After a day's walk everything has twice its usual value

Petrol issues

An epic Tav and Hughes adventure on the way up. Departed Cardiff at about 10pm following the Wales v Japan match. As we left Cwmbran, Dave announced that at some point we needed petrol. We tried Abergevenny, Brecon, Builth Wells, Llandridnod Wells before accepting that we were not going to find a petrol station open in mid Wales at that time of night. Therefore we diverted to Leominster, where we successful found petrol. By this time it was 2am, and we opted to find a hotel. Eventually made Snowdonia at 1pm the next day.

Friday was a visit to Swallow Falls which were in spate, and then a ramble up to the lake beneath Moel Siabod. On Saturday we climbed Pen yr Ole Wen (3209 ft), then along the ridge to Carnedd Dafydd (3412 ft) and then Carnedd Llewelyn (3491 ft). Great descent along the ridge with some fun scrambling down.

Snowdonia, Llanberis

If you want to forget all your other troubles, wear too tight shoes

The 15

To give us a focus Tav’s Tours set itself its 1st challenge – to climb the 15 3000ft peaks in Wales. We have Snowdon from earlier walks so 14 to go.

We got off to a flier with a scramble up Tryfan (3002 ft), and then Glyder Fach (3261 ft) and Glyder Fawr (3278 ft). The weather was perfect and views magnificent. Tryfan became my instant favourite as it’s a scramble all the way. A descent via Devils Kitchen rounded off the perfect days walking.

Day 2 saw Fossie, Cookie and I challenge each other to karting, archery and 10 pin bowling.

Scotland, Fort William

Good walking leaves no track behind it

The Big One

If Dave E ever proposes a route with the words ‘it’s interesting’ then perhaps you’d better check what’s in store. In this case the highest mountain in Scotland Ben Nevis at 4409 ft) via the 9th highest Carn mor Dearg (4003 ft). Not to mention the Carn Mor Dearg arête that joins the two – a very narrow ridge of rock that curves to the back of Ben Nevis.

The hardest walk I’ve ever done (not helped by the 6 pints and curry we had the night before having watched England lose to Portugal in the quarter finals of Euro 2004), but what a sense of achievement at the top. Ascent took 7 hours and descent another 4. And the weather was perfect, sunny and blue sky. Even in July there was snow at the summit and Dave and Cookie managed to sledge their way down one part. Total walk was 11 hours!

Saturday was a trip to the Ben Nevis Distillery, and a long lazy lunch. Sunday was a stroll up the Great Glen – spectacular scenery of a hidden valley.

Derbyshire Peak District

Our way is not soft grass, it's a mountain path with lots of rocks.

But it goes upward, forward, toward the sun

The Osama Bin Tavener tour

The tour I turned up wearing a bandage that made my head look like a pineapple (thanks to Cookies vigorous encouragement of the nurse who dressed my football injury)

The walk was a scenic wander through the Derbyshire Countryside. This walk was famous for the Trail Magazines description of ‘follow the invisible path’, and rightly predicting we would walk past a field full of Alpacca’s.

The walk ended with me leaping into a farmyard and two Dobermans to avoid some horses. Not sure my phobia of horses is overly sensible for a walker.

Brecon Beacons - Crickhowell Campsite

Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time

The Camping Trip where Shearer scored

The only time so far that Tav’s Tours has opted for camping. We were very lucky with wonderful weather.

Dave H and I got there on Thursday evening and were entertained by the snores of a bloke from the other side of the campsite. That night was also the 1st sighting of Dave’s ‘I am a huge slug’ sleeping bag. On our Friday walk we founded our philosophy of why follow a path when you can meander through bogland? We tramped for several hours across the tops, before coming across a boggy muddy stream. Dave asserted that the only way across was to run straight through. Gullible as I am, and wearing very light beige trousers, I followed the advice. The visual affect was spectacular, and it was around then that I gave up beige as a suitable mountain clothing colour.

The main walk took in Fan-Y-Big (2359ft). The weather was stunning, really hot and the sharp climb from the village nearly killed us, and when Cookie managed to put his foot in a boggy puddle up to his knee I thought Dave H was going to die laughing.

That evening we watched England v Germany in Euro 2000. Shearer scored the winning goal and we celebrated long into the night.

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