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:

3 replies to Abnib Real Ale Ramble 2005

  1. […] Of particular note, I remember the point on the first day of last year’s Abnib Real Ale Ramble when we, ahead of Claire and Jimmy, reached the summit of the first long climb (just before lunch), and peered out over the clouds rolling out of the valleys ahead of us. It was all remarkabley still and clear and the pint I’d drunk not 20 minutes earlier was just beginning to kick in. Marvellous. Not as great a story as the cold of the second day, but came to my head sooner. […]

  2. […] Following the success of last year’s Abnib Real Ale Ramble, we’re going to do it all again! All the walking! All the freezing temperatures! All the fried breakfasts! All the broken feet! And all the tasty tasty ale. And all on the weekend of 25th/26th November 2006. I’m sure you want to come along, and you’re probably more than welcome. I’m currently working on sorting out self-catering accomodation, which should be at least partially arranged by the end of the week, but what I’m sure you’re all actually wondering is… where is the wiki? […]

  3. […] We did the 15-mile ramble on the first day, which remains, like last year, about twice as hard or more as the 10-mile walk (which we did on the second), even without a broken foot. The pouring rain of the previous few days – accompanied by scattered showers on the first day – resulted in very wet conditions, and at times the mudslides made it difficult to stay in the same place, never mind making progress up an embankment. On several humorous occassions one or another of us would lose our balance and hurtle down into the mud, but we were prepared for this with waterproof or semi-waterproof clothing pretty-much all round. The number of “beer tokens”, each worth half a pint of beer (also exchangable for hot and cold drinks and, sometimes, soup) was reduced this year to three per day, but the enforcement had been relaxed, and on the second day I recall that Ruth drank three pints of Cambrian Ale without handing over a single token while we sat at a picnic bench by a river. Ardwyn House […]

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