In the summer of 2010 Chester was in the grip of Rhino Mania! 62 rhinos created by the regions artists, along with 116 mini school rhinos, took up residence – though it seems a few had left the confines of the city’s walls, one had even made it as far as London.
Stretching my legs a little over Bodmin Moor I came across a wonderful view near Minions.
David invited me to visit Dyffryn Crawnon in the Brecon Beacons for a week, and while he set about on repairs to the bunkhouse I have the opportunity to stretch my legs over a beacon or two.
The first amble was up and around the head of Dyffryn Crawnon valley, but from there I caught glimpses of Pen-y-Fan to the north and a few interesting looking mountains closer to home.
It is day 3 and the weather had changed, the forest was shrouded in fog and there were patches of steady drizzle in the air. I headed off at pace to find some shelter within the light woodland in this part of Ashdown Forest.
Day 2 started where day 1 had finished. I was in Hartfield and quickly headed off towards Pooh Bridge.
I got some wonderful walking books, guides and maps for Christmas (though for this walk I already had An Ashdown Forest Perambulation by Per-Rambulations, it had sat on the shelf for a good six months) and so spent the last few days making plans…
It soon became apparent that if I was going to make full use of my time and money I was going to have to start carrying a bigger pack, not just a day pack. A walk over Asdown Forest, being close to home would be perfect – just in case anything went badly wrong like it had with the cycling. The Perambulation was written in 4 stages, though I hoped that I could do it in a couple of days, 3 max. It would be a real test with a full pack and the target milage was 20 miles!
The terrain was fairly gentle, thought with a couple of steep climbs, but the clay soil underfoot would provide a real challenge as I was soon to find out on day 1.
After a good walk yesterday in the Low Weald it was off to stretch out legs on the South Downs at Ditchling. The weather was superb, and the visibility improved all day to the extent that in the afternoon we could see across over the High Weald and Ashdown Forest to see the tops of the North Downs.