Into the Valley

After last years hypothermia incident in the same valley at Tintern Quarry, we waited a bit longer until winter had faded. Climbing was on the agenda, with plans to hit the walls outside (finally) after months of injury. 

With massive enthusiasm, we set the sat navs to a tiny hamlet in southern wales near to a great sport route spot. 

The site, Hidden Valley Yurts, was tucked in a quiet and luscious valley. After lunch in Ross on Wye Andrew and I met our host Amanda and she quad biked us from the car park down towards the river which separated the little mongolian set up from reality. 

As a gorgeous bunch of humans arrived through the afternoon and into evening the clouds held out. Long enough for us to consume Al's risotto which was as fantastic, if not more, than his 2013 Fontainebleau debut. Anyway, as is the case with Wales, the clouds inevitably rolled in over the hills.

They then remained stuck in the valley, precipitating furiously, for the duration of the weekend.

Not that it mattered too much, the whole not being able to really ascend thing. Instead Westwood introduced me to organic nettle tea as we gathered around the fire and covered kitchen. Haskins produced a delicious chickpea curry which has increased the bar now for all future Chana Masala's.  Goretex and ikea ponchos became uniform, as did persistently damp hair and wellies. During breaks in the cloud we explored the valley, meeting Amanda's Alpaca's and livestock in the surrounding fields. While the whole rain and showers put a damper (eh herm) on the climbing part of the weekend, we made up for it by having a much needed break in the quiet of the hills.