Tag Archives: hike

Climbing Sugarloaf Mountain in Wales – Amidst Sheep And Wilderness

By Lakshmi:

Last Saturday was a spectacularly beautiful day in South Wales – No rain!  No – let’s make it better – clear skies and lots of sunshine.  Since we have admired Sugarloaf Mountain for over a year from the windows of our home in Abergavenny, it was time to make the ascent.  Off we trotted to the local tourist office – the woman took one look at our sneakers and warned us about wet ground and the shoes not being right.  But we had hiked up a volcanic crater in Hawaii in flip-flops!  We set off along the main street in Abergavenny, towards the War Memorial and on to an uphill ascent that had us jumping over multiple stiles, walking on wet grassland being grazed by sheep, trying to ascertain the right path by identifying shrubbery and finally attempting unsuccessfully to dry off our wet shoes and dripping socks at rest points along the way.  The pictures below capture the beauty of this hike.  From the center of Abergavenny, it is a 5.5 hour round trip.  There are few souls along the way, so go when there is plenty of daylight and sunshine for company – oh and a bottle of water would be good as well!  This is one of many maps available to guide you.


If you’ve done this straight through or parked at one of the car parks and done the ascent, we’d love to hear about your experience as well.

PS.  I did want to end this with a tale of our shoes.  We had a really smart idea to wash our well rinsed yet grimy shoes in the shoe cycle of our washing machine.  What emerged the next morning were multiple shoe remnants that could not be put back together.  So, egos aside, do wear the best walking boots you can when embarking on this hike on wet ground!

A Blustery Ride to the Top of Mount Wellington, Tasmania

View from the top of Mount Wellington
Source: Wikipedia

By Lakshmi:

Who?  Anyone who is visiting Tasmania must plan a trip to this landmark destination.

What? Mount Wellington, a mountain cradling the city of Hobart at its foothills.

How? Mount Wellington is located about 20 minutes away from Hobart and two and a half hours away from Launceston.  We were staying with family in Devonport and rented a car in Launceston for our drive to Hobart and beyond.

Why?  Growing up a cricket fanatic, Hobart was a familiar city from the many matches we had watched on TV.  And during breaks in the game, one would be given a peek at some of the city landmarks and Mount Wellington was frequently shown.  So, when a visit to Tasmania materialized, a trip to this landmark was a must do.  We chose to visit in August when the weather was quite chilly.  As we made our way from Hobart along the 13 mile winding road to the pinnacle of Mount Wellington, we passed some spectacularly beautiful vistas.  The juxtaposition of verdant green with rocks that are millions of years old with snow sprinkled on its tops presented a spectacular visual gift.

Once we reached the top of the 4,000 feet summit, we had to do the unthinkable….disembark from our car in a gust of some of the most fierce winds we had ever experienced.  Trying to walk to the observation deck was a balancing act, not enabled by our squinted eyes, hair blowing across our faces and feeling brutally cold, despite being warmly dressed.  But once we got to the deck, what greeted us below ranks up there as one of the most beautiful visual treats.  We stood there (more like balanced ourselves up there) and saw Hobart and the Tasman peninsula stretched out.

It was not till we returned that we realized that we literally had taken the easiest pathway up to the top.  Apparently, Mt Wellington is the finishing line for the annual ‘Point to Pinnacle’ Fun Run and the same route can be walked as well.  In hindsight, I am very grateful that this was an after the fact discovery…or I would have had to wait for my husband trying to take this on as one of his physical endurance challenges!

To learn more about visiting Mount Wellington, click here:


How to hike up to the summit of Diamond Head crater – Just don’t do it wearing flip-flops!

Diamond Head Crater
Source: Wikipedia

By Lakshmi:

Who? Anyone who is traveling to Oahu, loves to hike, has a sense of adventure and wants to be rewarded with some spectacular views.

What? Trail to the summit of Le’ahi also commonly known as Diamond Head Crater.  The hike is .8 miles in length each way and walking to the summit and back will take about 2 hours.  I would term the trail to be of moderate intensity.

How? The Diamond Head Summit Trail is located within Diamond Head State Monument in Oahu.  The entrance is between Makapu’u Avenue and 18th Avenue.  Entrance fees are $5 per car or $1 per walk in visitor.  Guided tours are also available daily through many local companies.

Why?  On our trip to Oahu, we spent a significant amount of time each day on Waikiki beach.  Wherever we were on the beach, Diamond Head was always a permanent fixture in our view.  So, one day, after relaxing at the beach, my husband and I decided to walk over to see how far Diamond Head was.  Since we had no hiking plans, we just took off in our flip flops from the beach and arrived at the base of the Diamond Head Summit Trail.

Having walked the distance, we looked at each other enquiringly to see if the other would somehow agree to simply hike the summit right there and then.  Without saying a word, we had paid our entrance fee and were on our way up the trail in the worst footwear for hiking!

The initial portion of the hike did not seem like a big deal, since the surfaces were paved.  Soon this changed, as the walk seemed steeper, the surface we were treading on getting more uneven, leading up through some steep stairs and a long lit tunnel.

But, somehow we made it to the top and the jewel of a view we were rewarded with was priceless.  It was an absolutely magnificent 360 degree panorama of one of the most beautiful places on earth.   We paused there for some time, just soaking in everything.

The descent was precarious, and walking in our flip-flops made us feel like we were both stupid and brave.

If you’d like to learn more about Diamond Head Crater and hiking the trail, click here:

Hiking Diamond Head