Saturday, 31 December 2016


 As the epic adventure of Kilimanjaro in now only days away a last ditch effort was made to lose 4 stone and get fit. This entailed teaming up with other members of team Kandoo, who arranged our trek, in Llanbedr, which for the uninitiated is just east of Crickhowell in the Black Mountains. Aim of the day was to complete the horseshoe walk start and finish at the church. In perfect weather we waited while one of the group rectified a navigation error which took her to St Peters Church, Llanbedr, but not this one, she was outside Builth Wells 40 miles north.
 Finally we set off in the frosty sunlight.
 9am and the sun had yet to clear the flanks of Sugar Loaf
 and as we climbed we could see the fog in the valleys.
 For us though it was clear sky and perfect visibility all the way.
 First take five stop saw one of the group head back, the route ahead looked very intimidating so she bottled it.
 I had Mrs Bear as my wing dog, she loved it despite being on a lead all day.
 The way ahead, all the way to the horizon, across and back again.
 Up here the elements are a challenge to flora, these trees show how much of a struggle it is to grow.
 More perfect views
 in every
 direction. Mrs Bear and yours truly sat and waited at the halfway point for the team to catch up.
 So Mrs Bear relaxed.
 Team Kandoo arrived, suitably dressed for the freezing weather and we had a quick lunch break.
 Mrs Bear tried to liberate sandwiches from an unwary hikers rucksack.
 I took the opportunity for a pose.
 13 mile mark and Mrs Bear attended to her paws, a bit sore now.
 I looked at the modern art left by a previous hiker.
 The final peak finally hove into view, but the sun was now setting
 so it was now a race against time to find the right route around Table Mountain before darkness engulfed us.
 Team Kandoo closed in on the summit
 while I explored the stone shelter
 and in the light of the setting  sun the mountain began to look a bit alien.
 Team Kandoo pressed on
 heading towards home, the peak of Sugarloaf rising above the fog.
 Another pose before wending our way back into Llanbedr
 in total darkness. A fantastic mountain day.
 Back at the ranch the apprentice reached another developmental milestone
by providing the tooth fairy with extra work.

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