Unpredictability - Good for your health

Our modern life is based on organising an environment free from the unexpected. The house needs to be as stable and reliable as possible. The job as safe as possible. Nothing should break down. Nothing but what we predict, should occur.
This is the life of the zoo animal. Let's explore the life of the Nomad. Let's live the life of the Nomad.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Family Hike in Wales

As expected it hadn't taken long to reach the summit of Corn Du - about an hour perhaps. But I hadn't expected  to be engulfed in mist so thick and a view so reduced I was left disorientated with confusion. I had done this route many times. I felt no need for a map. I knew the path to my right would lead to Pen Y Fan - and so I continued my hike in the chosen direction. I knew the path would ascend to the next summit but instead I seemed to be descending. Something was not right. And so I back tracked in the direction I had come and with a few pointers from other hikers I eventually found the summit of Pen Y Fan. I wished for that map. Like navigating a room in a moonless night without light - I simply could not be sure where precisely I was located.

I did at least have a compass and so with this aid a path was chosen. And down it went and on it went. And once again, after half an hour I knew the trek was not the right one. Once again I turned around and continued back up the mountain. Tired, hot, exhausted and blinded in the mist - eventually I reached the summit of Pen Y Fan for the second time that morning. No water left and legs depleted of energy. I sat down and switched the GPS on. No satellite signal. A group of four emerged from the South and so I asked from where there trail had commenced. So this was a good bit of luck and I began my descent down the trail and back off the mountain.

I had been looking forward to this weekend. My sister had expressed an interest in going for a hike - and I suggested the Pen Y Fan hike in South Wales. It is a short hike and a good starter hike for the beginner. The plan was to meet my sister, nephew and my sister's boyfriend at the start of the hike on the Saturday morning at around midday. We would stay at a hotel in Merthyr Tydfil called the Tregenna. I would leave Hampshire on the Friday afternoon and my sister would leave Saturday morning.

And as I knew it to be a short hike I would do it twice on that day. Once in the morning. It would take me just over a couple of hours to complete - and I would rest and read in my car while waiting for my sister to commence the hike again. The same hike albeit from a different direction.

This plan ofcourse was sabotaged by the mist and the confusion. I had been hiking for four and a half hours by the time I reached the car park at the base of the mountain range. My sister and her boyfiend and my nephew arrived 15 minutes later. I looked and felt exhausted. It would have been nice to abandon the hike but the commitment was firm. I had promised the hike and so we continued - and for me this was the third ascent of Pen Y Fan on that day. Thankfully the mist was clearing and a couple of hours later we had all reached the summit. We had that joyous feeling of accomplishment that is felt when the desire to quit has been matched with the will to overcome and to ascend and to summit with the aid of nothing but one's own labour.

It was approaching late afternoon when the day's hiking was completed. We drove back to the hotel and took some time aquainting ourselves with this quirky abode. This family run hotel was great value with clean and spacious rooms and plenty of parking spaces. My nephew made good use of the parking bay as he sent his radio controlled model car wheeling and sliding under and around the real cars.

We quickly changed and made our way around to the local pub for a few drinks and to rest our aching muscles. It is a good feeling - to be with family and to chat and reminisce and reflect on the day that had been. To exchange ideas and to cover the history recent since last we met. And after the chatter and the drinks we hobbled back to the hotel and to our respective rooms and prepared for the evening meal. And this too was very nice - each of our meals were cooked with care and pride and there could be no complaints at all.

After a good night's sleep we all met again the following morning in the restaurant. It was a filling and tasty fully cooked breakfast. Once again another finely cooked meal. My sister had chosen the hotel and it was a very good choice indeed.

Following instructions from the helpful attendant we made our way to Cyfarthfa castle. The castle was designed in 1824 and built for the sum of £30,000. Part of the castle is now an art museum and the rest of the building operates as a comprehensive school. Unfortunately the museum was not open - but nevertheless it was a nice visit and a much less ardous stroll compared to the previous day's efforts.

And so we each had a long journey and so went our separate ways. It was a very pleasent weekend and each felt affirmed to ensure another hike be done as soon as could be arranged.

Peace to All