Currently on an airplane off to Spain for a couple of days of climbing. It’s just dawned on me that this is the first time I’ve left the country since I got back from the US in November. That might not sound long – it is only the end of January – but it feels like a lifetine ago. All the joys, feeling enthralled, hurt, sorrow still echo inside me but have become more muted. I suppose that’s an advantage (or disadvantage) of being based somewhere fast paced like London.
I suppose I am fully back now. And yet, every single step I take, I don’t feel like I fully returned. I am physically here, but not all of my soul is. I like to think it’s because I’ve scattered it across the world in some sort of romantic but really quite impractical manner. The urge to leave that resonated with me before my travels is akin to an elephant tripping and crashing into a pots and pans store.
Sit down Louisa, think up a plan and execute it. One day, this game of Flee and Return will become Flee and Visit.
Went away for a short weekend trip with my friend S as we both just wanted to get out of London and breathe in some fresh country air.
She suggested it about three weeks ago and it was pretty easy (and relatively cheap) to sort out accommodation (airbnb) and transport (rental car). Logistically, we could’ve been a bit more organised with the timing of our journey out there as we ended up right in the middle of rush hour traffic – it took us two hours to get out onto the M4.
When we eventually got there though, we were warmly welcomed by our host Richard who was friendly and accommodating throughout our stay there. It was definitely nice to have a warm lit fire to return to after a long day’s walking and exploring!
Crickhowell is a tiny village located within the Brecon Beacon national park in South/Mid Wales. We chose it because it was situated within the national park but also a close enough drive to a slightly larger town called Abergavenny which we did so to go to the supermarket (Crickhowell only has local grocers and prides itself on not having a corporate branded supermarket) and to stretch our climbing muscles on an indoor wall.
Being in that area of the world, everything is scenic anyway but our walk yesterday up to Table Mountain (not an actual mountain) was absolutely breath-taking.
We were blessed with the perfect weather and although it was about 4 degrees, by the time we had started on the steeper parts of the route, we were down to our baselayers. The top of the hill was still sprinkled with residue snow from the day before and gave a very serene quality to the landscape:
Lots of sheep
Nearing the top
The view from the peak
It was a lovely walk which took a meagre 3 hours. Certainly worth a walk to experience some amazing views!
Today we decided to do a short hike up Sugar Loaf, the hill next to Table Mountain, before heading back. The route we followed (found online) felt shorter and less effort compared with the one up Table Mountain, although it did say it would take only 2 hours. We did get lost in the woods near the peak and subsequently was a bit clueless as to whether we actually made it to the peak or not (there didn’t seem to be a clear peak point as there had been on Table Mountain) so I’m of the opinion that we may have missed the actual peak… This route started off through woodland which was a nice change of scenery from the route yesterday. We went through an unusual forest of stunted oak trees which looked rather peculiar.
Stunted Oak Forest
The View from the Top (maybe)
It was a great weekend. I fully recommend anyone looking for a short walking trip to head towards Crickhowell way.