Beacons Way

This trail or, should I say part of it, emerged out of the map after first visiting the Black Mountain last year. It was a natural line running from west to east taking in some hills and mountains that I was not familiar with. It took little to persuade Graham who is always keen for a speedy jaunt. So, eventually we settled on a date and with Ellie supporting us we set off from Carreg Cennen castle on a bright Saturday morning. 

I was feeling anxious (for a change) and wanted to get motoring, as the weather forecast had some rain heading our way and the distance was more than I was used too – Graham was faffing so I was beginning to overheat. The route wound its way around a small valley and up onto western shoulder and with our engines warmed we soon excellarated eastwards with views looking northwards towards Llandovery. I monitored our progress via the OS app on my phone and whilst I was familiar with the route I could not accurately assess our progress, so we pressed on to the bwlch and crossing of the A4069. To my delight we came across an ice cream van, although it was a little before the sun had crossed the yard arm a 99 was purchased. This marked the beginning of the main section and our increasingly distinctive trail passed through geological bands of limestones and grits. Lunch was taken in a substantial cairn, but was rudely interrupted by a downpour, I realised that we were making good progress as we ascended towards ‘Warn Lefrith’ and the tremendous view of the escarpment. This was the main course, and I knew we had cracked it.

  

We rolled along the ridge with clouds moving in behind us and I began to feel fatigued. However a descent into Glyntawr and the prospect of a cold drink kept me going. A wonderful day. 

Day 2

After a pleasant evening spent at Perry’s (Shoemakers Arms) Ellie delivered us to the start of the day’s march. Weather conditions were not promising and we made good speed over the Limestone plateau heading towards the day’s objective Pen Y Fan. 


As we ascended the long ridge back of the Fan Lilia the rain arrived, I feared the worst but it passed over and we were left alone for the moment. The route swings round to the right and as the Storey Arms heaves into view the contrast is alarming, hoards of walkers, bikers, cars, and cyclists swarm around this convenient honey pot. Lunch was taken in a bus shelter before joining the line of punters curiously enticed by the chance of bagging South Wales highest peak. At about fifteen miles into the day I begin to flag as we made a summit push and with perfect timing the weather arrived with full effect denying us our view. We pressed onwards and down in increasing rain and wind, I could feel my feet and legs aching but with the end in sight I kept pace. The end was a car park where Ellie waited to take us home, a true lay splendid weekend!

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