Abnib Real Ale Ramble 2005

Well, Claire, JTA, Jimmy and I made it back safely from our weekend of rambling across the mountains of mid-Wales and participating in one of the biggest Real Ale festivals in the UK. Some photos are up on Abnib Gallery: all from my mobile, so far, but I’m sure that JTA and Claire will add a few that they took, soon. I’ve also put together a comic-book-esque collage of some of our activities [354K, JPEG], for if you just want the highlights and can’t even be bothered to read on.

Highlights (and other bits-of-interest) included:

  • Llanwrtyd Wells is even smaller than the maps imply. Jimmy went exploring, and 15 minutes later he’d seen pretty much the whole town. On another occassion he wandered into an unstaffed bookshop (breaking the door handle on the way) and took a book, leaving some money on the counter for the shopkeeper upon his return. Nevertheless, even with Jimmy’s directions, Claire and I couldn’t find the chemist.
  • We managed to have not only a “Geek Night On Location”, playing two games of Scotland Yard (a copy of which was conveniently left in the chalet we rented) but a “Troma Night On Location” too, watching The Machinist and Sin City.
  • Our preferred drinking establishment, the Neaudd Arms, had, at one point, 74 different ales on. There were closer to 40 by the time we got there, but several other ‘regular’ ales were also available on tap.
  • I think I’ve broken a bone in my foot (one of the ones from where my little toe connects to).
  • We did the 10-mile walk on the first day, and (with the exception of Jimmy, who wasn’t well) the 15-mile one on the second. Thanks to my limping, mostly, we ran late on the second day, and this, coupled with the bitter cold in the valleys, meant that the beer station operators had given up and gone home, leaving us to drink as much as we liked (rather than having to trade in tokens, as was expected of us). So we did.
  • On our first night, the chalet was so cold that we all repeatedly woke up shivering. Claire solved this, in a dream, by imagining some HTML tags helping to tuck in her duvet, and slept soundly thereafter. Jimmy – not knowing HTML, presumabley – had to suffice with turning on the fire.
  • For the weekend, we played “Jimmy’s Game”, who’s rules were as follows: none of us were to make any “another game, with the inevitable consequence that we all spent the entire weekend “out of The Game”.
  • We all want to go again next year, if not before!
  • The second day was so cold that beer left standing would begin to freeze after a few minutes.
  • We’d finish each day – perhaps in order to undo what health benefits might have been given by the walking – with a huge fried supper: sausages, eggs, bacon, mashed potato loaded with cheese, tomatoes, baked beans, and mushrooms. Plus desert of swiss roll or sweets. I’ve never seen Claire eat such a full plate before. Perhaps I need to make her climb hills more often.

That’ll do for the highlights. I’m sure you’ll be able to read more on other people’s weblogs soon.

Further reading: