As the first trip of the year, and maybe your first trip with UBES, we kick off the year in the Brecon Beacons exploring one of the most beautiful areas of Wales. Arguably an underrated national park, the Brecon Beacons have a lot to offer from rugged rolling hills to wonderful waterfall walks, but they’re by no means tame and we also use the area as the location for our Navigation Training days later in the year.
How can I get involved?
Two Wednesdays before the trip, we’ll be running ‘sign up’ outside the Bristol SU Lettings office on Tyndall Avenue (opposite the Physics building). Come along at 1:00pm and our committee will be waiting to take down your name, details and payment for the trip. If you can’t make it on Wednesday, send us an email and we can try and find you a space!
How much does it cost?
Trips cost £45 for the weekend, which we think is a reasonable price, and includes accommodation, transport and food (see below!) for the whole weekend. We usually have dinner at a Wetherspoons (or a Fish and Chips shop) on Friday, so if you’d like, bring along some extra money for that!
Where are we staying?
Especially on bigger trips, we will stay in bunkhouses, scout huts or village halls. This means that we have a nice dry base to return to at the end of the day, and that we’re able to cook everyone food in a properly equipped kitchen (camp stoves and food for 30 people don’t mix well…).
Drivers get first dibs on the beds (if there are any) so assume that you will be sleeping on the floor. UBES can lend you a roll mat and sleeping bag if you don’t have one.
What shall I bring?
You can find most of what you need on the UBES Kit List. Lots of people turn up on their first trip with everything crammed into one bag, as if they’re prepared for days and days of walking – you don’t need to do this! When we load the van on Friday evening, you’ll see that most of our returning members will have a larger bag with their sleeping bag, roll mat, clothes, ‘refreshments’, etc. and a smaller ‘day bag’ to keep with them on the way there and to use on walks. You might want to supplement your packing with sweets, snacks and something to drink on Saturday evening in preparation for the infamous ‘organised fun’.
Food, glorious food!
We will provide you with breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday and breakfast and lunch on Sunday. Breakfast is usually porridge topped with sugar, jam, raisins or all three. It’s easy to cook for lots of people, and also is a ‘slow-burning’ food (or whatever that means, nutritionists correct me here…) which are brilliant for days out on the hill.
Lunch consists of two cheese and pickle sandwiches and a piece of fruit. In your group you should also be able to source some group cake or chocolate, for a snack during the day. Everyone is expected to muck in making the sandwiches the night before – many hands make light work!
Dinner, the infamous UBES ‘slop’. Better than it sounds and perfect after a long day, dinner can be anything from vegetable curry, macaroni cheese or Lucy’s 5 bean chilli, it will depend on who’s running the trip.
We try our best to make all of our meals vegetarian, however always mention any dietary requirements you have when signing up for the trip!
After waking up, breakfast, faff, etc. we’ll have a walk ‘sign up’. The night before some of the more experienced members will have planned walks for the day, and sign up gives you the opportunity to find our who is going where, and which walk you’d like to go on. We will try and make sure there is a range of walks available, from shorter valley walks to ‘Tim Epics’, There might have to be some reshuffling for transport logistics, but for the most part you’ll get to go on the walk you wanted to.
After a day of walking, we’ll reconvene at the hall for more sandwich making, dinner and some ‘organised fun’, where you can try your hand at the ‘Pan and Sling’ game, a ‘Moo-off’ or even sock-wrestling…
Sunday follows the same format as Saturday for the most part, but in the morning we’ll tidy the place we’re staying, pack our bags and load everything into the van before leaving for the day’s walking. When the walking is done, we might group together again before heading off home – via Spoons. After stopping for dinner, we should arrive back in Bristol late on Saturday evening (9pm-11pm) in time for bed, and to be up early for Uni the next morning.
Drop us an email, and we’ll be happy to answer.