Everything was planned for a great sixteen-miles in these brilliant mountains. My bag was packed. Lunch prepared. As I bent down to put my shoes on and, before I could even tie my laces, something ‘went’ in my lower back.
One of my final walks of 2018 concerned an overdue return to the Black Mountains of South Wales. With the tolls for both of the Severn Bridge crossings having been scrapped earlier in December, there was less of an excuse not to travel towards the Brecon Beacons.
I drove to Bristol and met up with my friend Dave, who I’m be car-sharing and walking with.
I’ve been saying this all year but, I had no intention of walking the full one-thousand miles this year. My aim was purely to walk as often as would seem reasonable and to see, out of curiosity, how many miles I could cover within an average year.
Well, that hunger probably took over – aided by several months of unemployment, lots of free time and the ambition to complete my first National Trail. I have many good memories from 2018 and I look forward to walking my way through 2019…
Again, I won’t be setting out to reach any target but I’ll probably complete this challenge for a third successive year!
All the way back in December 2017, I led a group walk in the Black Mountains that I soon grew to regret. One weekend after snow had fallen heavily across the region, I found the mountain tops were covered and we were struggling through depths up to our knees for much of our day. That’s without mentioning the rain waiting for us before we had a chance to put our boots on and the gale-force winds arriving from the east.
I’d thought about repeating the same route but have always held reservations over the small car park at Black Hill. So, for this outing, I decided to park elsewhere and lead a longer route along different paths.
My Bank Holiday weekend had begun! This was to be the first of two major outings over the course of three days. I’d not been across to the Welsh mountains since a very wet day in January. For this weekend, the forecast promised undisturbed sunshine.