Archive for the 'kraeon' Category

offa’s dyke path

06/04/2016

for a full album of photos, check out my flickr

having booked a train down to the start in Chepstow back in January, followed by warnings of some kind of ‘Arctic weatherbomb’ on its way bringing snow + rain + all manner of horrific weather, come mid-March the skies had turned blue + the forecast looked hopeful.

so early in the morning, i met Jay on the train down, + we made our way to start of the path.

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getting off the train it was admittedly a bit of a faff trying to find the start, with even the locals not able to help, until we met a kid at a set of traffic lights who apparently lived on the path itself + could set us on the right road. ends up the start is no where near Chepstow train station, + involves walking through an estate.

having done a kit list check, grabbed a coffee, done a little bit of food shopping for the next couple of days, + then eventually found the start point overlooking the Severn Estuary, the time was around 1pm.

walking along the Wye Valley, we took in the spectacular views, including Wintour’s Leap, Tintern Abbey, the Devil’s Pulpit, + a section of the Forest of Dean, where we were fortunate enough to catch a herd of deer running across the path as dusk settled. unfortunately we didn’t have our cameras ready.

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there were some really lovely woodland sections either side of Monmouth, + more than few fields, which, though pleasant, were a little plain. we were very surprised + impressed by the views from the Naval Temple, + by White Castle, which we honestly expected to be a small village rather than an actual castle. another surprise was that (other than in populated areas) we had seen not a single person. the path + all its sights were empty but for us.

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passing through more fields without sight of the Dyke, we treated ourselves to a pub Sunday Carvery before beginning the ascent up onto the Black Mountains, where we saw the first people out + about, + a lot of them. getting up onto the first ridge we came across what looked like a festival of paragliders, floating above + along the ridge in a medley of colours, effortlessly drifting through the expansive views.

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+ what views they were. with the green fields of England to our East, + the desolate, featureless Black Mountains of Wales to our West, we were treated to one hell of a sunset.

we were also treated to a cold night, + a snowy morning walk along to Hay Bluff + down off the range into the beautiful Hay-on-Wye.

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over some more climbs + views, we made our way ever closer towards Knighton, passing the halfway post not too far before. by this point our spirits were high; the scenery had been increasingly beautiful, the path was empty, + without rushing at all we were making good progress. in fact at a handful of points we had actually walked out beyond the path to really make the most of the panoramic views on offer.

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in Knighton we stopped at the Offa’s Dyke Centre, where we spent a good part of the day reading up on the history + importance of the Dyke, purchasing souvenirs + enjoying a bit of break off our feet. we’d reached the halfway point, + looking at the maps for the path ahead, we decided that as it flattened out quite a bit across mid-Wales, we could push on to get to Llangollen in time for the weekend. there we could rest up for a couple of days, re-evaluate our kit + really enjoy the last part from Llangollen to the end.

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out of Knighton it was apparent that the path in fact hadn’t flattened out, + though we travelled some lovely sections, it was hard going, with lots of steep climbs + scrambles. near Montgomery we started making better progress, + Jay made a push for distance as the scenery fell away to open farmland for a while. unfortunately he picked up an injury towards the end of the day, + the pace hadn’t done either of us any good feet-wise.

a couple of peaks + a fantastic tree filled misty Iron Age Hillfort later, we dropped down to Welshpool, where we joined the Montgomery Canal + focused on covering the many flat miles as quickly + painlessly as we could. beginning to really feel the distance, we clambered up Llanymynech Rocks for a real treat of views from the cliff-like top.

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from then on we left behind the flatter regions of the path + started to get a feeling of familiarity, which quickly turned into recognition of the landscape as we got closer to Llangollen. not wanting to miss the views we knew all to well, we pushed on + followed the path up to the Panorama Road, before descending into Llangollen + meeting friends for beers + some live music.

here we would take a couple of days off, allowing Jay’s injury to recover a little + both of our feet to rest-up. we also re-evaluated our kit; Jay unloading a lot of clothing, me packing my alcohol stove + cook kit so that we could enjoy hot drinks in the mornings.

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leaving Llangollen we found ourselves in a familiar area, but on unfamiliar + staggeringly beautiful paths. we climbed up to + through Llandegla Forest, + into a really beautiful lowland valley along to the start of the Clwydian Range, which from a distance looked imposing + massive in the surrounding landscape.

we climbed up + over each + every peak, unable to really see the scale of the range ahead or behind us (a scale that came into impressive perspective during our drive home). stopping for a hot chocolate at the top of Moel Famau, we began to feel the end was near.

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the weather was beginning to get hazy, + checking the forecast ahead it was predicted that our luck with the weather would come to an end for the last day walking. Jay’s injury hadn’t had the proper time to heal + it was becoming a real challenge for him to scramble down the steeper parts of the path, but we pushed on + got the ocean in sight.

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the final day came, but the rain did not. we packed up with the whole day ahead of us + very little distance to walk, though it did have a lot of up + down making it difficult none-the-less.

we got Prestatyn in our sights, + eagerly made our way along the final ridge + down into the town itself, where we pushed through to the beach.

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sitting in a cafe on the coast, overlooking the ocean as the weather finally began to look like it would turn, we treated ourselves to a midday meal + a sit down, impressed with the beauty we had witnessed + the experience as a whole.

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neglect

21/05/2015

been a while.

i tried to walk with my friend, Arjun, entirely on foot + unsupported, from Cardiff Wales to Cardiff Australia. i got as far as Bishkek Kyrgyzstan, which is about halfway.

what happened on that journey is too much of a story for here, it is all chronicled at borderwalk.wordpress.com. what ended that journey was a prison cell.

i’ll attempt to put this in short.
Pakistan visas could only be applied for in our country of origin, so we stopped in Kyrgyzstan to send our passports home. it is illegal to not carry your passport on you in Kyrgyzstan. my visa application was twice denied, Arjuns was granted, Kyrgyzstan customs held our passports as they were delivered back into the country, we got caught + put in a cell.

luckily we had some good friends in Kyrgyzstan who helped the best they could, + our parents were straight on the case + got us released after a few days.

from the day we were released there was increased police activity around our hostel, + we couldn’t even make it to a shop without being tailed + having our passports checked. there was no way i could risk a third Pakistan visa application.

to compound things, the Pakistan visa delays meant our route through China had closed, + the only alternative was Afghanistan + the more dangerous areas of Pakistan.

so, really not wanting to, i came home.

Arjun continued on, unable to walk Afghanistan + Pakistan due to security (+ political) reasons, + then had to come home for a few weeks for bureaucratic reasons, but is now continuing on from India.

it’s not an ideal to end what was an amazing experience + i’m sure for Arjun will continue to be an incredible journey.

borderwalk.co.uk
theborderwalk.wordpress.com

away for a while

14/10/2012

haven’t posted in ages because it’s difficult to do so when in the woods without an internet connection.

i’m not always in the woods, sometimes i’m in open plains, bushland, or behind heaps of dirt in a field. today i’m in a hotel in ukraine.

borderwalk.co.uk

theborderwalk.wordpress.com

three months showreel

14/06/2011

not really three months, i must concede that i have hardly been working hard or even that often. this is a showreel of my on + off playing around with + without tutorials on after effects over the last three months.

wentwood filming

16/05/2011

out in the forest helping some mates out with their movie. amazing how much work goes into a film, these guys had damn near half a construction site out there to get some of the shots.

10-20mm

05/05/2011

been waiting for this for soo long. i finally have one, + though i’ve only had it for a couple of days + not done anything proper with it yet, i am already in love…

after-one day-effects

25/02/2011

after uploading my first rotoscope, i thought of something.
lightsabers…

so i spent a couple of hours (doing the sound took ages) learning some tools + put together this little tester. like the first one i’m only playing about, so i haven’t taken much care over it + it is a little rough.

borderwalk level 2

16/02/2011

kicking up borderwalk training today. the time is half past five in the morning, + in twenty minutes slash half an hour we begin our thirty-plus mile walk from heath in cardiff, through newport to wentwood forest near llanfair discoed, + then back into newport for tonight to discuss organising fundraising events in lepub.

‘london lives’

08/08/2010

just a design idea to promote Britain through the resurrection of London as a central player in the modern world. bored playing around with ideas basically

point of contact nostalgia

29/07/2010

saw these posted on facebook + nostalgia’d hard. these are from way back in 2002/2003, i’m the one in the middle on bass guitar with the crappy dread-looking hair

a small break

16/07/2010

i, ermm, spilt drink on my laptop… so i haven’t been on here for a while. unfortunately i may not be on here for a few days yet as my laptops being sent off to get fixed. to pass a day, here’s an amusing photo a friend took from a house party a while back

welsh waterfall

06/07/2010

i do love living in wales. photo’s revamped, CS5 is pretty fun

road to nowhere

30/04/2010

ever had a time where you’re usually quite busy and have a few things going on, and no time for yourself? but for some reason, although it bothers you, it’s not a big issue. you’re generally happy and you just carry on.

i’ve had that increasingly whilst in uni. and now i don’t.

grey at dark

27/04/2010

a few select images from a photoshoot from a while ago

my lovely minimal

04/04/2010

been working on properly minimising my workspace, + here it is :D
also made a pure text icon set, check out the crop of the hiding dock!

troll under the bridge

04/04/2010

i do love home, it has some stunning beauty + its people are some of the best i’ve met

but ever increasingly, when i get a bus, or get in my car, i’m having to stop myself from leaving. not from leaving my job or uni, but from leaving everything. no goodbyes, no keeping contact, just getting on a plane + never looking back

i dream so much of getting out of this place that i often wonder if i would actually miss any of it

gwynedd archaeological trust

14/03/2010

logo competition entry for the gwynedd archaeological trust, logo only

graduate show

14/03/2010

some uni work for the graduate show competition. wish i could have got my own photo, but weather was awful so had to use a stock image :/

so simple

30/12/2009

a simple image overlaid with a helvetica statement is so easy to do

hdr

20/12/2009

found a nice enough HDR tutorial in photoshop cs3. takes a while to play with + i must be honest, i’m not so sure on the final effect, but here is an original alongside a HDR effected version. click on them to see them larger, photo taken by me

bit more playing with focus

21/11/2009

small gallery of revamped old photos, still getting to grips with this focusing idea i’m playing with. desperate to get back out there + work on new photo projects, got a load of ideas lined up already

focus points

18/11/2009

playing around with some nice warming focus effects on photoshop cs3. really loving it.

planet you

17/11/2009

learned a neat simple trick to turn panoramas into planets, here’s a five minute quicky