Tal-y-Bont Circular Walk

Last weekend I had the opportunity to make use of the fine weather forecast and plan another early walk. I decided to get up and go on Sunday morning partly to catch the early sunrise and partly to avoid a late afternoon of scorching temperatures. In the end I managed not only an early walk, but also a splendid treat of a fabulous sunrise and a cloud inversion to boot. I also caught the sun at lunchtime but thankfully I missed the hottest part of the day by the time I departed…

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So, it was up early again on the Sunday morning. The forecast was for early mist and then clearing skies and 28-30degrees C in the afternoon. I was worried that the mist would be a pea-souper and waould spend the 1st half of my walk glued to my compass. I needn’t have worried. When I parked up at the side of Tal-y-Bont Reservoir, the mist was swirling but peeks of blue here and there were visible in the sky.

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I made my way up Twyn Du and paused to look back over the reservoir and the surrounding area. The valleys and low lying land were covered in slow moving mist and cloud whilst the hill tops were basking in the early sunlight. Even though it was early it was already warm and very humid as I made my way towards Carn Pica.

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At the top, the mound of stones that denote the carn remind me of a beehive and I paused for a few photo opportunities. By now the mist was starting to clear but the clouds were making crazy patterns in the sky. I also needed to pause because the 2mile stretch just completed was about 1800feet of ascent!

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The next section was pure unadulterated ridge walking and I soon recovered my breath. Walking along Waun Rydd, the central Beacons started to come into view. However, today my destination was a circuit of the hills and ridges around Tal-y-Bont reservoir and so I picked up the southern ridgeline of Graig Fan Las.

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This section was in fact the reverse of part of the Pen-y-Fan circular walk I did the other day. I continued on down to Craig a Fan Ddu and then up the opposite ridge towards Pant y Creigiau. It was here that I found the going quite boggy and my new Keen A86 TRs got a thorough christening!

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Topping out and heading along the ridge towards Bryn Cefnog, the sun really did start to come out to play. Tor y Foel came into view at the same time as the reservoir and sloping woods adjoing it. A fine view mixing blues and greens.

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As I made my way along the ridge back towards the far end of the reservoir I decided to keep to the higher level rather than dropping down through the woods. A quick look back down the reservoir to the north and a lovely sight improved by the abundance of foxgloves dotted around the edges of the woods.

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With the sun high in the sky and the temperature really climbing I was pleased that I wouldnt have too far to go. I was also looking forward to an ice-cream from the van that always appears next to the reservoir during the summer days. A few more miles and I finally started to drop down towards the reservoir. Crossing the roadway at the northend of the reservoir, I paused for one of my favourite views in the Brecon Beacons. The water of the reservoir glinting in front of me and the line of the two ridges that formed my walk framing the view.

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I found that the ice-cream van was waiting for me as I neared my car. I was hot, sweaty and out of water by now. I stuck my face in through the hatchway of the van and in a voice full of anticipation announced to the serving lady “your biggest ice-cream please”. I was handed a monstrous creation of soft ice cream in a gigantic cone with flakes and wafers leaning out of it at odd angles with sauce and nuts loaded on top…and a spoon! I have to say that that ice cream was the most splendid thing I have had in a long while. That done, I dove into my sauna of a car and drove home yet again satisfied with a cracker of a walk and splendid conditions.

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About Saddlebags and Backpacks - a brewer's outdoor adventures

I am a keen hiker, camper, cyclist and general all round gear addict..... I also manage to be a professional brewer in my non-spare time :->
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One Response to Tal-y-Bont Circular Walk

  1. Lesley says:

    these pictures are great!, I haven’t done any extreme walking throughout my time, however I hope to do this one day. In my attempt to take up walking as a hobby, I have now joined various walking groups organised by Ramblers who have been great so far in organising frequent walks.
    Thanks for this blog, its inspired me to continue walking.

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