At a North Face event I attended in London recently I got chatting to a woman who told me she had climbed Tryfan in North Wales last summer during her first ever visit to Wales. Now, if there’s a subject I like talking about, it’s Snowdonia, and I excitedly began reeling off all the other mountains that she should be climbing there next.
She stopped me. “Oh I won’t be going back to Wales,” she said, “I’ve already seen it now.”
I am the complete opposite to this person. If I enjoy visiting a place then I will want to visit it again and again, each time finding inspiration for my next trip and a new excuse to return. As small as Wales is, in my opinion you can never run out of new hills, viewpoints or hidden valleys to discover.
That’s why I spent 18 days last summer walking the 287-mile Cambrian Way, a high-level route that runs across the length of Wales from Conwy to Cardiff. I’d already explored a large part of the country, walking the Wales Coast Path, Glyndwr’s Way and Offa’s Dyke, but I knew that this particular path would let me discover even more, and let me see the country in even greater detail.
“When I set off I was confident that I was equipped for the type of journey I had ahead of me.”
The hike certainly delivered – it was probably the finest adventure I’ve ever had. I’ll detail the journey properly at some point in this column, perhaps in the next one, but in this particular post I’m going to discuss the kit I took.