Monday, February 20, 2006

Hobbits in the Hills

After the previous weekends festivities, this weekend was going to be a welcome break from the international rugby - which is set to continue this coming Saturday.

Andy had suggested that we head down to watch the Ospreys play on Friday evening but I knew full well that that would lead to another night out and another headache in the morning, so declined and suggested an all together healthier alternative - a trip up to my parents house and a hike in the hills. After watching the Ospreys rugby on TV before hand of course!

So, off we went to the hills...

The village at home consists of 100 people, and it's extremely quiet. The perfect anti-Cardiff remedy. But I noticed there were more cars than usual on the road leading up to the village (More than one car that is) and as we pulled into the village we were greeted by the sight of tens of people wandering around looking lost... it turns out there was a party of GIANT proportions gathering momentum up on the hillside! So much for a quiet retreat.

We paid a visit to the party after closing time in the pub and found a barn full of people jumping around to some sick Drum'N'Bass - we bounced all the way across the barn and found the entrance to another one, this one had a stage which was filled with a pretty angry angst-filled group dressed in black, thrashing away on their guitars and screaming things about fairies and kittens in to the mic (probably, we couldn't understand a word). There was a great set up anyway and there was a good sized crowd of about 350-400 people, but as we weren't as drunk/stoned/high as anyone else there we slipped away after about an hour back to the safety of my house.

Saturday we visited the nearby Garn Goch, probably the largest Iron Age hill fort in Wales. It's about 3000 years old and the stones from which it was constructed still remain in the same place - You can almost imagine being back there living with the native Celts, watching the Roman armies marching up the valley towards you! Plus, the weather was just great!

Not just a pile of rocks

Sunday, Andy and myself set of to find the hiding place of the Welsh highwayman, Twm SiƓn Cati (or Thomas Jones if you can't pronounce that, but it's not half as good as a name for a highwayman). Twm was a gentleman highwayman, always polite when robbing people and he went to lengths to ensure that his victims were not physically harmed as he removed their possessions from them. There's more on Twm in wikipedia if you're interested.

After a brief hike around the Roman gold mines at Dolaucothi,

The view down across the Cothi valley where there's Gold to be found

we drove up to near the source of the River Tywi (Towy, in English) right up in the Cambrian mountains. This part of Wales is PERFECT bandit territory, steep-sided gorges, tall mountains covered in rocky outcrops and the river Tywi rips along the bottom of the valley at no slow pace. We parked close to the hill on which Twm used to hide and like a couple of eight year old boys set about climbing to the summit, visiting Twms' cave on the way up. The weather was closing in a little and everything was pretty muddy from the rain but this made climbing the hill even more fun!

Twm Sion Catis' stomping ground

Check out the amazingly amateur pics here


As a special treat (?) for you all today, here are some rubbish 20sec clips from us gooning around in the mountains:-

On the way up, down by the river - I'd just discovered how to take movie clips
At the top - Nuff Said.
Jump - We'd tried to get a still of me jumping but it didn't work, so we filmed it.
In the Car - It was too dark to actually see the nice scenery unfortunately.


At 9:31 pm, Blogger mona thought it was best to say...

I love doing that- walking in the hills and trying to imagine what it was like living there centuries ago...
Those pics are really really lovely- you should go there more often![except for the party with dudes screaming about kittens...once is probably enough?]
oh and you never did say- did you ever end up seeing the envelopes?

At 10:42 pm, Blogger Laura thought it was best to say...

You are funny. You boys really are like a bunch of 8 year olds. I love it!

The pictures are very nice, but my Wales is still nicer than your Wales.

At 10:59 am, Blogger Neal thought it was best to say...

"we were greeted by the sight of tens of people" - classic. That sounds like a monster sized mob.

At 11:39 am, Blogger Curly thought it was best to say...

Mona - I'd like to know how to take better pics, but the scenery more than makes up for my lack of skill with a camera.

Laura - It's been AGES since you've been over here! I'm still not convinced that your Wales is nicer - I haven't been up there for over a year though, I'll go check soon!

Neal - More than 10 non-residents in that village is considered a riot. It's a wonder that that many people even found the place!!

At 3:38 pm, Blogger Laura thought it was best to say...

By 'here' do you mean your blog? Because I always visit, I'm just too lazy to comment.

At 11:49 pm, Blogger ozstriker thought it was best to say...

when you said tens of people... were you personifying sheep again!!!

Chris we've talked about this!

At 11:22 am, Blogger The Blind-Winger Jones thought it was best to say...

Sounds like a great spot of sightseeing. Must get across to Wales again before too long.

On the subject of the egg-chasing, the Welsh team always have the full support of grumpy Northern Rugby Leaguers like myself when taking on the posh-twits (I'm being polite) from Twickers. Sadly, it wasn't enough this time round, but come on Scotland ;-)

At 2:18 pm, Anonymous Anonymous thought it was best to say...

i like that hat you do the jump in, its well cool!!


At 10:49 pm, Blogger Curly thought it was best to say...

Laura - Yeah, I meant this blog. Sorry I'm not a really big stat-checker so I never have a good idea of who's looking!

Oz - Sorry mate, I just can't help it. The fresh air gets to me head.

Martyn - Scotland did it! I can't believe it!

Charlie Boy - Yeah, it's a wicked hat mate. I've heard that this one's pretty rare though - they don't make the bobbles like that anymore.

At 5:21 pm, Anonymous Anonymous thought it was best to say...

Ha, Yeah and on all the ones they make now dont have an grey/brownish strip. On the new ones its white??

I know, its weird

Charlie (again)


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