Try saying that after a few sherbets! Before I start, I have had enormous trouble trying to get my pc to upload all the pictures. All updated now but I think the laptop is on its way out and the CPU is leaning heavily on its virtual zimmer frame…..
Ok, so I am back (from outer space. I just walked in to find you here with……). This is my little trip report for a little trip that had little planning. 🙂
I had decided late last week to say “buggrit” and head out into the hills for an unplanned walk and wildcamp. The pass was sorted and although I needed some hilltime I didnt know where to go. I still didnt know as I climbed into the car on Saturday and drove vaguely north (possibly even north, vaguely). As I approached Abergavenny, Blorenge and Sugar Loaf stood sentinel to the start of the Brecon Beacons. Did I want the wild west, the peaky but busy central area or the quieter more reflective east of the BBNP? I decided east was best (and quickest) for the kind of bimble, camp and bimble trip that I wanted. Still with 5 ridgelines and 4 valleys to choose from it was still a bit of a choice.
In the end I plumped for the Grywne Fawr Valley for a number of reasons. There is a super little reservoir en route to the wildcamp spot I had in mind. The wildcamp spot is approximately 5 miles from the car parking spot. There is a choice of 2 sweeping ridges to walk back along on the way back to the car. The wildcamp spot is very special and has a superb aspect for sunsets.
I parked the car (luckily in a spot that is very safe) and started to walk in to my destination. The afternoon was warm and pleasant and in no great haste I walked steadily upwards. Sheep dotted the hillside and the sun was dazzling against the azure sky. I soon spied the wall of the reservoir in the distance and continued to climb slowly upwards.
Pausing only briefly for a few snaps I pushed on past the reservoir and onto the start of the high plateau beyond. I didnt stop to look at the bothy at the head of the reservoir as it meant a drop down the hillside followed by a climb again!
Upon gaining the top of the valley and onto the escarpment proper I knew I was in for a great sunset although time was ticking on. I had briefly thought of pushing on past Rhos Dirion to another great wildcamp spot but wanted to enjoy more time watching the sunset than walking. The further wildcamp spot has better water availability but the spot I choose for the night is a little gem for various reasons (and I had loads of water for the evening anyhow).
When I got to the campsite for the night I quickly put up my shelter (I’ll save the review for another day). 10 minutes from unpacking to admiring…a record! 🙂 . I managed to fit it in a “bowl” which helped shield it from the prevailing wind a bit and also gave me a grandstand view of the Powysian hills stretching out beyond the escarpment.
As the sun set, I was treated to a great spectacle and sipping a cheeky little red made it a super evening. It didnt truly get dark until about 11 at which point I decided to retire to bed lulled to sleep by the rustling wind and the bleating of sheep.
In the morning, the sun shone brightly and the promise for the day was another warm one.
I packed up and made my way to the trig point at Rhos Dirion and then followed the ridgeline towards Chwarel y Fan and Bal Mawr beyond. This was a morning to stretch my legs, enjoy the views and let my mind wander as I ate up the miles. I didnt see another soul until 11 and it felt great to be alone and wandering in the sun on a high ridgeline. I wasnt going to push it in terms of mileage so thought a short walk of around 12 miles would suffice for the day and allow me to get back in the mid afternoon.
The last section of the walk involved a traipse through the Mynydd Du Forest which kept the sun off my back for a short while. Always angling down to the valley floor I eventually came to the last stretch of the walk. I walked alongside the Grwyne Fawr stream for the last mile to finish off a truly lovely little trip.
Driving back I wistfully thought of having more time to do a longer walk but already I had a plan for a 3 day trip another time. If I can pull off the planning and meshing of the two great ridgewalk in the area into 3 days, I reckon I will die and go to heaven 🙂
So, an impromptu trip, with no planning and only my instinct to take me where I ended up. And do you know what? It was fabulous.