The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

AWW Day 2

(A retrospective replacement for Sunday’s accidentally deleted post)

I did not have a good night’s sleep on the campsite in Llanidloes. For once, it was not any occupants of the campsite who kept me awake, but a do which was going on down in the village which involved music (albeit not bad music) being broadcast at quite some volume until midnight.

To add to my late night, I (very annoyingly) awoke very early and so when the alarm went off Mick may have justified in calling me grumpy.

The grumpiness didn’t last too long, and by the time we set out at 7.30 I had got all of the whinging out of my system and was ready to enjoy the day.

It was a day of three parts. The first part was across farmland and was characterised by route-finding challenges (not too hot on footpath maintenance around these parts, it would seem) and challenging terrain. The exceedingly narrow path, completely obscured by overgrown heather, on the edge of a very-steep-almost-vertical drop was particularly interesting. A veritable adventure in fact.

Shortly after nearly adopting three  friendly dogs which seemed intent on walking the whole of rest of the way with us (they were finally thwarted by us scurrying through a gate), the second section of the day began. Thankfully short, at under an hour in length, it was on tarmac, but after the slow progress during the earlier route finding difficulties it made for fast transit to our lunch venue.

Hafren Forest picnic site would have been an ideal location for lunch had it not been for the man on the sit-on mower who was intent on cutting very single blade of grass on the field notwithstanding that most of the tables were occupied. We staunchly refused to move until he got so close that our toes were in danger.

Mowing the grass at a popular picnic area at lunchtime on a sunny Sunday? Surely there are more appropriate times?!

After a goodly lunch break, into the forest we headed on good tracks and on exiting its top edge the third section of the day began – on open hillside, which presented far fewer navigational challenges than the precision required for walking through farmland.

It was an arduous yomp through tussocks, bog and huge quantities of long grass up the side of Pumlumon, but I quite like a good yomp, and by-and-by the ridge was reached, and from there the going was easier up to the top of Pumlumon.

By the time we got to the top the earlier clear skies were gone and the clouds were ominously grey.

The plan had been to find a pitch somewhere above the track which leads down to the road around Nant-y-Moch reservoir, but nothing promising presented itself. After a bit of a recce along the first bit of the track, it was as the first drops of rain began to fall that we selected the best of what presented itself and tents were pitched. Mick and I chose grass-topped shale on one side of the track, whilst Martin chose deep grass on the other side.

The rain was expected to be persistent, but it turned out to be just one of a number of very light showers that passed by during the night, and by an hour later we were sitting outside of the tent eating our tea in the sunshine – and in turn being eaten by the local midge population.

Although only around 15 or 16 miles in length, it had felt like a hard day to me, and after typing a lengthy blog post (which I later accidentally deleted), I wasted no time in settling down into my sleeping bag. By 8.30pm snoring was to be heard.


  1. You seem to be missing in action.

    I hope all is well.

  2. Hi Ron,

    Nice to be missed! Didn't realise quite how long it was since I last blogged (too much working, too little outdoors activity, that's the problem).

    I've been intending all week to write about last Friday's walk, but the delaying factor is a whole blog post in itself ...