Where Ravens Dare

As my Brother lives in South Wales, I picked this event partly so that I could catch up with the family ( and have somewhere to stay ). A few months ago, I asked, somewhat tongue in cheek, if my bro’, Ben, wanted to join me. He declined but his other half, Sue, said that she would give it a go !

So it was, at eight o’clock on the morning of Oct. 5th, we set off from the village hall in Machen and almost immediately started the first of many steep climbs. After a little diversion ( lesson one – don’t follows others blindly ) we had lost all the altitude gained earlier which only meant one thing – a climb.

After a long slog up, made longer by another detour ( lesson two – read the instructions ) we emerged at the top of Twmbarlwm and, probably, the best view of the day…

From the summit of Twmbarlwm

Descending, we crossed a chunk of moorland before dropping down to Checkpoint 2 at twelve miles and a very welcome plate of malt loaf :-). As we started the climb up to Mynydd Maen, I was recognised by a group of runners who I had overtaken in the final stages of the Sandwell event a few months ago. That really made me feel like a member of the long distance walking fraternity.

Lesson 2
 Read the instructions

The next four miles or so was generally downhill into Cymcarn and Checkpoint 3. It was during this stop, that I encountered Cheddar Cheese and Marmalade sandwiches – Mmmm ( don’t knock it until you’ve tried it ). 

From the valley ( you guessed it ) we climbed again but this would be the last climb of the day, we were told ( lesson three – don’t believe all that you are told ) before dropping down past a rifle range ( we were safe, it’s closed season for walkers ) and down into Ynsddu for the final manned checkpoint in the pub !

The conquerers return

Resisting the beery temptations, we climbed again, steeply at first but then more gradually before making the final descent back to Machen. The last mile was fairly steep ( same as on the way up, I suppose ) leaving just a short walk back the event HQ where we were met by my brother, Ben.

We handed over our control cards  before settling down with a bowl of most delicious soup while we waited for our certificates to be printed with our time of 9:14 ( although the actual results show us as 9:13 ).

We had actually covered nearly twenty eight miles over some rather bumpy terrain. Sue was very happy as this was the furthest distance she had ever covered on two feet.

The Proof


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