Extreme Wales with Richard Parks
Celebrating 2016, The Welsh Year of Adventure, Richard Parks, ex Welsh rugby international turned endurance athlete, is on three adrenaline-filled journeys that explore the very best of the country; what it has to offer for the keen adventurer and lovers of landscapes alike. He’ll be cycling from the Brecon Beacons to the summit of Snowdon; caving in the Ogof Ffynnon Ddu, the deepest cave system in the UK; and following the River Teifi, running and kayaking. Richard meets the passionate people for whom these Welsh adventures are a way of life. He’s on a mission to find out not only why adventure is so important to Wales, but why Wales is so important to adventure.
Part 1: Extreme Cycling: Brecon Beacons to Snowdon
Richard Parks has four grueling days of cycling from The Gap in the Brecon Beacons, to the summit of Snowdon as he attempts to create a new cycle route, the highest in Wales. Joining him for parts of his challenge are a Paralympian gold medalist, the “Godmother of Mountain Biking”, and the world downhill champion. Richard also gets up close to a creature he has long admired, the red kite (the national bird of Wales), as he powers his way to the summit of the largest mountain in the country.
Part 2: Extreme Caving: Ogof Ffynnon Ddu
Richard is not a fan of enclosed spaces, but journeying into the Ogof Ffynnon Ddu cave system in the Brecon Beacons, he attempts to overcome his discomfort during a subterranean adventure like no other. Joined by Gary Evans and friends from the South Wales Caving Club, he is on a two-day mission that will take him from the Top Entrance, to the deepest point of the deepest cave in the UK. He must negotiate his way through a labyrinth of tunnels, past the stalactites of the Gnome Passage Chamber, down underground waterfalls, and through the squeezes of Diver’s Pitch.
Part 3: Extreme Kayaking: River Teifi
Richard Parks explores the River Teifi, one of the longest rivers wholly in Wales and an adventure playground for some of the best paddlers in the UK. In this three-day exploration of the waterway, Richard attempts to learn a new skill: kayaking. Beginning in the Cambrian Mountains he runs amongst the Teifi pools, then tackles the largest and most technical rapids on the river at Llandysul and Cenarth, before paddling to the mouth of the river, from Cilgerran to Cardigan. Along the way Richard meets the people for whom this glorious river is a way of life.