Well, who said we dont get snow in South Wales?! Er, actually that might have been me. Well to be fair, we dont generally get as much as other parts of the country (apart from the mountains). Therefore this last week has been a bit of a suprise to me. Even more so because the forecast for the first really heavy snow was due on the day I was going to a weekend bunkhouse trip with the dads, lads and daughter, Der-der-derrrrrr! We were due to go to a bunkhouse on the edge of the Brecon Beacons right by where the BBC weather forecast put the red blob of doom! Couldnt be as bad as the forecast could it?
Friday and I awoke to a blanket of snow nearly a foot deep…sigh. Ok so a flurry of calls and texts between dads came up with the idea of waiting and seeing how the weather was during the day and also how bad/good the roads were. It didnt look good at 8am but by 2pm the snow had stopped, the snow ploughs had been and the motorway cams showed the roads were driveable. Another flurry of calls and we decided that since we had a few 4×4′s in the group and that we were going in convoy that Thunderbirds were go! We set off at 2.45pm hoping beyond hope to make it safely to the bunkhouse and before dark. To be fair, the doomsayers on the news made people stay off the motorway and we had it more or less to ourselves! I can honestly say that it was the quickest I have ever gotten to the western-most junction of the M4. Also the driving conditions improved the further west we went, the heaviest snow having been dumped on the Brecon Beacons and SE monmouthshire. It took us just under 2 hours to complete the journey to the Bunkhouse at Llanwrda, a few miles from Llandeilo.
The bunkhouse exceeded our expectations and I will do a little write up of it soon as a separate post. After a brief period of activity it was time to cook tea and break out the beer. The kids disapeared in a knot up into their bedrooms and left the adults to chat, relax and plan the days outing on Saturday.
After much debate, a decision was made to head in to the Brecon Beacons in search of a slope with snow on it for sledging down. Easy. Well in principle yes. However we soon discovered that the area we were driving into had been hit hard with the snow and so only the main roads were passable. As soon as we ventured off the main road with a mind to getting to Usk Reservoir then things got a bit sticky. After an hour and a half of digging snow and massaging cars up lanes, we got to within a few hundred yards of the reservoir and deep sledgeable snow.
Unfortunately my daughter wasnt feeling too well and so I had to take her back to the bunkhouse. On the way back she felt a bit better and so we stopped off at Llandovery for a quick mooch. I have to say I was underwhelmed with the town but my daughter managed to find a couple of shops and we enjoyed some nice rolls from a bakery. The highlight of the town was for me the castle and the statue of Llewellyn the Great
The evening beckoned and the others got back from their sledging exploits. We cooked a mega curry and settled down for the evening. The kids disappeared again and we played several games of cards, drank a few beers and chatted until the early hours. Like a flash it seemed the weekend had gone and we would be going home in the morning. Still we decided to stop off on the way home so as to maximise the day.
Sunday morning and a flurry of activity ensured that cooked breakfast was had including pancakes made by yours truly for all and sundry. We were packed up and ready to go by 11am and so we made our way home. On the way home we diverted via the A470 to stop at Garwnant Forestry Commission picnic area. On the way to the picnic site we had to weave our way through a slew of parked cars (badly parked) on the A470. Still it was worth it as there was virgin snow on gentle slopes by the picnic area and we managed a few hours of sledging to round off the weekend. We also managed to do an impromptu BBQ at tea time! Sadly the light was beginning to fade and so we headed off again and arrived home by 5pm.
I must say that it was a great weekend and enjoyed by all. We are already planning the next trip and it will probably be May because of the difficulty in getting everyone together at the same time. Do you know how hard it is to coordinate the availability of 6 adults (and 10 children)??? So first trip of the year done and dusted and it was a good un