Today’s plan was to hike the Presili, pop in to see my old mum, and then have a real crack at the Black Mountain. This is how it panned out. I had done so much research on today that although I had a map, or maps actually, if you add the road map for getting there, that I actually never looked at one all day.
I drove from Llanddeusant through Carmarthen, noting the “Open 24x7” sign on the Tescos, and drove on through Crymych to the parking spot I was aiming at. Now OS maps are the best, but please note that the parking spot shown on map here is wrong, it is actually ¼ mile South West, aligning with the next footpath down the road. But anyway, for this little jaunt of 5 miles I had allocated myself 2 hours. That was the plan…..
I looked around, scrambled up a hill or two, definitely limestone, my life was shattered.
OK Cleansing breath!
So my 5 miles in 2 hours took me 5 hours and I drove back the way I came.
On reaching Carmarthen, I discovered that in the UK, 24x7 means Tesco’s close at 4 on Sunday, but I got in the door at 3:50, just needed some fruit for me good old Mum, was gonna browse a bit, but there you are!
So long story short, I had to skip doing the 8 mile hike on the Black mountain for that day, but there’s always tomorrow……
From Tintern Abby I walked ¼ mile North and crossed over the river on the foot bridge. The path is clear, although it’s muddy and climbs uphill fast. Bearing left and then choosing the middle of 3 routes takes you rapidly to the top of the bluff where Offa’s dyke runs along the top of the cliff, parallel to the river.
Hike distance Almost 4 miles.
All in all a decent Saturday’s adventure.
What then to do with the remainder of 5 days in South Wales?
South Wales I discovered has a great deal to offer:
• Offa’s Dyke (a 10 day hike)
• The Brecon Way (a 5 day hike)
• The Presili Hills and Carn Menyn the acclaimed source of the Stonehenge Blue Dolerite stones
• The Dan Yr Ogof Show caves
• The Roman Ruins at Caerloen
Clearly there was enough to keep me busy during my down time, in fact, more than enough so I had to make some decisions. I had rented a car for this trip, so a series of one day hikes seemed the best solution given my constraints.
So here was my Challenge, 5 hikes in 5 days
View Day Hikes in Wales in a larger map
I identified 2 sections of Offa’s dyke, two circuit hikes in the Beacons, and a route through the Presili that took in a stone circle, a Hill top fort and Carn Menyn, the Dan Yr Ogof Caves and Caerloen Roman ruins
During the rest February and March I will try to chronicle my trip to South Wales
Looking North towards the Hardy Monument as Cows guard a tumulus at Portersham Farm.
BTW that’s Thomas Hardy the Sailor, as in kiss me Hardy, not Thomas Hardy the author, although a lot of people confuse these to Wessex gentlemen with each other.
Anyway, the horizon in this picture pretty much defines this Dorset section of the Southern coastal path, which is a bit strange since the sea was over a mile behind me when I took this one.
So DC has an average snowfall of 15 inches, but this year we blew away the all time record with an amazing 55 inches, and we might get snow again Monday, and possible Friday a week from today.
The numbers above are the offical numbers for DC, which are measured in Virginia at Reagan airport, which of course is at sea level and so gets less than elsewhere, but they are the official numbers.
For me, the two back to back storms dumped 30 inches in less than a week, and we still have not seen a snowplow in our street.
Here are a couple of pictures taken around Sunset last night while I was out walking the dogs. Day 8 since it all started.
This message has been sent using the picture and Video service from Verizon Wireless!
To learn how you can snap pictures and capture videos with your wireless phone visit www.verizonwireless.com/picture.
Note: To play video messages sent to email, Quicktime@ 6.5 or higher is required.