Sunday, 8 March 2009

Happy (Belated) St David's Day!

Okay, so I'm a week late, but due to my cultural ignorance (and the fact there aren't hundreds of Welsh people pub crawling around London on their national day unlike SOME nationalities, thank god) I wouldn't have realised if it hadn't been for a jovial young walker shouting it to me across a windy hillside last weekend.

Crickhowell town from the Beacons Way I'd decided to pop down to the Crickhowell Walking Festival to drop off some leaflets for the Slick 'n Knobbly Cycling Festival. A three hour drive on a Sunday morning after a night shift is never a brilliant idea but I arrived in the morning sunshine feeling rather spritely. My target for the day was Pen Cerrig-calch at a mere 701m, dropping down back to Crickhowell via Table Mountain. Every time I've been to Glanusk Estate I've seen the Darren Crag looming high on the hillside and I couldn't resist it any longer - I was there, it was there. Why not?

Wild ponies on Pen Cerrig-calch I decided on the indirect route starting at the Information Centre heading out west on the Beacons Way, then going off track turning straight up the hill to the west of the rocky out crop and skirting round to the saddle to join up with the path again. The ponies on the ridge were a nice surprise. The wind wasn't, nor was the exposure. Even though the sun was shining and the sky was blue, snow still lay in hollows on the northern slopes and the biting wind reminded me it was still only March.

North east from the trig point Finally I reached the trig point and time for a quick self-timed snap. Then a sharp exit south east to get out of the wind, heading straight for Table Mountain with Sugar Loaf as the oh so familiar landmark in the distance (that one's for another day). Three hours and 8 miles or so later I was back in town, content with my first solo jaunt into the hills in many years. I need to do some more of that. Excellent training for my Summer epic on Offa's Dyke with Tony though - can't wait!

Grwyne Fawr dam Monday was similar with a gentle 4 mile wander on one of the Festival's organised walks around Grwyne Fawr reservoir with another 20 or so walkers. For £4 we had a guided walk up along one of the old railway lines to the dam and back down the other side, with a brief history lesson at the start about the navvys who lived in the temporary village, the railway lines and the building of the dam. All making for a rather pleasant Monday.

More photos available on my flickr page.

1 comment:

G as in Chris said...

Damn both of those sound really nice. I would have liked to go on those with you.