The walking festival brings out my other side, the one that loves meeting new people and sharing my passion for the uplands. Walking in a group helps the miles skip by, eases the pain of the up hill sections and keeps you entertained when the going gets tough. It may be the umpteenth time I've walked a route that year but it's always different with a new group. Fresh eyes bring a fresh perspective and new challenges that keep me on my toes.
This year we took a group from the Taf Fechan valley around the 'big four' - Corn Du, Pen Y Fan, Cribyn and Fan Y Big. There was an icy wind blowing in from the north east but the day was bright and the sun even put in the occasional appearance. In that group was a remarkable lady in her 70's, her daughter (who'd had a hip replacement the previous year) and her 13 year old grandson. Each of them faced their own challenges during the day but the whole group came together to make sure everyone had a fantastic day. Friendships grew in the short time we were together and I'm sure I'll meet some of them again in years to come.
The festival continues and I'll be back again at the weekend to meet a new group of people and share some of the best bits of this small corner of Britain with them. We'll walk, we'll talk, we'll laugh and hopefully not cry! At the end of the day we'll go our separate ways but it will be a joint experience that will stick with us for a long time.
Yes there's a time and a place for solitude, but joining an event at a walking festival can bring a whole new reason to get out there for a walk. So what are you waiting for? Just get out there and walk.