Monday, 6 January 2014

77 - Foel Cwmcerwyn - Pembrokeshire - 15th October 2013

In October Nat decided to take a week off and after trying to work out what we were going to do we settled on a caravan holiday to South Wales, We don't own a caravan but instead opted for a holiday park with caravans ready for us to move into for a few days. We left Portsmouth on the Monday morning and made our was along the M27, M3, A34 and the M4 to Swindon, the normal route would carry on along the M4 and across the Severn Bridge into Wales but becaure I own a very small van I get charged Crazy amounts of money to cross, and so it is far cheaper for me to turn off the M4 at Swindon and head up the A419 to Gloucester and then into Wales along the M50. Our Journey through Wales was very scenic, taking us past Abergavenny and Brecon, then on to our destination of New Quay on the west coast of Wales.

Our caravan was lovely and it served us well for the 5 days and 4 nights we were staying, it was October so very quiet in the holiday park, we didn't see many people which was nice and we avoided the main complex in favour of the peace and quiet. The rest of Monday was spent relaxing before our climb the next day.

We awoke on Tuesday morning and had some breakfast then headed south west to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, This Park lies south of Cardigan and to the west of Fishguard and it was here we found the highest point of Pembrokeshire, the mountain knows as Foel Cwmcerwyn. We parked on the mountain road in a car park and headed off towards the summit, the sun was shining but there were a few puddles on the ground, I did risk wearing shorts and I am please I did as it soon became rather warm.

The path first took us along the edge of a plantation of some evergreen trees, then after this we crossed an open heathland for a short distance, this heathland was really wet, lots of puddles to dodge and even a small log bridge to cross, we were soon on a better path and passing through several gates. Our walk so far had been fairly flat but it we soon started the gentle climb and it was warm enough to only have a t-shirt on top (which is good for October in Wales). The path veered to the right and climbed further up and over a smaller hill and then down and up to the summit of our destination, Just before reaching the top a man passed us and warned us that it was very busy at the top, I am not sure what we were expecting, maybe an ice cream van or a hoard of people having a disco, luckily there was just 1 man sending Morse code signals to America with a few more people further down the slopes trying to do some paragliding.

We stayed up at the top of Foel Cwmcerwyn for quite a while, there was a trigpoint on the summit and we sat and had our lunch and drinks (tea for me). A family reached the top while we were sitting and we chatted to them for a while, eventually it was time to pack up and head back down to the car. we took the same route back down, I did think about another route but there were not really many other options so we carried on along the same route and were soon back down crossing the wet marshy heathland and back at the car.

After the mountain we headed to the city of St Mary's, an amazing and tiny village sized city with the largest Cathedral in the UK, well worth a visit and they have some nice cake. Wednesday took us to the National Trust property of Llanerchaeron and then Aberystwyth in the afternoon, on Thursday we headed south to Tenby and the amazing Caldey island with its boat trip, monks and beautiful scenery and Chocolate. On our final day we packed up our belongings and headed home via Cardiff for the Doctor Who Experience and a look around the town, finally heading home across the Severn Bridge (because its free to get out of Wales).

The whole trip had been really amazing with such beautiful scenery, the high point was well worth a visit and we were very lucky to have such beautiful weather for the whole week.     

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

71-76 - The High Points of London Part 4 - 11th October 2013

Back in January I traveled up to London to attempt to visit all the highest points in London in one day with Darren, we had a good try and visiting all 36 of the high points however after a long day we only managed 30, there were 6 to go. I set another date with Darren and on the evening of Thursday 10th October I headed up to stay with Darren ready to visit the last 6 high points the next day.

Crystal Palace in Lambeth
Early on Friday 11th October we left Darren's house in Bermondsey and headed south towards Crystal Palace for the first of 3 high points in the same area. We arrived in Crystal palace and quickly found the highest point of Lambeth, It could be found on the crossroads right next to the old Crystal palace site and not too far from the huge antenna that sits on top of the hill. We both took a few photos and then headed on to our next 2 highpoints which were a short drive just down the road.

Lewisham                           and                           Southwark
The next 2 highpoints were situated both together, these were the highest points of Lewisham and Southwark, they could both be found in the same road, about 10 ft away from each other. We park across the road and walked to the fairly private road roadway where the 2 highpoints could be found. It was a pretty unimpressive location due to the fact that the road was completely surrounded by buildings, on one side were bungalows and on the other side there were garages.

We walked back to the car and drove back to Bermondsey, it was time for a change of transport, we parked not too far from the underground station and then headed north along various underground lines to the Manor house Station. After a short walk we were standing next to Finsbury park and the highest point of Hackney. From Finsbury park it was a short walk back past Manor house and along to Harringay Green lanes overground station where we took a short train ride to Upper Holloway station.

A woman wearing a newspaper
It was now time to finish the London highpoints as the next to were very close to each other, We headed north from the train station and we were soon in Waterlow park and on Highgate hill and the highest point of Islington. After a short time we headed further up the road and arrived at the last of the London high points in Highgate and the highest point of the London borough of Harringay. We had done it, all 36 of the London high points were complete, it had taken us 10 months to do but we finally did it. we celebrated with some cake in a local cake shop and then headed to Highgate Cemetery for a wander around to see some of the amazing graves of the rich and famous.
It was a brilliant day and I am so pleased Darren was able to join me for ALL of the 36 high points of London.
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Karl Marx