Twrch Valley (and the convertible pullover)

Agreement this week was reached to walk up the Twrch Valley from Ystradowen and return over Carn Fadog and down the straight incline back to the car.

We walked up the true right bank of the Afon Twrch to Bryn Henllys Bridge and crossed to the other side of the river and followed the Ffordd y Glowyr (The Colliers Way), a dismantled railway.

 The Navigator told me that when they were last in the area this route had been closed.  Today however it was very much open and clearly a lot of work had been put into it, very pleasant.

We continued to the wooden footbridge and headed towards the tall chimney and the disused lime and brick works.  The information panel seemed to indicate the full history of the area was not known which seems strange as it was in historical terms quite recent.

The weather which we had left behind was foggy and dreary, but we were now in full blue sky and walking in shirt sleeves.  Looking back the valleys were in cloud all day. We came across a ruined cottage which was in the throes of early renovation. The on site owner  told us he was 78 and would probably not see the finished job!  We wished him a successful project .

From hereon the ground was very wet and we wondered what it would be like after a normal winter. An early lunch was had next to the waterfall near the map name Llwyncwmstabl.

More wet walking continued until Terry and I heard, “Help”.  Janice had stepped into a bog up to her nether regions and had to be pulled out by both of us.  I did not dare to take a photo.

With a soaking wet companion we decided not to continue to Nant Y Llyn but to cut up to Ffrydiau Twrch. A lovely steep stream whose source we found bubbling from underground.

We had a second lunch here and with girl guide skills Janice removed her very wet trousers and somehow with the help of my Swiss army knife made a passing pair of “Ron Hills” from a pullover.  This was a good example of never taking anything on the hill which does not have two uses!

Our proposed return over Carn Fadog was now amended to the area below Cefn Carn Fadog and the disused quarry and onto the incline which is as straight as an arrow! There were some good views of the area from here.

Unfortunately part way down it becomes a nightmare of wet bog and so we headed a little southwest towards Coedcae Mawr and over the footbridge at Ddol-gam which housed six noisy collies and some goats.

 We could now look forward to a dry walk back first along a concrete roadway and then a rough track above the Afon Twrch back to the car.

This is a good area for some backpacking and if one follows the Afon Twrch to its source you will reach the Carmarthen Fans and the heart of the Black Mountain.  No need to visit Scotland for wilderness.

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