Lovely hike in the Western Brecon Beacons with Martin. Up the Tawe valley to Llyn y Fan Fawr, up on to the ridge and along to Fan Foel, then back along the ridge line via Allt Fach. Camping at Dan-yr-Ogof (thirty years after staying in the holiday chalets there as a kid); great grub at Tafarn-yr-Garreg; and a lovely cuppa from the guy in the campavan who took pity on us breaking camp in the rain this morning. Awesomeness.
A return visit to Pen-Y-Fan and Cribyn. Only this time the weather was a little cooler.
The strong head-wind and horizontal snow/sleet mix made for an interesting hike up along Cefn Cwm Llwch.
Visibility was marginal – with the occasional clearing of the cloud to show that we weren’t hiking inside a white tent. The last section up to the summit even had a bit of ice axe action.
The trail down the eastern edge (along Craig Cwm Sere) had deep, occasionally thigh deep, snow drifts, with some decent plunge stepping down to the saddle. A brief pause to test the wind speed by noting the angle that the map case flew at (horizontal map case = fast wind), before heading up to Cribyn and then down to the track at Bwlch ar y Fan.
A hike down in the gathering gloom-cum-head torch darkness to a fantastic dinner at the White Swan in Llanfrynach.
The view this morning was much clearer – you could even see the top of Cribyn which we’d raced passed the previous day. But no sign of Pen-Y-Fan, nor of Martin’s shades that took a flying dive off the cliff during the summit photo-opp. A good way to go if ever there was one.
Fantastic hike with Martin along the beautiful Dorset coast.
The ranges were closed, so we took a slightly different route so we could get a great view of the red danger flags in the distance.
Further along the coast we found what looked like the end of the line on Egmont Point.
Thanks to the world’s best sign posts, we found the pub. And it was open.
Breakie for champions (or just Aiddy & Mart) after a restful night (ignoring the herc at 150ft) in the camping field at Cantref Adventure Farm and Bunkhouse.
Before setting off down the lane towards the mountains.
The bright spring morning with clear blue skies had obviously unsettled the locals who, knowing that hikers expect it to rain when in Wales, instantly sprang into action, seeding some low level clouds to make us feel at home during the hike up through the foothills.
We saw some sheep too – another unusual sight for this part of the world.
The path up to Pen Y Fan was clearly marked
and in next to no time we were up at the top, with next to no one else around. Except that is for the UKs teenage population “doing DofE” and two crazy polish mountain bikers.
Not content with just one peek, we bagged Crybin and Fan Y Big (or was it Big Y Fan?)
before skirting Craig Cwareli which dropped us right into the lovely village of Llanfrynach…
…and the pub for a well deserved pint of Brains.
Except the pub was shut.
Next time we’ll ring ahead and check before hiking 14-odd miles and up (and down) 3,800 feet for a drink.
Top hike. Cheers Mart.
The sun was already sinking as we headed up Swyncombe Down
F discovered the “Kingdom of the Moles” on the top
with some super views of the Oxfordshire Countryside
and some super industrial views of nearby Didcot power station.
Aside: Didcot is a tad different from the local electricity generation when we were in Seattle.
A perfect place to meet up with M, K, D, F & M on the way back from Devon…
…but best not to loiter by the targets for too long!
Martin recommended the Needles and an amazing recommendation it was too. Old battery, new battery and the rocket engine test site. With views of the ‘needles, cliffs, caves and everything’!
The boys were fantastic with the hike down to the headland in the freezing weather. Special mention to little-F who managed to dig deep despite being several shades under the weather.
Lovely spot for some piccy snapping…
…and waving across the Solent to Nana and Granddad
(who didn’t wave back despite us being clearly visible).
Old Battery was sign-posted as closed at the start of the walk down, but don’t be put off, there’s great views and the National Trust redeemed itself with an open tea room!
A lovely end to a FAB thanksgiving weekend. Big thanks to KMDFM.