Arenig Fawr

7 January

New Year Resolutions are always good fun.  Every year I try to make a few. In years gone by I have often vowed to get out into the countryside more.  After my adventures of 2017 I don’t think it will be feasible this year to spend even more days in the fresh air!

Six days of the New Year have already passed by without a ‘proper’ walk.  A fine weather forecast tempted me away from decorating the front room.  Mind you it was not difficult to tempt me out.  I like the painting part of the decorating but the preparation part is definitely tedious.

This hill is one of the closest to home.  An hour and a bit in the car delivers me to the foot of the mountain and there is a gentle walk up a rough road.  In the early morning the shadows are long.  It was a cold, bitter morning.  I was well dressed for the cold.  I had a spare hat, goggles, spare down jacket, but I forgot a spare pair of gloves.  If I had lost my gloves for some reason, perhaps they might blow away in the strong wind, I would have had to descend quickly.  It was definitely not the weather to be without gloves. Perhaps this is a New Year Resolution I should make – better planning.

01 (Medium)


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As the mountain is ascended there are extensive views all around over the barren, empty countryside of central Wales.

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The tops of these hills in winter are like a different country from the green valleys below.  They capture the cold weather really well.

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The rocks are all encrusted in snow / frozen rime.  The white of the tops contrasts strongly with the deep brown and grey colours of the lower slopes

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There are a couple of people in this shot to give you an idea of the scale of the ridge

08 (Medium)Too soon the summit trig point is reached

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I cannot believe that it was only two and half weeks ago I was enjoying the heat of a Southern Hemisphere summer. That really was a different country.


If it is not too late – HAPPY NEW YEAR




Goodbye paradise

15 December

We travelled back from Golden Bay to Blenheim along the deserted roads of North Island. Well they were deserted by comparison with English highways.

But first we saw the dawn over the sea

Pupu Springs was along the route we drove. This is from

Te Waikoropupū Springs (known as Pupū Springs), discharg 14,000 litres of water per second.

The qualities of the water from Te Waikoropupū Springs are of considerable scientific interest. In 1993, The National Institute for Water and Atmosphere (NIWA) carried out optical measurements under water and found that the visibility was 63 metres.

This is very close to optically pure water, with clearer water found only beneath Antarctica’s near-frozen Weddell Sea. The water clarity is a result of natural filtering prior to the water’s emergence at TeWaikoropupū Springs.

The water was very, very clear.

This is the water bubbling up from the earth. It is really difficult to take pictures of clear water.

We did the tourist thing and visited a few art galleries. This area though not heavily populated has an amazing number of artists and galleries.

My favourite was the fused glass at estuary arts –

In one gallery I spotted this sticker on the wall:

I have three more days of soaking up the sun (forecast is for 30°C tomorrow) then I journey back to the ‘adventures’ of midwinter in England.

No more posts for a while.

Have a good Christmas everyone.