Brechfa

Our walk today was centred on Brechfa.

Route

There was no steady walk in but first  through a ford and then a steep climb alongside Banc y Darren. Did we stay up high, of course not we descended down to the Afon Cothi.

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Looking down the steep lane

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Road?

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Did we stay down, of course not we climbed again before a final long and windy descent again to the Afon Cothi.

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Bracket fungi of some kind

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Brechfa in the distance

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We did have a bit of an adventure towards the end when the path we chose (i.e. The so called Navigator) led to a slash and burn episode, but we made it onto the correct path.

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Trust me…..

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This is the way…

The views all day were lovely and topped by seeing a kingfisher land on a piling as we re-crossed the ford near to base.

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He does walk on water!

 

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Dolaucothi

Today’s walk was chosen by Paul and taken from Cicerone Guide to walks in Carmarthenshire. The other members of our little band were missing today.

Route

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We parked in the Goldmine car park (National Trust) and headed up hill to Caio, a small village which at least still has a pub.

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This is not a post code!

From the village we walked into the woodlands and continued uphill until we reached the top with fine views of the countryside opening out. It was a little hazy and not the best for photos.

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The route now took us down hill to the Cothi Valley and walk downstream back to the Gold Mines. What did the Romans ever do for us?

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Oh and it stayed dry.

Gower Coast and Inland

With Mr and Mrs Navigator eking out their devalued euros it was left to to me to decide on a walk.

I found a walk described in a recent publication which seemed to fit the bill and would take in part of the south western coast of the Gower as well as some inland walking.

The forecast after some sunny days was for grey skies but dry. However there were grey skies but also  rain throughout the day! No doubt Chris, Paul and Daisy  would have been happier sitting around a nice warm fire with their feet up.

Route

There are few photographs as the views were mainly non existent.

We parked at Pilton Green and tokk a windy route to the coast path – there were a number of white way marking signs which we assume were there to avoid walkers tramping over crops. Unfortunately some were missing! We did manage to arrive on the coast but the mist and clag was low down and there was not much to see. Chris did point out a number of sea cliffs he had climbed in his youth.

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The guide suggested keeping the coast and on to the Lookout Station which would have had views to Worms Head but by then with the continuous rain we were only interested in shelter to have our lunch. A decision was made to cut out the corner and head directly for Rhossili village where a convenient bus shelter was our chosen restaurant.

Following lunch we walked on to Middleton and then across country. We came across some limestone where a number of small cave entrances were seen – a past hobby of Paul.

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On our way we walked past a rustic furniture makker who had some wares on view. One of these was a comfortable looking seat which we were encouraged to try. Apparently the design was by a King of Malawi who had these made so that he could have carnal knowledge of his ladies in a position that was comfortable for him! INn the absence of any ladies we had to take the owners word for this.

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Back at the car it was still raining but as someone once said “a bad day in the hills is better than a good day in the office”.

Bike Pack in the Brecon Beacons

I was looking for a route to  bike pack and I had recently come across a cycling route from Llandeilo to Abergavenny using minor roads and the Momouthshire and Brecon Canal.

Here are the details

I did not plan to cycle the whole length but decided to start in Sennybridge which would give me some 30 plus miles with an additional mileage off the route to the campsite at Pysgodlyn Farm.

Being retired I have the luxury of choosing a weather window, which recently was proving difficult as summer has forgotten to put in an appearance. However here was a chance and I took it although as I drove into Sennybridge I was met with a hail storm which thankfully soon passed and rain was not seen for the  rest of the trip.

 

All packed

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Corn Ddu and Pen Y Fan

The first 9 miles are quite lumpy which was not too bad with fresh legs but on the return were hard work.

I had a coffee break in Brecon before joining the  canal tow path which took me to Pencelli where I again joined the road.

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Coffee at Brecon

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Canal side homes

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River Usk from aquaduct

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An owner from the 60’s?

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Lime kilns

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A redwood

 

En route I had a puncture caused by a drawing pin, hopefully not left to cause annoyance but just a stray incident.  Some 2 miles after Llangynidr the tow path was joined until I arrived at Gilwern where I rejoined the road to head for the A40 and my camp site for the night.

I can recommend Pysgodlyn Farm. It is a flat site with good facilities although for some there is no local pub unless you decide to ride or walk into Abergavenny. From my tent there were good views of the Blorenge.

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The Blorenge

My tent was soon erected and I was looking forward to a coffee but to my horror my lighter was empty and it was impossible to light the meths burner with a fire stick. Thankfully the farm owner lent me some matches and a friendly camper gave me a Bic lighter to keep and all was well with the world.

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Home for the night

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Kitchen

The following morning breakfast was eaten and I was soon on my way down to Abergavenny looking to join the tow path which I had decided I would follow all the way back to Brecon. The canal was quite busy with numerous narrow boats and a  few  boats hired by the hour.

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Llangatwg escarpment

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Future sausages

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Hills above Crickhowell

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Locks at Llangynidr

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We won’t be seeing these again!

 

I stopped at Talybont on Usk for lunch but there was a mild panic as my wallet was not in its usual place. Whilst emptying the panniers a kind lady in a small camper van offered to buy me coffee – this shows there are more good people than bad in this world. However my wallet was hiding at the bottom of the bag and I was able to pay my own way.

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Lunch at Talybont

At Brecon after some 25 miles of flat pedalling I faced the hilly lanes back to Sennybridge, my very own Mont Ventoux! I made it and soon loaded up the car. An enjoyable two days and perhaps the rest of the route can be undertaken a little later.

Stackpole Quay

The “Navigator” had decreed that today we would head for the coast with a little inland to start with and so we parked up in the National Trust car park at Stackpole Quay.

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Route

The day started out a bit damp but brightened up as the day progressed. From the quay we headed towards Barafundle Bay and then inland to cross the estate and onto Bosherton Lily Ponds.

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Looking down to Stacpole Quay

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Stackpole Head

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Looking toward Barafundle Beach

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One of the ponds/lakes

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Eight Arch Bridge

We stopped for lunch on a piece of high ground overlooking the ponds and the lilies which were still in bloom.

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Two of many orchids

From here the path led down to the beach at Broadhaven South with views of Bishop Rock in the bay.

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Broadhaven  South

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Church Rock

The walk now was along the coast path with views of Stackpole Head and then down and across Barafundle Bay and back to the car.

 

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Looking down into a huge collapsed cave

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We saw choughs, a kestrel and a gannet. The latter was diving for food just off Church Rock.