involve lots of cloud and rain.  Luckily this weekend was beautiful.  No rain, not too hot or hazy and a nice cool breeze.  Lovely :)  Unsurprisingly I took loads of photos, but I'm not so great at taking really impressive landscape shots so they didn't all get uploaded, heh...

My new boots appear to be rather good at repelling mud.  This is slightly annoying but probably a good thing... continue reading »