Blog · February 12, 2004 0

Pen y Fan

We spent the evening at the Welsh International Climbing Centre. They have a 45 room bunkhouse. The accommadtions are sparse; basically a couple of cheap beds, small screen TV, and shared toilet and shower facilities. But for £14 a nite plus a full breakfast, it was more than enough for our needs.

We arrived at the WICC a bit to late to do any climbing. They receptionist on duty was going to charge us £4.50 to climb for less than hour. We decided to pass on her generous offer and retire to our room for some light reading and to plan out today’s adventure. Besides, we were too full of steak and chips to contemplate hauling ourselves up a wall.

The beauty of going to places off season is that you generally have the place to yourself. We were the only tennants of the bunk house and had breakfast all to ourselves. And a good breakfast it was.

The plan for the day was to head north towards Brecon stop off at the bottom of the south face of Pen y Fan, hike up it and then beat feet back down and head for home.

The weather today was in stark contrast to yesterday’s beautiful day. Basically I felt like I was back in the UK, cloudy and wet.

The last time I was up Pen y Fan was last year during the Brecons Challenge. It’s a decent enough hike culminating in an 886 meter peak. On a good day, the views are quite stunning. Today we were lucky just to catch glimpses of the valley floor below us.

We made short work of the walk up and back down doing the 4.5 mile loop in just over an hour and half. And then it was back in the car and heading for home.

Drifting through the days outdoors has a timeless quality. I feel a million miles away from my normal life of routine and work. I’ve been off work for 3 days and it feels like a lifetime ago since I was last in the office. It is this feeling that taunts me to throw in the towel of corporate life and become a vagabond roaming the world with the wind at my back and a good pair of hiking boots on my feet.

I got home early evening. It will only be a short stay. Basically I’m back to refit, then pack my bags for Bristol, which is where I’m headed Friday afternoon.


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