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Penrhos Farm 4x4

I had an interesting and fun day yesterday, whilst I had initially though of going to Tixover, I decided that a 2.5 hour drive for no more than a couple of hours of fun, followed by a 2.5 hour drive home, was probably a bit much. I still wanted to get muddy, so decided to seek out somewhere closer to home (about an hour's drive), but preferably new to me. A quick search found a couple of possibilities for 4x4 events that were taking place on the day, one near Stoke on Trent and one near Wrexham, after checking out the Facebook pages for both events I decided to go to the one near Wrexham.

I arrived just after midday to find the spectator parking area full, but the way to it was quite muddy anyway, so I was directed to a patch of grass by the gate. The 'pit' area for the 4x4s was up on higher ground, but the slope up to it was already churned up, so nothing less than a soft-roader would have got up there. So I parked up, put on an old fleece under my waterproof jacket, waterproof trousers, some thick socks and my wellies. I then went off to explore the site.

The initial access area is quite narrow, so spectators need to keep an eye out for vehicles. The road soon forks off, with the left side on the level and the right side going uphill past a dungheap, I went uphill but resisted walking in the dungheap. There was quite a bit of ankle deep mud around already and the track soon opened out into a much wider area, which at least had some undriven parts. At the top of this hill is a 'bombhole', this has steep slopes down to the bottom and back out, but it was quite dry with no mud at the bottom. The track around the rim was muddy and I could see a deeper area further along, so I followed this.

As I was walking along I could hear the characteristic sound of an exhaust bubbling away from below water down below me, so I guessed somebody had become stuck and decided to follow the sound. I saw a track leading down to my left, but it was extremely narrow with nowhere to escape if a car came along, a bit futher along I found access to a field which led me down to a different area which had a deep pool of sloppy mud (this area was accessed from the left fork near the entrance). Sure enough there was a Land Rover Discovery which had got stuck trying to get out of the mud pool, there was also someone with a quad bike, now up to his thighs in the slop, trying to attach a towline, so I took a few pictures. He then drove his quad out and another Discovery backed in, the quad rider then dived back in to attach the towline between them so the first one could be pulled out backwards, so I took more pictures and videos.

One both Discoverys were out the quad rider asked me if I'd got some decent footage and if he could have copies, I said yes and he gave me his number so I could send them to him on WhatsApp. He then said 'If you'd got a change of clothes I'd offer you a ride as thanks', to which I replied 'Well actually I did bring a change of clothes with me, just in case...', so he said 'Hop on then!' (I didn't need asking twice...)

He strated by fololowing his mate who had just been rescued, through some ankle to calf deep mud, some of which was getting thrown up over us. He then went up over a few steep, dry slopes, some of which he was struggling to get to the top of, so I really had to hold on tight and lean in to help keep the quad balanced. After splashing through some more shallow mud he asked 'How do you feel about getting wet?', I knew exactly what he had in mind so I said 'Go for it!!'. Sure enough he took me to the deep mud pool and ploughed straight through, flooding one of my wellies with the lovely sloppy mud in the process. He went back around this area and through the deep pool one more, but flooding the same wellie, so I still had one dry foot and one wet foot.

He then got a call on the radio about someone being stuck, but it was in the bombhole, so he wasn't able to help. We stood watching them trying to get rescued for about 10 minutes before he told me to hop back on, we went through some great water splashes to a different part of the site, but still not enough to flood my wellies. He then took me back to the deep pool, the first time through my right wellie flooded again, so still one dry foot. The next time through he tried the steep exit, but failed on the first attempt, so had to back up for another go, the wave of mud got my left boot this time, so I was now a happy mudder. He said that he was getting ready to leave soon, so took me back to the pit area to drop me off.

I spent the rest of the day exploring the site and enjoying the 4x4 action as I went, at the same time noting where all the decent mud was. Later on somebody else got stuck in the deep pool and needed to be hitched up at the end that was in the mud, I offered to hop in and do the job, but the guy doing the rescue was wearing chesties and said that he'd do it.

As everyone was heading back to the pits to get ready to go home I did a bit more exploring of the site, deliberately finding some of the deeper spots where it was just deep enough to flood my wellies a few more times before going home, but I resisted going right into the deep pool...

I'll definitely go back there, probably in the new year now, it would be nice if a couple of you could join me there, we might have an excuse to get even muddier next time.

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