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Spring in the Brecons

27 March 2013  |  Admin

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In the middle of March Rose and I decided enough was enough as we both wanted to get out into the mountains and stretch our legs again to shake of the lethargy of these long dark nights, so we headed off to Brecon for a two day walk.

We had planned to camp as the weather during the week hadn't been too bad. We even booked a campsite, despite them warning that the ground was too soggy and the river was up. We still went for it though, such was our confidence!

And then, once packed and in the car it started snowing again. Not the nice light pretty gentle stuff, but the dark dreary grey matter, which matched the brooding sky and put us both in a depressed mood by the time we reached Hay on Wye.

The idea of camping was certainly squashed at that point. It was freezing cold, a bitter cross wind and, to be honest nothing to merit a nights camping. We would have simply put up the tent and stayed there until morning.

We noticed all the shops were hanging signs stating they were closing at 4pm and of course the penny dropped. It was the big England v Wales Rugby match, so we had a tricky decision to make, it was ;

a) go the pub, sit in front of a roaring fire, drink real ale, have a big steak and ale pie with chips, watch the match, drink more ale and have some playful banter with the locals and book into a B&B, or

b) find the campsite, get wet(er), get cold(er), get more miserable, rustle up a small meal on a stove and sit in our sleeping bags in the tent listening to the wind and watching the snow build up on the fly.

It was difficult moment and we were torn about the guilt for our rufty tufty reputation, and the obvious. Thankfully the moment didn't last too long and within 30 seconds we were warming ourselves in front of a roaring log fire and the food and beer was ordered.

However the following day we just didn't think we could wimp out again, and to be honest although the snow had settled to the frozen ground, the morning looked bright and promising. We gingerly drove up to Hay Bluff, the first car of the day up there and on the one hand it was glorious, but on the other deadly. Sheet ice on the road and everything under 6 inches of crispy snow. If you know the road past the (now non visible) car park at the base of the Bluff, the twist and turns and bends make it a daunting potential skidding prospect.

Turning around proved to be a challenge, but a quick yank on the handbrake and the car did a 180 with ease.

So we gingerly returned down and drove over to the Talgarth road. On finding a decent spot to park up, we set off towards Waun Fach for a 10km yomp which took the rest of the day. Bright, sharp, beautiful and bitter, bitter cold. A great days walking and we met some hardy souls on route all enjoying themselves.

On the way through the muddy, wet farm land we chatted to the farmer who wasn't impressed with the weather and the effect it was having on his new born lambs. We naturally asked about old wives tales and for his thoughts on the coming weather for the year. Lets just say he didn't hold out any high hopes for an Indian Summer!

No matter, a great day out and as you see from the photos, it was a good way to cleanse the soul.