Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Monday, 3 August 2009

Monday 3 August 2009 - A Walk Across Wales - Day 3 - Maesnant Valley to Aberystwyth

After last night's excellent meal I was soon sound asleep in my cocoon of down on the cosy NeoAir mattress, which wasn't really needed in the deep soft grass I had chosen for the night.

All too soon, a 6am alarm heralded the final day of this energetic little excursion. With the last of my water I was able to enjoy a bowl of cereal and a mug of tea from the warmth and security of my cocoon of down.

The world was then easy to face on this unexpectedly fine morning, and Mick, Gayle and I set off in good humour soon after 7.15.

We soon reached a metalled road, with French youths and others camping in grassy lay-bys (the green sheen no doubt concealing a bed of hard core - and we wagered that they would not have enjoyed the luxury of NeoAir mattresses).

The weather was overcast, but the views were fine, with hills, forests and reservoirs dominating the scene. The only minor cloud was a need for the toilet. Luckily, just as the orange trowel was due to be deployed, a blue and white tardis appeared beside Nant-y-moch Reservoir. It looked like a derelict relic from the location shoot of an episode of Dr Who, but inside was a working, flushing loo! With loo paper, water for hand washing, hand towels, etc. Remarkable! Gayle was very cheeky and also used it, despite it being clearly marked 'Gents'!

With light loads we streaked onwards beside fields full of thistle, sheep and stonechats towards Bont-goch, taking an avoiding route past some steep scree which, when we looked back, actually looked quite easy to traverse.

Elevenses were taken beside an antiquity (more later), on the outskirts of this small village (Bont-goch) where house building is taking precedence over house renovations.

One property had what appeared to be a mature graveyard in its front garden!

Easy walking down a narrow lane past red kites brought us to Garth, then Penrhyn-coch, then a delightful picnic spot with no sign of a lawnmower (or anything or anyone else) at Gogerddan (aren't some of these names wonderful?).

The early start now delivered us an easy afternoon - just a 2 hour walk to 'Aber', mainly along pleasant paths with good views (pictured), including a pretty ginnel beside the golf course, as we approached the sea.

After completing our 26 km for the day with 600 metres ascent, we loitered with holiday makers on the beach, taking a selection of photos on the sunny afternoon, before adjourning to a café - Salt - where the prices were high but the toilets facilitated a good wash, in preparation for our train journeys home, part of which was spent in the company of an elderly trio on a day out from Cheltenham. They had gone to Barmouth for lunch!

I'll do a summary of the route and a link to more photos in the next posting, and finish now by thanking Mick and Gayle for selecting this route, for having me along, and for their excellent company over the last three days. Thanks, both, and enjoy the champagne when you get home!

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2 comments:

John J said...

Everyone has to have lunch somewhere!

Thanks for the good read - how did the NeoAir perform? And the Pacer Poles?

John

Phreerunner said...

Hi John
The NeoAir was good in that on the first night it (like any Thermarest) meant I had to turn over less often due to my bony hips getting fed up with lying on a hard tent floor. This would not have been an issue in the soft grass of the second night.
I'm not sure about resting legs/feet on the rucksack, but it seemed ok. If the rucksack was wet, I would probably use the inside of my waterproof jacket as a liner to protect the down bag, but then I'd have to find something else to supplement my pillow...
I'll certainly take the NeoAir on short trips in fair weather, but for longer ones like the TGOC the lighter 185gm Multimat is still likely to be my first choice, on the basis of this first test.

Pacerpoles: a great success, very comfortable to use - the only downside is their weight - 685gm compared with Leki Makalu Ultralite's 440gm. And the small but expensive camera attachment worked well. I suggest you borrow them for a day one your knee is sufficiently recovered. I'm almost glad I lost the Leki's!