Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains

16th February 2018

Reece did not have a good opinion of Wales but then he’d never made it past Cardiff.

Yesterday we visited The University of Aberystwyth, School of Geography and Earth Sciences for a re-training on sediment sampling with a particular emphasis on catching undisturbed sediments within a liner. And, by the way, in case you are wondering, it takes a minimum of 3 men to watch the ladies extract a corer.

Aside from uncovering the mystery of a slipping clamp which had apparently plagued the team over the last 12 years the training went as planned. The participants knew as much as we did about the equipment and aside from the sudden hailstorm we were able to enjoy the countryside and the stunning views of the town from the staff common room on the 8th floor. How do they get any work done? I’d be there for a long time each and every day.

None of the six geographers, (of which one a Professor, four Drs and one Masters), were able to be very precise as to where the Black Mountains start and where the Brecon Beacons finish and indeed which of these we might have driven through or seen on the way up to Aberystwyth. We persist in believing that we saw both. The hailstorm, the ribbons of snow, the torrential rain and associated rainbow and the delicious rack of Welsh Lamb all increased the sense of ruggedness and beauty of this country.

Needless to say that Reece has changed his opinion of Wales and it certainly pays to drive beyond Cardiff into the land of the red dragon.

Our thanks for giving us the opportunity of visiting go to Dr Sarah Davies, Professor Henry Lamb, Dr Patrick Hobson, Hollie Wynne, Dr Hywel Griffiths and Dr Ian Saunders.

Vincent van Walt, February 2018

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