Quite a week!!
Snow AND three more Crickhowell Walking Festival walks – this time with S, R & J for company.
It took all of Tuesday morning to flickr my CWF photos and to do last week’s weeknotes. The most recent OS upgrade has killed my 2017 iMac.
KMCA drinks and LED Trustees Meeting – both over Zoom – in the evening.
Snow arrived on Wednesday, slowly but surely turning the countryside into a gorgeous Winter Wonderland.
We had to pick up our car from the garage in Ewyas Harold mid-afternoon, so we did the fast route via Dick’s Pitch. Definitely didn’t want just one of us walking up over the Common with the visibility as low as it was.
S, R & J were due to arrive on Thursday afternoon / evening for a long weekend’s walking with the Crickhowell Walking Festival, however Wednesday’s snow continued overnight into Thursday, turning to heavy rain as the day progressed. Phil and I had gone out into the garden first thing to take photos (and to clear the snow from the car).
The weather meant that the CWF schedule was up in the air until 3pm, and complicated all our best laid travel plans with S’s trains running late and R&J on a 3 hour drive from home.
I finished work early, drove to Abergavenny in heavy rain, only for S’s delayed connection from Cardiff to be cancelled and for her to be on a later train that turned out to not be stopping at Abergavenny to make up time. A speedy shop and a speedy drive to Hereford later, we finally managed to rendezvous at 6.20pm, almost 2 hours later than scheduled.
We arrived home with a few minutes in hand before R&J rocked up and we could at last relax into our long weekend, catching up over a glass of wine sat in the lounge with the log fire Phil had got going in my absence.
Phil made Angela Hartnett’s tagliatelle with pine nuts, capers and kale for dinner, having already produced two loaves of bread and a batch of scones during the day – I’m a very lucky lady.
Up early on Friday for breakfast, packed lunch prep and to clear another inch of overnight snow off the car before the drive to Tal-y-bont and the 9.30am rendezvous in the cafe there. We’d been checking the Met Office Brecon Beacons weather forecast and the blue skies arrived but the winds – and wind chill – did not, and we had a magical walk in the snow.
- Walk: Bryn and Carn Pica
- Time: 6 ½ hours
- Distance: 11 ½ miles
- Ascent: 2,610 ft
Home for J’s chilli, and cheese and biscuits.
Saturday’s walk, Abergavenny Twin Peaks – aka a circular walk taking in both Skirrid and Sugar Loaf, turned out to be Skirrid and a partial ascent of Sugar Loaf. We didn’t go all the way to the top because the cloud was right down making it cold and wet, snowy and icy.
A long day. Skirrid was smashing, but from the Llanvihangel Court lunch stop onwards it was a soggy slog, particularly the route from the slopes of Sugar Loaf back to the car park.
- Walk: Abergavenny Twin Peaks
- Time: 7 ¾ hours
- Distance: 13.8 miles
- Ascent: 2780 ft
Home for showers, warmth, tea and scones, then fish and chips from The Old Stables. Yum yum.
Sunday was dry but there was a lot of snow melt making for wet feet for almost all of our final walk, Astride the Grwyne Fawr Valley.
It’s a good walk from Grwyne Fawr, but it was very windy on the first ridge north from Bal Bach so having dropped back down into the valley we stayed low and returned via the banks of the Grwyne Fawr (literally, for a stretch) rather than heading up to the second ridge, Pen y Gadair Fawr, Pen Twyn Mawr and Disgwlfa.
- Walk: Astride the Grwyne Fawr Valley
- Time: 5 hours 20 mins
- Distance: 8.9 miles
- Ascent: 1650 ft
Then home for showers, tea and scones, G&Ts and dinner. A lovely evening, and a lovely end to having friends to stay.
Leisurely start to Monday, breakfast then farewells to R and J. S and I whiled away the rest of the morning chatting and Pyrenees planning. An early lunch then Phil, S and I drove into Hereford to drop off S at the station and for Phil and I to go to The Courtyard for the last of this year’s Borderlines films – only for One Fine Morning to be cancelled. A bit annoying, but nice to have the afternoon free to Get Things Done.
P.P.S. More daffodils and tulips coming through on the corner verges. Very exciting and satisfying.
Retirement Days Tracker: 26 ½ days to go
TV: The Last of Us (end of season 1), Mystery Road: Origin, The Flight Attendant.
Podcasts: History Extra.
Photos: Herefordshire week 167 on Flickr.
Phil: w/e 2023-03-12.