Enough rambling.. I've got over quite a few fears, and getting over quite a few others, so it's time to confront this one.
We arrived at the Campsite in Hay On Wye early evening (Radnor's End) - we'd pretty much filled up the small campsite with all our tents. It was a very neat campsite, which felt pretty luxurious compared to some we had stayed at. We said hello to everyone, pitched up and made tea. Emma had come away with us and was in a right grump, I had a stinking headache so was feeling antisocial and awkward. The weather was windy and drizzly (not quite what I had in mind for camping!). In the end Steve and I decided to take Emma for a walk to see the River Wye and to investigate if we could have a swim. It was further than we thought it would be and was a fair old stomp considering the late hour. Once there the current was too fast for me to consider swimming. Steve decided to give it a go because he could safely just float along the beach and some out straight away. The water temp for the time of the year was pretty chilly and Steve was soon out and getting dry. We walked back in the dusk, failing to find which pub the others were in. I was still in a grump when we got back to the site..(must have been having one of those days!)
Once Emma was in bed some of the others arrived back from the pub, and we joined them by Clive's camper van for a beer (right after Clive dropped and broke a load!) and some Pink Floyd. I went to bed feeling a little happier.
I didn't get much sleep, so felt pretty weary when we surfaced. Thankfully egg bread was on hand to sort that out. We then drove to New Radnor going the unique little Sat Nav way which took us over a bridge no-one else went over.., with happy tunes on to wake us up. More people were meeting us for the walk there so it was more introductions. Then off we went... The walk quite soon went into a bit of a steeply ascending lane, all my hill going ability seemed to shrink and I was soon near the back. It was good to chat with Paul one of the other people on the walk about our fear of heights. (I know I have too many fears...) I used to be very scared of heights, to the point of refusing to do most things involving heights and having to crawl across bridges etc. I still have quite a few moments of being scared, but I feel much more able to tackle things head on. It was interesting hearing someone else talk about their fear and agreeing with some of things we'd go through when confronting them.
After not much time the sweets came out and we had a bit of a breather. As we continued up we past a local chap who I stopped for a chat with, he was quite bemused to see such a large group walking in the hills, saying he barely ever saw anyone up there, he also told us about a nice waterfall we could drive to post walk. We said goodbye and I joined the group to decide who was going up Whimble and who was going round Whimble..For some reason I had a brain bypass and decided to go up it. It was a bit of steep slog, but it was soon over. The views were great from there and I was glad I'd done it. More sweets were had all round as a reward for our efforts.
We rejoined the others and were soon enlightend to the fact there was a rally race being held in the area that day - lots of cars racing through forest tracks. Luckily it didn't cause an issue with our walk.
Somewhere around this point we went to Bache Hill, I remember Emma racing Max/Clive to the top and us eating more sweets, but not much else!
As we headed uphill later on we crossed a bog which caused much amusement whilst two of the group tried to push each other in it. Further on into the walk we found one of the passing points for the rally race, there was a suggestion we should have lunch there, but it was disregarded due to the midgyness/dirtyness of the floor. We stopped to take some photos though of the cars zipping round the bend (the faster ones were coming later which was a shame)
The wind was blowing when we reached the top of our next peak - Black Mixen (best even hill name), it had some kind of radio mast thing at the top, we decided to head in underneath it to get some shelter for lunch - not the most glamorous stopping point! As it was one of our groups birthday coming up the chaps had kindly brought up and cake and two bottles of champers for her - possibly one of the nicest ever things I've seen done for someone.
Lots of food and drink were scoffed then it was onwards to our last peak of the day Great Rhos- Howard who'd organised the walk led us through the heathery bog to the summit.
The pub was calling so we were soon back off again, ended up on a sideways path with good views over to the valley below. The sideways path was hurting our ancles so we had a stop and managed to loose Max and Howard to reassured us by waving and phoning (?!) to say they were A Okay.
It was then down some more, with views into the forbidden valley (a firing range which is barred from public access) - shame as there's avery pretty river running through it. On our way down I needed a loo stop so lost Emma up ahread as she was in deep conversation with all the other adults on the trip. Mike who was also walking with us spotted a lizard on the way down which was fantastic to see.
View of the day
When I finally caught up with Emma at the pub she already had a drink in hand and was busy chatting to everyone still - redundant Mum! Wish I had some of her confidence!
A small amount of cider was consumed then it was off to Water Break It's Neck waterfall which the local had recommended earlier in the walk. The falls were pretty impressive, esp the gorge which led up to them. It was so deep all the trees were covered in a layer of moss.
Sadly the waterfall was not swimable as there was no pool underneath it. We decided we needed to get to the top of the falls to see if there was something swimable there, at the top it was steep and fenced off, and what we could see was not swimable. We decided to partake in a little bit of scambling along by the river to head upstream to see what was there.
fun was had exploring and we came to a final set of falls, the way on unclimbable. The pool at the bottom was not big enough for a dip but we were so hot and bothered we stripped off and had a shower. Due to the deepness of the gorge the water was freezing, and neither of us could bear to stay under it for very long..
Emma is shouting in the background because she thinks I'm going to get hypothermia!
We ended the day with chips in Hay and a quick drink with everyone in the pub. It felt hard not being able to stay out with everyone, but priorities first.