Last Night's Bivvy

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Last Night's Bivvy

Post by Verena »

I don't think we've got such a thread yet do we? For additional bivvies to BAMs, any bivvies that would not fall within the "rules" of a BAM, or, like mine last night, don't involve any cycling....

With the weather this week being so gorgeous and warm, with some stunning sunsets and sunrises, I thought this was too good not to spend a night out...

I went for a short trip by car to Cwm Gwdi at bedtime, with a view to a night bivvying up on the mountainside with prime views over what I hoped would be another glorious sunrise...

As I walked up and went through the first gate, I spotted a bike and helmet tucked in right behind the stone wall. Aha, I thought, must be a bikepacker doing what us bikepackers do, bivvying. I tried my best to just subtly carry on, shining my headtorch up at the mountain, and not sideways where they might be trying to sleep.

The next bit of walking was quite amusing in the sense that it had a certain comic/ horror movie type quality about it, as by now I was walking in the pitch black, but surrounded by a multitude of pairs of luminous eyes reflecting back at me. It helped enormously of course that I knew I was in Wales and they were just sheep....

I knew exactly where I was trying to head, but there is a weird bit with no path you have to cross, before you then normally do meet a nice path going up. Alas, I somehow managed to miss that completely, and instead soon found myself huffing and puffing in the humid night time heat, fighting my way through chest high bracken, uneven ground with the odd hole trying to snap at my ankles, and a few wet streamlets, on rather steep mountainside.

On reflection now, I could have of course gone back down and tried again, but I am a bit too stubborn/ lazy for that, so instead I kept going till I found a space between some trees which at least had some short grass and was dry. Probably the least flat place I've ever tried to sleep on, ridiculous even by my standards...

It was a really nice warm night, and I had gone minimalist with no pillow, no sleep mat, just bivvy bag used as a ground sheet, and partially open sleeping bag. Used the rucksack I'd carried as a kind of foot break to stop, or at least alert, me from sliding down the hill....

I actually slept really well considering....

At 2.30 (!!) I was woken up by the sound of people chatting and head torches approaching up towards me. An odd time to be going out for a walk!! But then people do walk up for sunrise on top of Pen Y Fan... bit early in the morning though for this time of year?! I wondered whether they would stay on the actual path which I knew was below me, or whether by some freak chance they might also get lost, and accidentally stumble across me - rather than in past years though where that might have frightened me, I had decided that they sounded like friendly sort of chaps, and in any case, that they would be far more freaked out by my sudden presence on their path, than I would, as I'd have been expecting them... :lol: - anyway, they went back and forth a bit, shining their torches in a few odd directions, played a bit of music, and then it all went quiet.

Shortly afterwards it started to rain, which it did on and off till it started to get light, and I put the coffee on....

No beautiful sunrise! Always seems to happen to me! But it's all good, I was loving it up there.

As it got light, I considered moving up to where I had intended to be, for coffee, but then decided to stay. Out of some sense of loyalty I had developed for this spot, which had given me shelter and bedding for the night.

And I thought, it's not perfect, but it is where I am. And it has its own beauty. Wow, I thought, that's getting a bit deep, there's quite a metaphor here for life in general...

So I pondered that as I sat and drank my coffee (very indulgently, I had gone for a mug filled to the top, with not one, but two coffee bags :-bd )

ImageIMG_20230907_061906 by Verena Zimmer, on Flickr

Here you can get quite a good idea of how not in the slightest bit level my sleep spot was :lol:

ImageIMG_20230907_065035 by Verena Zimmer, on Flickr

As I was packing up and walking back down the hill, there was what I think is one of the strangest sunrises I've ever seen. It looked more like a large full moon rising, very pale.

ImageIMG_20230907_065654 by Verena Zimmer, on Flickr

On the way back, I took good notice of where I'd gone "wrong", for next time :cool:

I wondered whether I might meet a friendly fellow bikepacker near the bike I'd seen in the night, back at the gate. But no, the bike and helmet were still there, locked up, but no sign of anyone....interesting....I'm assuming they had ridden there, and hiked up to spend the night up on the Beacons somewhere - very nice!

Much to my delight, even my car was still there, and still in one piece, so off home I went for second coffee.

Quite a lively one this, for a local mini adventure....
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Re: Last Night's Bivvy

Post by RIP »

Verena wrote: Thu Sep 07, 2023 4:55 pm And I thought, it's not perfect, but it is where I am. And it has its own beauty. Wow, I thought, that's getting a bit deep..
Bivvying does that to you doesn't it, bit of philosophy, one of the many benefits :grin: .

Nowt wrong with a non-BaM bivvy thread, good idea in fact. Although "Last Night's" rather imposes a fairly brisk time limit on the report :wink: .

No bike involved though? Hmm :wink: . Bit of digression never stopped us before though has it :grin:. And in fact thinking about it, there's 129 pages of the opposite - biking without bivvying. So I reckon there's 128 pages to go before anyone posting there is justified in whingeing about anyone posting here :grin: .
"My God, Ponsonby, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

The sign outside the asylum is the wrong way round.....

"At least you got some stories" - James Acaster
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Re: Last Night's Bivvy

Post by sean_iow »

RIP wrote: Thu Sep 07, 2023 5:37 pm Nowt wrong with a non-BaM bivvy thread, good idea in fact. Although "Last Night's" rather imposes a fairly brisk time limit on the report :wink: .
Getting the reports in within that time limit might be an issue, but when have we worried about rules :wink:


At Mum's last weekend. I drove there, and it's under a mile from my house. Apart from the extra kit needed for the hammock I also had the stuff I was using in the woods sorting firewood, making the candle holder etc. which include a saw/axe/knife so didn't really want to be cycling with them strapped to the bars :lol:

Relaxing evening drinking, eating chocolate and reading a book - by headtorch as the candle gives out just enough light to see where it's hung and not much in the way of usable light, but it adds to the ambience :grin: Woken by the birds in the morning and then spent an hour or so laid in bed listening to them and also glimpses of the red squirrels nipping past in the trees above and also one brave soul who scurried across ground just by me :grin:
Adventure without risk is Disneyland - Bikemonger
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