4-6 February – Oswestry

Present: Keyna (organiser), Bruce, Sarah, Alan, Claire, Georgie, Steve, Joanne, Jo, Trudi, Sue, Nick, Jill, Tom, Mark, Marion, Jess, Belinda, Chip(the dog)
Location: The Engine House, Nantmawr Quarry, near Oswestry, Shropshire

All Keyna did was book the bunkhouse. Loads of folks turned up to make it a party weekend.

Friday night some folks got in early enough to relax and shower up. Everyone else arrived with Steve & Joanne rocking up after midnight. Good effort.

Claire was running a walk the next day to a ridge in the Berwyns, starting from Pistyll Rhaeadr – Wales’ highest waterfall. Twelve of the group went on this walk. We couldn’t get up to the ridge as the driving rain and gale force winds were knocking us over. A lot of laughing but we had to decide as a group to turn back. Instead we walked across the heather to a lake which was whipping up and hardly any more shelter. Cold soggy lunch then back to base camp. A total of 4 miles walked in the appalling conditions.

Steve Lane meanwhile led 6 hearty souls (Joanne, Sue, Sarah, Marion, Mark and Chip) along Shropshire Union canal and through tunnels requiring torches. Starting out from Llangollen, the plan to take the morning bus to Chirk and walk back was quickly changed by the failure of the bus to arrive.  Not letting this stand in the way the route was reversed and the party set off along the canal towards Chirk.  Windswept, damp and muddy we stopped for a lunchtime drink at the pub in Trevor, and then set out for the most exposed part of the walk across the Pontsysylite Aquaduct.  Despite very strong gusts of wind no one was blown away and the rest of the walk along the canal to Chirk, while still wet and windy, passed without incident. Fortunately the bus back to Llangollen was running and everyone was back in the bunkhouse by 4.30.  Having completed a full ten miles, they were proud to have out walked the so called intrepid group of what turned out to be whimpies.

Saturday night was a feast for the wicked. Poppadams, korma curry – Veggie and Prawn & Chickpea- with choice of brown or white rice. Head cooks Marion & Sue with some slavish assistance from the ever pleasant Bruce, Trudy and Joanne. Jo & Sarah both co-incidentally made apple crumble with hot yummy custard. A real treat.

Sunday and another walk across the welsh border attracting another group of intrepids. This was a bit further than Saturday, a 9 mile circular walk north of Llangollen from Horseshoe Pass via Eglwyseg Mountain with stunning valley and scenery & woodlands & wind – yes – more wind. Thank you to Claire for leading yet another walk. God you can rely on that woman. Always the best walking ideas and navigates so much better than some of her NMC buddies.

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Home, unpacked, showered & shaved before 8pm!

Steve Lane, Keyna Garner

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