Trick or treat?
The weather we had experienced at the top of Pen-y-Fan now seemed to have reached us in the valley. This morning was not a time to be outside. We headed off to Big Pit.
Big Pit is a real coal mine, and above ground felt strangely eerie – like an enormous ghost of the industrial age was still present from a time when the site was in full production.
It has stopped producing coal and now allows visitors to be guided around some of the underground tunnels. All of the guides are miners who have at least 5 years experience of working underground, their enthusiasm and passion for mining was almost overwhelming while being most engaging.
It was late on friday night when we passed over the River Severn and paid our Â£5.10 to get into Wales. Why is it Â£5.10 and not an even Â£5 which would be so much easier? What was the need for all those 10p pieces? are the Welsh trying to undermine the GBPÂ£ by hording all the 10p coins??
We continued on, passing Merthyr Tydfil and up into the Brecon Beacons – and it started to rain. We caught up with the minibus from NIMR and spent a little while in sunken lanes looking for the bunkhouse…
The morning was overcast, and the cloud was getting lower as breakfast was eaten and discussions continued about the walking options. Eventually we all started to head off to Pen-y-Fan, the highest point in South Wales.
I only had a few (6) miles to make it from Bembridge back to Ryde, though the bus seemed to take an age getting to Bembridge Harbour this morning. It was rather a misty, moisty, morning – though without the expected autumnal chill. Like a couple of the previous mornings the sea was as calm as a mill pond.
In the gloom yesterday evening I had just about caught sight of the top of the Pepperpot Lighthouse on St Catherine’s Hill, though as I rounded the bottom of Niton Down I got a much better view of this ancient lighthouse on top of the hill, and the newer lighthouse on St Catherine’s Point – the most southerly point of the Isle of Wight.
This was the stage I was most looking forward to, taking in The Needles and Tennyson Down – along with several long stretches of beach. The rain from yesterday had not quite been replaced by sunshine but at least it was dry.
While the weather forecast for today was not great I at least started off in Cowes with no rain. This situation did not last for long, as I rounded Egypt Point and headed into the prevailing wind there was a clap of thunder and the start of a heavy downpour.
So I have finally made it overseas, a little later than predicted and not as far as one might have thought… Arriving in Portsmouth I headed straight for the Hoverport.
On a hovercraft to the Isle of Wight.
I have just finished putting together a calendar promoting Kiva from a suggestion, and a whole lot of hard work, through kivafriends.org – I might be biased but I think it is fantastic.