I had a busy weekend this weekend.  On Friday I made the decision to hike Pen Y Fan for sunrise Saturday Morning.  This involved leaving the house at 2am and arriving at the Storey Arms car park just after 3am and hiking up to the highest summit in South Wales in time for sunrise at 5:15am.  I made it to the top ridge around 4am and sheltered from the wind while enjoying a cup of tea.  While waiting for it to get a bit lighter, I noticed that I wasn’t alone and seen a dozen pairs of eyes watching me.  It seems I had found a flock of sheep also sheltering from the wind.

When I reached the top the wind had picked up even more and it was blowing clouds and mist over the summit.  I had the summit to myself for at least an hour.  Sunrise was almost spectacular, there was one break in the cloud that showed some really impressive colours, however I almost missed it as I wasn’t expecting the break.

Sunrise on Pen Y Fan

Almost had a great sunrise on top of Pen Y Fan

I hung around the summit for about an hour hoping for another break in the cloud but all I got was a group of lads in hoodies and trainers making it to the summit talking about how windy it was!  Listening into their conversation I was a bit bewildered that they were complaining of cold and wind when on the highest point in South Wales, but the best was yet to come.  The lads did say hello and one of them asked me the best questions I’ve ever been asked.  The conversation went somewhat like this: “Is that a camera?” “yes…” (I was thinking maybe he’s never seen a DSLR, gave him the benefit of the doubt and gave a good answer) “What does it do?” (I looked in disbelief, but I doubt they seen it as I was dressed for the weather) “It takes pictures…”

His friends burst out laughing at him at this point and I couldn’t help but join them.  I have no idea what answer he was expecting, especially at 6am from someone who looked like they were on an arctic expedition.  I gave the lads a head start down Pen Y Fan and then made my own way down.  I passed a few Army guys on the way down and one of them asked me which way I was going as he had guys camping in gullies on one of the paths and asked me not to step on them.  It’s a good thing I wasn’t singing to myself on the hike up as I wasn’t as alone as I thought!

Sunrise on Pen Y Fan

A break in the cloud showed what could have been a great sunrise

Snapped this photo on the way down.  The blue sky in the distance shows that it could have been a great sunrise.  It just goes to show you how lucky you need to be with the weather when doing landscape photography.  I got home at 8:30am and had a power nap, but that time I had walked over 11.5k steps and climbed close to 200 floors according to my Fitbit.

 

When I woke up I seen that one of my colleagues was looking for someone to go with her to Skomer Island to see the Puffins, as I’ve never been before I said I’d go.  This involved another early start as we had to travel to Pembrokeshire and get our tickets for the boat to Skomer.  We managed to get on the first boat to the island and we began our clockwise walk around the island.

Seascape

Seascape

Puffin

Puffin

Puffin

Puffin outside a burrow

Puffin

Puffin

Gull in flight

Gull in Flight, much easier to photograph than Puffins

Gull

Air Traffic Control

Prepare for landing

Approaching destination, prepare for landing

Puffin in flight

Beginning descent

Puffin in flight

Landing site sighted

Puffin in flight

Who ordered a delivery?

Puffin

Made it!

I highly recommend the trip to Skomer Island to see the puffins and other birds, it’s very well organised and looked after.  Just remember the sunscreen as there’s not much shelter from the sun on the island 🙂

 

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