Location: Brecon Beacons National Park, South Wales
Being half Welsh, and more specifically half North Welsh, meant that it was difficult to avoid mountains at times. When I was little, when ever I was expected to walk up a hill or mountain I spent the majority of the time complaining and crying. I could not get my head around what kind of crazy person does this for enjoyment, particularly in Wales where there’s a 95% chance it’s raining and 99% chance it’s cold.
Then I met Tom, one of the crazy people who do this for enjoyment. By this time though I’d been left to my own devices and was no longer forced to do anything. When I first told Tom I’d like to give his hobby a go he got very excited and took me out to spend all of my pay-day money on walking boots and a “special” coat.
On New Year’s day of this year, Tom and I took a little test walk up Cader Idris. We walked until it started to get dark and then came back down.
Then last weekend we went to South Wales and decided we’d try to walk up Pen y Fan, the tallest peak in South Wales. The day of the walk it was raining but luckily the heavy rain subsided as we parked and the majority of the walk was a mixture of sunshine and small showers, which were really welcome as we got very hot.
I hit “the wall” quickly as I haven’t done a lot of exercise recently but because I told myself it was too soon to quit I managed to push through it pretty easily. Both of us struggled in the last part but I was too determined to make it to the top.
First we got over the steep, stony climb of Corn Du, Pen y Fan’s twin peak. Then the sun came out as we got to the top of Pen y Fan and we had a nice rest, taking in the breath-taking view.
When we got to the bottom we treated ourselves to two large burgers which completely countered any calories we burned on the way up, but it was worth it. I’m still stiff from the walk but I felt so good and relaxed after doing this that I ended up sleeping the entire journey back home.
Managing to walk up Pen y Fan without any problems means I can take on even bigger mountains in future. Tom and I want to climb to the top of Cader Idris and Snowdon at some point. Pen y Fan was just the beginning of my new little hobby.